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NDL 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 NDL 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 NDL (4 Modules / 4 Credits)


The Orientation to Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses invite learners to acquaint with other types of “deaths” that one may experience in life, and address them within a Meaning Reconstruction framework.  Categories of non-death losses include those arising from threats to health, significant relationships, occupational and career identity, and other more abstract losses (e.g. erosion or shattering of spiritual or secular worldviews). 

These Orientation Modules cover the following essential areas:

  • Disenfranchised grief and the social context of loss and grief

  • Ambiguous loss

  • Tangible and intangible loss

  • Chronic sorrow and nonfinite or living losses

  • Meaning-making after non-death losses

  • Latest research on non-death losses

These Orientation Modules are offered as live webinars or online recordings, or onsite workshops that can be taken at any location around the world where such training is offered.  Learners are required to complete at least four Orientation Modules for NDL Certification.

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

Each module is focused on specific therapy tools or techniques that may be delivered through onsite workshops, live webinars or online recordings.  Learners briefly practice particular methods during the onsite workshops or live webinars.  In the online learning setting, learners are invited to reflect on these methods in their Responsive Journals.  Learners are required to learn at least six Techniques for NDL Certification. 

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

Each case study consists of a case conceptualization exercise or videotaped clinical session with a close process analysis to reveal the therapist’s moment-to-moment reading of the client’s need and readiness to engage in specific meaning reconstruction tasks.  Learners are required to complete at least two Case Studies through live webinars, online recordings or onsite workshops for NDL Certification.  

5)  NDL Practicum Studio  (4 Studio Sessions / 4 Credits)
Learners form small groups and practice Meaning Reconstruction skills related to non-death losses, 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 and observer, followed by feedback and processing.  Learners are required to complete at least four Studio sessions for NDL Certification.

6)  NDL Mentoring (3 Sessions / 3 Credits)

Learners are required to fulfill at least three 1-hour individual Mentoring sessions in Meaning Reconstruction for non-death losses 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)  NDL 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 working with non-death losses 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 grieving clients with non-death loss from a meaning reconstruction 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.
Meeting Our Faculty Team.
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