top of page
Holding onto Grief: Addressing Resistance to Change in Bereavement

Holding onto Grief: Addressing Resistance to Change in Bereavement

Watch Preview
Buy $99

Earn 1 Credit for Case Studies toward

Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction

Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD


Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Professor Emeritus

Department of Psychology, University of Memphis

USD$99 for 3-hour module

You’ve spent years offering support to bereaved people, helping them express their grief, manage waves of disruptive emotion, process the loss, and pursue a changed life and renewed bond with their deceased loved one.  But what do you do when they respond to none of these initiatives, and remain mired in an anguishing and life-limiting grief despite your best efforts, and their own genuine suffering?

This Case Study module provides a rare opportunity to witness answers to these questions.  Drawing on Bruce Ecker’s coherence therapy, we will first consider several means by which therapists can help clients encounter the root causes of “immunity to change” and witness this empathic stance unfold in recordings of actual therapy sessions with two different clients.  Grounding in an unhurried, collaborative, fully experiential approach to the work, the therapist “leads from one step behind,” responding to subtle cues in the client’s own verbal and nonverbal language to gently pursue the tasks of discovery and integration of the emotional truth that sustains the client’s suffering.  Several alternative strategies for pursuing this “position work” are demonstrated, each woven seamlessly into the process of therapy.


  • Summarize key concepts in Ecker’s Coherence Therapy and their relevance for grief therapy;

  • Identify markers of the emergence of “pro-symptom positions” that invite radical inquiry;

  • Use body-oriented imagery to explore sources of resistance to change in long-standing grief; and

  • Utilize visualization, symptom deprivation and overt statement to encounter the emotional truth of the symptom and promote its conscious integration.

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 credit for Case Studies required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. Ecker’s Insight: The Case for Coherence (34 mins)
  2. The Black Dagger of Grief: Visualization of the Pro-Symptom Position (20 mins)

  3. The Heart of Grief: Discovery of the Emotional Truth of the Problem (34 mins)

  4. Life in the Fishbowl: Radical Inquiry into the Roots of Resistance (42 mins)


  • Review of key concepts and procedures of coherence therapy;

  • Clinician’s Toolboxes that feature guidelines for conducting Radical Inquiry and Analogical Listening; and​

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


Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, maintains an active consulting and coaching practice, and also directs the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.  Neimeyer has published 30 books, including Routledge’s series on Techniques of Grief Therapy, and serves as Editor of Death Studies. The author of over 500 articles and chapters and a popular workshop presenter, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.  In recognition of his contributions, he has been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning.

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD

Speaker Photo 2.jpg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

bottom of page