Live Training

In the Shadow of Grief:
Loss & the Quest for Meaning 

Earn Credit for 1 Case Study toward
Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction
or Certification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy
Offered by the Portland Institute.

June 11, 2021

9AM-12:30pm, PDT

Presented by

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD


Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Emeritus Professor

Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis

By Anja from Pixabay

When our dreams and hopes are shattered by complex loss, we seek a new path forward through an alien landscape shadowed by grief.  In this module, we briefly sketch a meaning reconstruction approach to grief therapy that attends to three central challenges in bereavement: (1) the effort to process the story of the loss and its significance for our ongoing lives, (2) the attempt to access the back story of our relationship to the deceased to rework our bonds of attachment to their “presence within absence,” and (3) the need to revise the story of our own identity as survivors of a difficult transition.  Collaborating with clients at this intimately emotional and existential level often requires reaching beyond public language to work with metaphoric and somatic meanings that are deeply private, but also intricately social in how they are voiced, held silently, or re-negotiated within couples, families and other close relationships.

A special feature of this module will be a live session between Neimeyer and a young mother bravely seeking to reclaim life in the shadow of a multifaceted perinatal loss, with learners having the opportunity not only to process the session with Neimeyer, the client, and An Hooghe, the client’s ongoing therapist, but also to serve as members of small reflecting teams whose goal will be to offer generative and appreciative feedback to all learners, including the client.  The session will conclude with all learners having an opportunity to engage in a lively interchange with Neimeyer and Hooghe about the process of meaning reconstruction in the context of deeply unwelcome life transitions.


  • Summarize the key principles of meaning reconstruction in grief therapy;

  • Distinguish the roles of presence, process and procedure in grief therapy;

  • Describe 3 techniques for addressing the shadow of grief following tragic loss; and

  • Analyze a live session of grief therapy as a meaning-making process.

Note:  Attendance of the live training session confers credit of 1 Case Study leading to Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy.


  • 9am-12:30pm, PDT: Portland, OR, which corresponds to 12-3:30pm in New York, 5-8:30pm in London, and 6-9:30pm in Amsterdam.


Presenting Faculty

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, a “university without walls” for international online training in grief therapy.  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

Photo - An (ViV).jpg

This module is presented in collaboration with Verbinding in Verlies.

For further enquiries, please email An.