Live Training

When Grief Goes Viral:

An Update on Assessment and Intervention

in the COVID Crisis

Earn Credit for 1 Technique Module toward

Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction

or Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses

Offered by the Portland Institute.

February 26, 2021

9AM-12pm, PsT

Presented by

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD


Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Emeritus Professor

Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis

USD$99 for 3-hour module

By Christo Anestev from Pixabay

With the global pandemic of COVID-19 has come the loss of a world of once familiar routines, relationships and resources that previously conferred on our lives a sense of security and meaning.  This workshop introduces both a carefully developed screening tool for coronavirus anxiety (CA) as the contagion spreads and a newly published screener for the pandemic grief (PG) it will leave in its wake.  Beyond noting the psychometric data supporting the validity, reliability and utility of both measures, this module encourages practice in bridging from assessment to intervention and suggests evidence informed techniques for dealing with both CA and PG constructively. 

Because of the pervasiveness of changes engendered by the Coronavirus and policies required to mitigate contagion, ambiguous losses and challenges to our assumptive world compound grief associated with bereavement and call for greater recognition and support by mental health professionals.  In particular, we will examine a growing body of evidence that conservation of core beliefs and a capacity to make meaning of the losses associated with the pandemic and unfinished business associated with COVID bereavement mediate adaptation to these often-traumatic transitions.  Learners will be invited (but not required) to safely identify and acknowledge the sorts of losses in their own lives that frequently correspond with those of the clients they serve.  Beyond the broad orientation to assessing and addressing pandemic related anxiety and grief, we will also highlight some of the themes and strategies for meaning-oriented grief counseling that are explored in depth in other PI learning modules.


  • Implement the What Have You Lost technique to explore ambiguous losses associated with the pandemic;

  • Describe a validated brief screening tool for assessing coronavirus anxiety and its relation to a range of worrisome outcomes;

  • Discuss a newly published 5-item screener for dysfunctional grief following COVID bereavement and the impressive evidence for its incremental validity;

  • Bridge from the numerical responses to these screening measures to the richer personal narratives that they signal;

  • List four evidence-informed risk factors for complicated or prolonged grief exacerbated by the COVID crisis;

  • Identify six therapeutic procedures for addressing Coronavirus anxiety and unfinished business in bereavement; and

  • Conceptualize an actual case of COVID bereavement to identify themes to address in treatment.


  • Instructions for the What Have You Lost exercise, with guidelines for processing;

  • Copies of 3 psychometrically validated assessment tools, with scoring instructions:

    • The Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), which measures somatic / physiological symptoms of distress about the pandemic that display high validity, sensitivity and specificity;

    • The Pandemic Grief Scale (PGS), which assesses clinically significant levels of COVID grief effectively and efficiently; and

    • The Unfinished Business in Bereavement Scale (UBBS), which measures two distinct dimensions of unresolved relational issues with the deceased that are exacerbated by the circumstances of COVID deaths and essential guidelines for their mitigation.

    • All scales have been placed in the public domain to encourage their use in clinical and research contexts.​

  • Attendance of the live training session confers credit of 1 Technique Module leading to Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses.


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


The Zoom meeting link and the module materials will be emailed to all registrants in due course.


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

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.