Grief expert shares how to find meaning after loss
Techniques of Grief Therapy at the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing
Loss and bereavement are universal, but the way we each respond to the life transitions that grief brings is varied. Some of us may adapt to the loss surprisingly well, others may struggle for a long time or feel unable to return to a normal level of functioning.
Regardless of our individual response to grief, most of us find ourselves hoping to find meaning in the wake of loss and striving to reconstruct a continuing bond with our loved one who is physically absent but psychologically present.
Just this past week we were fortunate to address these topics at an outstanding two-day training at the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing with world-renowned grief expert Robert Neimeyer, PhD. More than 60 grief professionals watched counseling sessions and participated in group activities focused on helping survivors reconstruct rather than relinquish their relationship with the deceased. The training workshop was titled “Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practice for Counseling the Bereaved.”
Additionally, as part of his intensive seminar series, Dr. Neimeyer facilitated “Loss, Grief and the Quest for Meaning,” a workshop where he helped survivors and their supporters understand how growth can come from the deepest grief, despite the emotional challenges it brings.
Principles of self-care he offered in the workshop included:
- Acknowledging the pain of the loss, and understanding its function;
- Embracing a continuing bond with your loved one, rather than seeking a final goodbye;
- Recognition that grief is not only processed within us, but also processed between us.
Dr. Neimeyer has published 30 books and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Memphis.
The TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® is a leader in training and education for bereavement professionals, bereaved individuals, and grieving military and civilian families. Through an alliance with the Hospice Foundation of America, the foremost leader in professional grief and loss education, the Institute serves as a resource and training center, providing a hub for high-quality collaboration between professionals working in the field of grief and loss. For upcoming events and webinars, visit our grief professionals page.