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Heart to Heart: Attachment & Emotion Regulation in Grief Therapy

Heart to Heart: Attachment & Emotion Regulation in Grief Therapy

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Buy $99

Earn 1 Credit for Orientation Module toward
Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction
Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Phyllis S. Kosminsky, PhD, FT

Faculty Mentor

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Clinical Social Worker

Center for Hope

USD$99 for 3-hour module

As someone with a desire to help people faced with significant loss, you’ve spent some time reading about grief and learning about the art and science of grief therapy. This base of essential knowledge is a foundation for the higher order skill set that you will develop through the experience of sitting with and providing support to bereaved individuals.


What does such experience teach us? What does an experienced grief therapist know about what helps, about the nature of change in grief therapy and what attributes of the therapist and the therapeutic relationship are most salient in promoting change and facilitating the healing process?


The presenter for this program, with 25 years of experience in supporting the bereaved, will share with you some of this deeper wisdom about what you can do to help someone who is grieving. Research into the practice of psychotherapy suggests that the therapeutic relationship is the most important variable in treatment effectiveness. This is especially the case in therapy for bereavement, which is a relational loss and requires a relational approach that takes into account the attachment style of the client. These assumptions are central to the approach to grief therapy introduced in Kosminsky & Jordan’s (2016) book, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications, published by Routledge in New York. 

Clinical examples, experiential exercises and directed writing will combine to illustrate the importance of non-verbal forms of communication that build trust and create a safe space in which the bereaved are able to enter the often frightening realm of grief. What you learn will guide you in the identification and development of your own relational style and will show you that much of what is most essential in the delivery of grief therapy is already inside you, waiting to be tapped.


  • Explain recent findings regarding the impact of early attachment experience on attachment style and on the development of emotion regulatory capacity;

  • Explain the importance of emotion regulation in coping with loss and how deficits in emotion regulation contribute to complications in grief;

  • Describe what is meant by “attachment informed grief therapy” and discuss the practical application of attachment theory in providing bereavement support to individuals with attachment related grief complications; and

  • Explain the role of the grief therapist as a transitional attachment figure and describe the clinical skills that are core elements of an effective therapeutic relationship with bereaved clients.

Note:  Completion of this program (total 3-hour activity, including approximately 2-hour recorded webinar and 1-hour reflection) and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. Reflective Practice: Lessons of Life, Love & Loss (29 mins)
  2. Attachment & Grief: Security, Regulation & Flexibility (27 mins)

  3. Jane Story: Oscillation between Loss & Restoration (29 mins)

  4. Kevin Story: Learning to Manage Emotions (24 mins)


  • Handout on Mapping the Terrain of Loss;

  • Article, Wherever we go, our past goes with us

  • PDF of presentation slides; and

  • The Responsive Journal that, upon completion and return, confers 1 credit of Orientation Module leading to Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction.


Phyllis S. Kosminsky, PhD, FT is a clinical social worker in private practice in Westchester, New York, and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut, where her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Brandeis University. She is a certified provider of EMDR and has extensive training in hypnotherapy as an adjunctive psychotherapy technique. Dr. Kosminsky has conducted hundreds of trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and complicated grief and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, and the book Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal (McGraw Hill, 2007) Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications was published by Routledge in 2016. Dr. Kosminsky is an adjunct Professor of Social Work at Fordham University, the Immediate Past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and a member of the International Work Group on Grief, Bereavement and Loss.

Phyllis S. Kosminsky,


Photo - Phyllis Kosminsky.jpeg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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