On the Edge:
A Case Study of Traumatic Loss
Earn Credit for 1 Case Study toward
Offered by the Portland Institute.
MAy 21, 2021
MAy 21, 2021
Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD
Portland Institute for Loss and Transition
Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis
Major loss, especially of key attachment figures in our lives, can shatter a world of meaning anchored in that relationship, and leave survivors struggling to make sense of the loss and their lives in its aftermath. When such losses occur violently and traumatically, they can further undermine core constructs of predictability, benevolence, and control, greatly complicating, intensifying and prolonging the emotional anguish into which we are thrown by our bereavement. Over the last 15 years, a great deal of research has confirmed these propositions and suggested that the reconstruction of a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss should be a central goal in grief therapy.
But exactly how does this process unfold in the concrete clinical context of real clients suffering real losses? This Case Study module addresses this question by presenting video recordings of Neimeyer’s therapy with a father bereaved by the drowning of his young adult daughter, as they carefully negotiate conditions of safety in revisiting and retelling the story of a horrific loss, integrating its painful meanings and images. Learners participate in a close process analysis of the session to reveal the therapist’s moment-to-moment reading of the client’s need and readiness to engage in specific meaning reconstruction tasks, and to identify features of the therapy that promote reprocessing without re-traumatization. As a result, learners will emerge with a deeper understanding of the nuances of restorative retelling of tragic death, and how these can be orchestrated collaboratively with a client in actual practice.
Describe the relevance of “introducing the loved one” as a prelude to retelling the narrative of the dying;
Summarize strategies for negotiating safety in revisiting a tragic loss without re-traumatizing the client;
Identify markers of client's need and readiness to engage the event story of the loss; and
Discuss principles of bracing, pacing and facing when using restorative retelling procedures to promote integration of a troubling narrative of death.
COURSE PACK PROVIDES
PDF of all slides included in the presentation;
Rubric for Introducing Our Loved Ones; and
Explicit guidelines for implementation of Restorative Retelling procedures for promoting emotion regulation and integration of the event story of the death.
Note: Attendance of the live training session confers credit of 1 Case Study required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy.
9am-12pm, PDT: Portland, OR, which corresponds to 12-3pm in New York, 5-8pm in London, and 6-9pm in Amsterdam.
9am-12pm SGT: Singapore, which corresponds to 10am-1pm in Tokyo, and 11am-2pm in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Zoom meeting link and the module materials will be emailed to all registrants in due course.
GRIEF TRAINING 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. 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.