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Psychology & Spirituality Lectures

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Grief and the Quest for Meaning

Presented by: Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer, Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis

Friday, February 23, 2018
Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Building
Contact Hours: 6
$90 Includes Lunch (additional $15 for LVPCA/APA CEU)

Death and loss may not be optional in human life, but how we make meaning of such difficult times is. This workshop examines a new way of doing grief work that helps the bereaved process and integrate the “event story” of the death while validating the “back story” of the love relationship with the deceased. Viewing bereavement as a spiritual as well as psychological narrative, participants explore the shattering, retelling, reconstructing, integrating, and extending of the survivor’s ongoing life story and distinguish between adaptive grieving and complicated and prolonged grieving. A particular focus will be on complicated spiritual grief—that is, grief in which believers struggle with a sense of insecurity, anger, and distance in relation to God and the faith community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the key features of complicated grief that distinguish it from adaptive grieving after a major loss
  2. Describe the impact of traumatic bereavement on the survivor's psychological and spiritual functioning
  3. Distinguish restorative retelling of the "event story" of the death as a healing practice from rumination and traumatic repetition
  4. Summarize the key ingredients of complicated grief therapy and evidence for its superiority over conventional psychotherapy with bereaved clients
  5. Discuss guidelines for therapeutic journals that help clients master negative emotions and find meaning and perspective in the wake of loss
  6. Analyze virtual dream stories to discern key themes and resources for the metaphoric integration of real-life losses
Dr. ROBERT A. NEIMEYER is Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. In his writings and workshops, he advances a theory of grieving as a meaning-making process. He has authored nearly 500 articles and book chapters, published 28 books, and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and the International Network of Personal Meaning for his contributions to grief therapy and the study of narrative reconstruction

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Co-sponsored with Lehigh Valley Psychological & Counseling Association (LVPCA)—approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor Continuing Education for psychologists. LVPCA maintains responsibility for the program and its content. If the lecture is canceled, registration fees will be refunded.

There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be reasonably construed as conflict of interest.