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Grief Treatment: Current Evidence Based Approaches to Care Across the Lifespan

The need for a revolution in the way mental health providers approach grievers is on the rise. The “quick fix” nature of American culture, a death-denying attitude and an outdated adherence to stage theories has created an epidemic for grievers.

The potential is high to include a formalized diagnosis for Prolonged Grief Disorder in the next revision of the DSM-5®. If this occurs, clinicians will have an even greater responsibility to understand treatment modalities, assessment tools and diagnostic criteria related to grief. Not long ago in American history, those in mourning would be quick to find comfort from family and faith. Yet, as our society shifts away from a faith-orientation and loneliness continues to escalate, clinicians have the unique opportunity to stand in the gap of this crisis and provide a respite for grieving people of all ages.

This recording provides fast and unique treatment tools that can be used in a wide variety of circumstances for grievers of all ages. The new complicated Grief Treatment Model will also be examined for use with individuals facing a more persistent response to grief. This treatment has been studied to have a significantly higher response rate than interpersonal psychotherapy.


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Alissa Drescher, LPC, FT, GC-C, MA
6 Hours 16 Minutes
Feb 05, 2020
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Media Type:
DVD - Also available: 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 6.25 hours CPD.



Alissa Drescher, LPC, FT, GC-C, MA's Profile

Alissa Drescher, LPC, FT, GC-C, MA Related seminars and products

Alissa Drescher, LPC, FT, GC-C, MA, is a highly sought after speaker addressing topics related to grief and mourning, and is known for her creative, interactive, and story-telling presentation style. She began working in the field of bereavement services in 2006, offering encouragement to grieving parents. Alissa’s passion for supporting people through the grief process led to counseling both grieving children and adults in individual and group settings.

At the Tristesse Grief Center in Tulsa, OK, she served as senior program director, overseeing a variety of programming including the Healing Hearts Camp, Oklahoma’s first overnight camp for grieving children and teens (now Camp Erin Tulsa). Alissa was an adjunct professor at Southern Nazarene University teaching several undergraduate counseling courses including Death, Grief and Loss. After relocating to Tennessee, Alissa became the founder/executive director of the Grief Center of Middle Tennessee, whose mission is to help children, teens, and adults cope with loss and change.

Alissa is a Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying & Bereavement and holds a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy with a focus in Play Therapy. She is also a member of the Association of Death Education and Counseling and the National Alliance for Grieving Children.


Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Alissa Drescher is the founder and executive director of the Grief Center of Middle Tennessee. She receives a speaking
honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Alissa Drescher is a Fellow in Thanatology. She is a member of the Association of Death Education and Counseling; and
the National Alliance for Grieving Children.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Evaluate current models of grief theory that go beyond the five stages and the treatment implications of each model.
  2. Distinguish the unique experience created by different types of loss in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
  3. Assess a client’s understanding of death and response to grief from a developmental perspective across the lifespan.
  4. Determine how grief impacts the family system (individually and together), and how to better equip them to support each other in grief.
  5. Appraise current and cutting-edge modalities used to treat typical and complicated grief in the clinical setting.
  6. Integrate specific creative counseling interventions that engage the individual, couple or family in the process of grief.


Grief Theory Beyond Kübler-Ross

  • Tasks of Mourning
  • Dual Process Model of Coping
  • Continuing Bonds Theory
  • Grief and Attachment Theory
  • Potential criteria for “Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder”
  • Two creative interventions articulating these theories

Circumstances of Bereavement

  • Implications of Specific losses
    • Pre-loss factors
    • Relationship influence
    • Type of and proximity to death
    • Disenfranchised losses
    • Living losses

Grief Counseling Strategies Across the Lifespan

  • Childhood and adolescence
    • The occurrence of grief
    • Developmental understanding of death
    • Grief responses and adaptation to loss
    • Six creative age appropriate interventions
  • Young and middle adulthood
    • Grief circumstances
    • Life stages and individual needs
    • Assessments and interventions
    • Family Systems
      • The family narrative
      • Use the Internal Family Systems Approach
    • Six creative interventions appropriate for middle adulthood
  • Older adulthood
    • Type of loss
    • Grief responses and perception of death
    • Treatment strategies based on developmental needs
    • Six creative interventions specific for older adults

Grief Treatment – Current Evidence-Based Approach to Care

  • Typical Trajectory Griever
    • Limitations to grief counselling/assessing effectiveness
    • Assessment tools
    • Expressive arts
    • Companioning model
    • Therapeutic presence
    • Narrative therapy
    • Creating space for suffering
    • Limitations of the client-centred approach
  • Complicated Griever
    • Assessment tools
    • CBT
    • Complicated Grief Treatment Model
    • Grief and trauma intervention
    • Meaning reconstruction
  • Ethical Considerations
    • Socio-cultural context
    • Gender bias
    • Pitfalls in treating the family system
    • Grief in the digital universe
    • Spirituality and grief
    • Personal death anxiety
    • Countertransference
    • The wounded healer
    • Occupational stress
    • The grieving therapist
    • Self-care

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Chaplains/Clergy
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      4.8

Total Reviews: 24


Lora C - Sunbury, Pennsylvania

"Excellent course. I will recommend it to others. "

Tammy M - Raleigh, North Carolina


Margery B - FREDERICK, Maryland

"This was the BEST seminar on grief I have ever attended; a phenomenal CE course. Presenter is a gifted communicator."

Marla H - SPRINGFIELD, Missouri

"This was a great training with lots of resources given. Presenter was entertaining, on point, informative and managed the crowd brilliantly. "

Debra T - Fairfield, California

"Excellent presentation. Very thought provoking and informative"

Joan P - BAYSIDE, New York

"Terrific seminar!"

Brian B - Palm City, Florida

"Very informative"

Rick A - Indianapolis, Indiana

"Useful and time well spent"

Monique S - Jessup, Maryland

"Ms. Drescher did a phenomenal job presenting information in an organized and informative way, blending nicely the information, relevant stories, and examples. This was one of the best trainings I have attended on grief, and by far the best recorded/online training I have taken in 2020. I have already recommended this training to my coworkers and supervisor at a Child & Adolescent community outpatient mental health clinic."

Nancy T - shaker heights, Ohio

"Alissa Drescher is a master in the field of grief counseling and an excellent presenter."

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