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GTSB Components


1)  Certification Core Courses (6 Modules / 3 Credits)

The Core Courses are offered as a series of 3-hour online modules, or onsite full-day workshops that can be taken in any of several locations around the world each year.  All are required for GTMR Certification.  Learners may complete these courses in any sequence they desire. 


  • Grief and Its Complications (2 Modules):  Contemporary models of grief, including conceptualization and diagnosis of complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder.


  • Grief Therapy - A Trauma-Informed Approach (2 Modules): Trauma-oriented interventions to help grievers process the Event Story of the loss and integrate it into their larger self-narrative.


  • Grief Therapy - An Attachment-Informed Approach (2 Modules): Attachment-oriented interventions to help grievers access the Back Story of the relationship and reconstruct the continuing bond with the deceased.

2) Orientation to Suicide Bereavement  (4 Modules / 4 Credits)


The suicide of a significant other often has a profound and at times devastating impact on the bereaved survivors who in turn require a level of support that goes beyond general grief counselling. These Orientation Modules cover a) the unique psychological impact of suicide on the survivors and common themes in their bereavement; b) relevant research findings about these survivors’ needs; c) the tasks of loss integration and recovery required for these survivors; and d) principles of longer term clinical work with them.  Special attention is given in one of these modules to the unique challenges and needs of children and adolescents who are survivors of suicide loss.  Learners are required to complete four Orientation Modules for GTSB Certification

3) GTSB Techniques Modules (6 Techniques / 6 Credits)

Each module is focused on specific therapy tools or techniques that may be delivered through onsite workshops, live online training or recordings.  Learners briefly practice particular methods during the onsite workshops or live training.  Among the techniques featured are Restorative Retelling – a narrative exposure method tailored to violent death bereavement, Analogical Listening – a somatic experiential method for exploring and mastering the impact of suicide grief on the body, and arts-assisted methods for expressing and transforming the wordless grief that often accompanies suicide bereavement.  In the recorded training modality, learners are invited to reflect on these methods in their Responsive Journals.  Learners are required to learn six Techniques for GTSB Certification

4)  GTSB Case Studies (2 Cases / 2 Credits)

Each Case Study module consists of client interview or video-recorded clinical session to provide a framework for understanding the clinical tasks required for suicide bereavement and client’s reflection on changes occurred during or over the course of therapy sessions, as well as what was helpful and not helpful about therapy.  Live dialogues with survivors of suicide loss, as well as recorded modules capturing these interactions, engage learners in the lived experience of these clients.  Learners are required to complete two Case Studies for GTSB Certification.  

4)  GTSB Practicum Studio  (4 Studio Sessions / 4 Credits)
Learners form small groups and practice Meaning Reconstruction skills for suicide bereavement cases, with Portland Institute faculty serving as coaches, for role-play in a shared language.  Each session includes practice with learners taking turns in the role of the therapist, client or observer, followed by feedback and processing.  Learners are required to complete four Studio sessions for GTSB Certification.

6)  GTSB Mentoring (3 Sessions / 3 Credits)

Learners are required to fulfill at least three 1-hour individual Mentoring sessions in Grief Therapy for Suicide Bereavement with one of the Portland Institute faculty in a shared language.  These sessions may be conducted in face-to-face mode, or via phone or videoconference.  

7)  GTSB Session Evaluation (1 Recording / 1 Credit)

Following the completion of all the above Components, learners need to submit one 50-minute video recording of an application of Meaning Reconstruction in grief therapy in an actual session or in role play, along with a transcript of the session.  The session is then evaluated for demonstration of competency in working with clients suffering from suicide loss from a meaning-making perspective.  Learners then either receive extensive written feedback or schedule a 1-hour feedback session with one of the Portland Institute faculty in a shared language.
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