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Digital Seminar

Counseling Grief Clients: Practical Interventions from New Theoretical Insights

Clinicians often struggle to develop an effective approach to counseling grief clients, due to the uniqueness of each individual's grief. The last 10-15 years have seen an explosion of new research in the field and many new studies have turned what we thought we knew on its head. Another important and very practical issue involves diagnosis, as DSM-5® revisions affect the most commonly applied diagnoses for grief clients.

Explore this new research, including up-to-date information about appropriate diagnosis of grief clients in DSM-5®, ideas for how to assess grief severity and related constructs, and clarification about what is meant by “complicated grief” with Licensed Psychologist and Certified Thanatologist, Dr. Beth Eckerd. Review the most commonly used current models for understanding grief and leave with tools, including 20 interventions, to more confidently assist clients in navigating the adaptive, yet confusing and difficult, grief process. The seminar will end with a focus on self-care, discussing how to appropriately manage and care for ourselves in this demanding, yet fulfilling, work. 


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Beth Eckerd, JD, Ph.D.
5 Hours 35 Minutes
Audio and Video
Nov 30, 2016
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 5.5 hours CPD.



Beth Eckerd, JD, Ph.D. Related seminars and products: 1

Beth Eckerd, J.D., Ph.D., is an experienced educator who has taught undergraduate and graduate level psychology and counseling courses for over 10 years. Her teaching and research focus has been on grief, diagnosis, personality and psychopathology, death education, and counseling. This combination led to her avid interest in the DSM-5®’s revision process. In addition to her faculty responsibilities, Dr. Eckerd presents to professional groups on DSM-5®’s overall changes as well as specifically on DSM® diagnosis of grief-related symptomatology. She has recently co-authored a chapter entitled “When is grief ‘abnormal’? The changing approach to grief in the DSM,” as well as articles in Death Studies and other journals. Beth has shared her grief expertise on the radio and the Internet as well.

Dr. Eckerd is an associate professor at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, and a licensed psychologist. Her style includes equal parts of knowledge, organization, and humor, which establishes an enjoyable environment for audience engagement and learning.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Lizabeth Eckerd is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Humboldt State University. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Lizabeth Eckerd has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive) Access never expires for this product.


  1. Articulate current models for conceptualizing grief for the purposes of client psychoeducation
  2. Identify five predictors of grief severity in clients
  3. Put to practical use in-session a basic, adaptable approach to grief counseling
  4. Demonstrate three new interventions to use with bereaved clients in a clincial session
  5. Determine when grief has become “complicated” and outline a suitable treatment strategy
  6. Diagnose grief clients appropriately using the DSM-5®/li>



  • The cost of loving and caring 
  • Models for understanding grief
    • Older, familiar models
      • The “griefwork” hypothesis
      • Kubler-Ross stages
    • Current theories and approaches
      • Attachment theory
      • Phase and task models
      • Meaning reconstruction
      • Dual process model
      • Continuing bonds
  • Expressions
    • Emotional and cognitive expressions
    • Physical manifestations
    • Behavioral expressions
    • Social behaviors and societal reactions 
  • Predictors and mediators of the experience
    • Background: grief is highly individual
    • Personality and other vulnerability factors
    • Who died; quality of relationship
    • Social, contextual, and cultural influences
    • Mode of death
    • Other influences
  • Non-death losses


  • Grief counseling
    • How is it different from other types of counseling?
    • Who often benefits (and who may not)? 
  • Components of a general approach
    • The 3 Rogerian conditions
    • Power of presence                   
    • Being a companion/therapist for your grief clients
  • Cross-cultural and other diversity considerations
  • Dealing with emotional intensity
  • Grief vs. trauma  
  • Interventions
  • When clients' grief is disenfranchised
  • Working with couples or families who have experienced the “same” loss
  • Preparing for grief “spikes”
  • Post-traumatic growth


  • Common trajectories for grief
  • What is “complicated” grief and how do you recognize it?
  • Risk factors for complicated grief         
  • Overview of treatments for complicated grief


  • How to differentiate between depression, grief, and PTSD
  • Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder
  • Use of Adjustment Disorder diagnosis with grief clients
  • Measurement/assessment of grief


  • The risks and joys of this work 
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-care
  • Training opportunities in this field

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Art Therapists
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Mental Health Nurses
  • Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors


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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or email

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