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Non-Death Loss: Grieving the Lost Assumptive World [Part I]

Non-Death Loss: Grieving the Lost Assumptive World [Part I]

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Earn 1 Credit for Orientation Module toward 
Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses
Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Darcy L. Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT

Associate Professor and Thanatology Coordinator

King's University Collage, London, Canada

Faculty Mentor

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

USD$99 for 3-hour module

Grief certainly occurs after the death of someone we love, but it also manifests in the midst of losses that may not be as obvious or easily described.  These are living losses — the loss experiences and their accompanying ambiguity that we must learn to live with as we continue with our lives.  Some living losses are readily apparent, such as the loss of functionality, loss of roles, or the absence of loved ones through other means than death.  Other losses may not be so obvious, such as the loss of our hopes and dreams, our innocence, our beliefs, or our vision of how we thought life should or would be.  Utilizing case studies and examples, we will identify the unique features and implications of many types of non-death losses. 

Learners will engage in the creation of a loss history diagram, followed by mapping specific aspects of loss experiences onto a provided template, which can be utilized when working with clients.  This module will also include the use of a validated measure (non-death loss version) to trace the impact of non-death losses on one’s comprehensibility and footing in the world.


  • Identify the construct of the assumptive world and how this construct relates to grief;

  • Define and describe nonfinite loss, ambiguous loss, tangible / intangible loss, and chronic sorrow;

  • Explore the impact of living, non-death loss experiences through creation of loss histories and templates in order to identify various types of losses and their implications; and

  • Utilize a validated measure to identify the impact of non-death loss experiences.

Note:  Completion of this program and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. What Is Loss: Grief and the Assumptive World (33 mins)
  2. Varieties of Non-Death Losses: Concepts and Illustrations (37 mins)

  3. Mapping the Terrain: Template for Non-Death Losses (21 mins)

  4. Denise's Decision: Loss and Its Integration (27 mins)


  • Instructions for recording a loss history and fostering reflection on the contents;

  • Template for identifying specific types of non-death losses and their clinical implications;

  • The Inventory of Stressful Life Events Scale (ISLES) the full validated scale with instructions for use in clinical and research contexts; and

  • The Responsive Journal that, upon completion and return, confers 1 credit for Orientation Module leading to Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses.


Darcy L. Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT is an Associate Professor and the Thanatology Coordinator at King’s University College in London, Canada, where she also maintains a private clinical practice specializing in issues related to change, loss, and transition.  Darcy developed the undergraduate degree program in Thanatology at King’s University College.  She has served on the board of directors of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and is a current member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement.  She is a series co-editor for Routledge Publishing Company’s Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series.  Her publications include Counting our Losses: Reflecting on Change, Loss, and Transition in Everyday Life (Routledge), Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice (Routledge), Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling (Springer), The Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief: Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Routledge), and Non-Death Loss and Grief: Context and Clinical Implications (Routledge).  Darcy serves as a faculty mentor with the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.

Darcy L. Harris,



USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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