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Traumatic Loss & Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: Video Course


Speakers: Dr Phyllis Kosminsky and Dr John R. Jordan

Product: Video Course
Price: £135

CPD Hours: 6

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Psychotherapists and Counsellors are routinely called upon to deal with bereavement as a presenting issue, and most feel comfortable doing this. However, working with traumatic losses – i.e., grief that emerges after the sudden, unexpected, and often violent death of a loved one, such as a suicide, homicide, loss to a disease or accidental death – is often a daunting challenge for us as therapists. In this two-part seminar, Drs Kosminsky and Jordan will address some of the challenges that are universal in the mourning process after traumatic deaths – while specifically considering that Attachment Security is a key factor that explains an individual’s response to bereavements. The seminar will look at what research and clinical practice have taught us about the development of a secure vs. insecure orientation to attachment, and how attachment orientation impacts emotional health across the lifespan, with an emphasis on response to traumatic loss (any death-related loss that is likely to elicit both significant separation distress and a trauma response).

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Full Course Information

The presenters will explain the significance of contemporary perspectives on attachment and interpersonal neuroscience that are critical to understanding variations in peoples’ adaptation to loss and will outline the implications of these insights for the practice of therapy with bereaved individuals. The core principles and practices of grief therapy have been consolidated in their book Attachment Informed Grief Therapy (Kosminsky & Jordan, 2016), an approach that emphasizes the centrality of the therapeutic relationship and the role of the therapist in helping the bereaved client re-regulate in the aftermath of significant loss. This approach is guided by an appreciation of the ways that attachment styles both mediate mourning and influence the therapeutic process.

Having established the basis and rationale of an attachment informed approach, the presenters will expand on the elements of grief therapy and the core clinical skills of the grief therapist that comprise this model. These principles and skills will be illustrated with clinical vignettes and client videos.

Evening 1: Identifying and Addressing Attachment-Related Complications In Bereavement: Dr Phyllis Kosminsky

Dr Kosminsky uses client videos and case discussions to illustrate how we can use Attachment Informed Grief Therapy in practice. Our learning objectives on the first evening are:

  • Identify three core principles of Attachment Theory that relate to grief and loss
  • Describe recent developments in bereavement research, in neuroscience and in attachment theory that bear on our understanding of how people adapt to loss
  • Describe what is meant by “Attachment-informed grief therapy” and discuss the practical application of Attachment Theory in providing bereavement support to individuals with attachment related grief complications
  • Describe five specific techniques for helping bereaved clients manage emotion, modify cognitions that impede healing, and adapt to changes brought about by significant loss

Evening 2: Working with Traumatic Loss: An Attachment Informed Approach: Dr John R. Jordan

The second evening builds our learnings from the previous evening and specifically discusses the effects of traumatic deaths on individuals and families – including suicides, homicides, accidental deaths and natural disasters. Dr Jordan uses the twin lenses of thanatology and traumatology to comprehend common themes across bereavement responses. Our learning objectives on the second evening are:

  • Describe differences and similarities in trauma and complicated grief responses
  • Identify prominent psychological themes that are common for individual and family survivors of traumatic loss
  • Describe the foundational orientation of Attachment Informed Grief Therapy for the roles of the grief counselor in working with traumatic bereavement.
  • Describe several promising new treatment techniques for complicated and traumatic grief

About the speakers

Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice in New York and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut. She has provided individual counselling to hundreds of bereaved individuals and has helped many more in bereavement support groups and in the aftermath of traumatic events. She has conducted trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and problematic grief. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, and the book Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal (McGraw Hill, 2007). Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment informed grief therapy: The clinician’s guide to foundations and applications. New York, NY: Routledge was published in 2016.

John R Jordan, Ph.D. John (Jack) Jordan is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he has specialized in work with survivors of suicide and other traumatic losses for more than 40 years. He is the Clinical Consultant for the Grief Support Services of the Samaritans in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Professional Advisor to the Loss and Healing Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He is Co-Chair of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Jack is also the co-author of four books: “After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief – 2nd Edition” (2015 – self-published);Grief After Suicide: Understanding the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors” (Routledge, 2011), “Devastating Losses: How Parents Cope With the Death of a Child to Suicide or Drugs” (Springer, 2012); and Attachment informed grief therapy: The clinician’s guide to foundations and applications. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016.

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