NCDE Summer Institute – Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved

July 26, 2013

National Center for Death Education 2013 Summer Institute

Speaker: Bob Neimeyer, Ph.D.


Workshop Desciption

As contemporary models of bereavement have become more nuanced and empirically informed, so too have the practices available to grief counselors and therapists. This workshop offers in-depth training in several of these techniques, nesting them in the context of current theories and research that provide flexible frameworks for intervention. Making extensive use of actual clinical videos as well as how-to instruction in the use a numerous therapeutic tools, we will discuss and practice several methods for helping clients integrate the reality of the loss into the ongoing story of their lives, while also reconstructing their continuing bond to their loved one.

Educational Goals

1. Implement restorative retelling and situational revisiting procedures for mastering the event story of the loss

2. Differentiate between forms of directed journaling that foster self-immersion and self-distancing to modulate emotions evoked by the death

3. Describe narrative techniques for accommodating loss in literal and figurative ways into the changed narrative of the client’s life

4. Describe two procedures for detecting obstacles to accommodating the loss deriving from invisible loyalties to the loved one

5. Practice two techniques for consolidating a constructive bond with the deceased as the client transitions toward a changed future

6. Choreograph imaginal dialogues between the client and the deceased to reaffirm love and resolve residual conflicts and disappointments

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since 1982, he has published 25 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved and Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of nearly 400 articles and book chapters, Neimeyer served as Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement and President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, made a Fellow of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, given ADEC’s Research Recognition and Clinical Practice Awards, and designated an Honored Associate of the Viktor Frankl Association for his career contributions to the study of human meaning. For further information: