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

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

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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 is a natural and nearly universal response to the death of a loved one.  But what is less recognized is that it is also a response to circumstances that have far less social recognition and support—the loss of health to illness or injury, the demise of relationships through betrayal or separation, the erosion of financial security through unemployment or retirement, challenges to identity through loss of community, and more.  With longer lives come changing roles, and often difficult decision-making about healthcare and residence leading to further losses that reverberate for individuals, family systems, and professional care networks.  Relationships die while those who were in these relationships continue to live.  The world we have known can dramatically change, leaving us with a plenitude of losses we can scarcely name, but keenly feel.  All of these transitions can deeply challenge our assumptions about how life is or should be, and how we see ourselves, others, and the future. 

In this module, we will explore the underpinnings and impact of these types of losses on our daily lives, including how we find meaning within our social networks.  Special attention will be given to the clinical and social implications for those who experience a wide range and variety of non-death losses.  The module will also introduce the use of a validated measure (non-death loss version) to explore the impact of the social network upon the ability to make meaning after significant non-death losses.


  • Describe how social norms, messages, and context affect the grieving process in non-death losses;

  • Identify specific types of non-death losses that are directly shaped by the social/political context in which they reside;

  • Discuss clinical implications and support for individuals who experience ongoing grief and chronic sorrow; and

  • Utilize a validated measure (SMILES) to identify the impact of social interactions upon 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. Social Contexts of Non-Death Losses: Disenfranchised Grief and Social Pain (30 mins)
  2. SMILES: Social Expectations and Norms of Grief after Non-Death Losses (46 mins)

  3. Clinical Self-Awareness: The Spheres of the Assumptive World (27 mins)

  4. Non-Death Losses: From Research to Clinical Practice (35 mins)


  • Instructions for creating spheres of the assumptive world;

  • The Social Meaning in Life Events Scale (SMILES)  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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