Specialty Workshops
Wednesday, April 25
Full Day: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Course Option 1:
Contemporary Neuroscience and Attachment Theory:  Implications for an Attachment Informed Approach to Grief Therapy

Presenters: Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, LCSW and John R. (Jack) Jordan, PhD

Category: Bridging Research and Practice

Indicator:  Assessment and Intervention

Presentation Level:  Intermediate

In this clinically oriented workshop, we will review recent research and theory in neuroscience that has direct implications for understanding the bereaved, particularly the phenomenon of “complicated grief”. We will do likewise with contemporary research and theory in the field of attachment studies. We will then discuss the emerging view of therapy as a process of right brain to right brain communication, and the central importance of the therapeutic relationship in work with the bereaved. We will outline the principles of this approach and illustrate these principles with clinical vignettes and video presentation. Throughout the day, there will be ample opportunity for discussion of the concepts and their application to actual therapeutic work with bereaved clients.


  • Discuss recent findings regarding the impact of early attachment experiences on attachment style and on the development of affect regulatory capacity
  • Explain the implications of these findings for our understanding of variations in how people respond and adapt to significant loss
  • Describe the principles of an attachment informed approach to grief therapy and the clinical skills that the presenters regard as the core elements of an effective therapeutic relationship with bereaved clients


  • Allen, Jon (2012).  Restoring Mentalizing in Attachment Relationships.  Washington, D.C.:  American Psychiatric Publishing.
  • Cozolino, L. J. (2010).  The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy:  Healing the Social Brain. (2nd ed).  New York:  Norton & Co.Hill, Daniel. (2016).  Affect Regulation Theory:  A Clinical Model.  New York:  W.W. Norton & Co.
  • Kosminsky P.  (2014).  “How New Insights About the Brain Are Helping Us Understand Attachment and Loss.”  Grief Matters:  The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement, 16(1).
  • Kosminsky, P. and Jordan, J.  (2016).  Attachment-Informed Grief Therapy:  The Clinician’s Guide To Foundations and Applications.  New York:  Routledge.
  • Schore, A. N.  (2012).  The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy.  New York:  W.W. Norton & Co.

Presenter Bios:

Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, LCSW, FT is a clinical social whose work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. Dr. Kosminsky received her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Brandeis University. She is a certified provider of EMDR and has extensive training in hypnotherapy as an adjunctive psychotherapy technique. Dr. Kosminsky has provided individual and group counseling to hundreds of bereaved people over the past twenty years. She counseled families and others affected by 9/11 in the immediate aftermath of that attack, and in the years following. She has conducted hundreds of trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and complicated grief and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. Dr. Kosminsky has served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Death Education and Counseling for six years, during which time she was a member of the association’s task force to develop an up to date and comprehensive outline of the body of knowledge essential to the field of death and dying, which was published in 2016. In 2014 Dr. Kosminsky was admitted to membership in the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG), and with her colleagues in that organization is engaged in work on the development of a common core set of skills and tasks for the practice of grief therapy. Dr. Kosminsky is the author of two books and has contributed to a number of edited volumes and journals. Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications (Routledge, 2016) integrates research, theory and practice in attachment theory, affect regulation, and grief therapy.

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. This Task force recently released (2015) postvention guidelines for the United States, titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines. For over 35 years, Jack has provided training nationally and internationally for professional caregivers, and has helped to lead many healing workshops for suicide loss survivors. Jack has published over 50 clinical and research articles, chapters, and full books in the areas of the practice of grief therapy, bereavement after suicide, support group models, the integration of research and practice in thanatology, and loss in family and larger social systems. He is 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” (Routledge, 2016).


Course Option 2:
Catching Your Breath in Grief: Lessons for the Bereaved, Thinkers, and Caregivers

Presenter:  Thomas Attig, PhD

Category:  Loss, Grief and Mourning
Indicator:  Contemporary Perspective
Presentation Level:  Advanced

This workshop embeds the presenter’s well-known thinking on grieving as relearning the world in further reflections on learning how to live, learning to carry sorrow, engaging with life’s mysteries, and grieving as soulful and spiritual. It leads participants through reflections and dialogue on grief in general, the presenter’s grieving following the death of his life-long friend, and participants’ own grieving experiences. Along the way, it discusses descriptive and interpretative limitations of theories about loss of assumptive world, emotion, meaning-making, dual-processing, intuitive vs. instrumental grieving, disenfranchisement, attachment (vs. love), remembering, and needs for wisdom vs. science in grieving, theory-building, and counseling.


  • Offer understanding of how we learn to live from birth to death through engagement of ego, soul, and spirit in controlling what can be controlled and problem-solving: weaving cares and loves into unique daily life patterns; reweaving life patterns into unique life histories as we change, grow, and overcome adversity and suffering; and dancing with mysteries inherent in living.
  • Offer understandings of a) grief reactions (brokenness and sorrows that come over the bereaved when a loved one dies) and of b) grieving responses (the active engagement with loss and grief reactions and reengagement in life transformed by loss) as processes of relearning the world, learning to carry sorrow, and learning to love in separation.
  • Offer understanding, guidance, and support in the labors involved in learning how to live and love meaningfully again in the aftermath of loss.


  • Attig, T. (2016) “Is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Appropriate for Grief Counseling?” ADEC webcast from the Minneapolis conference on April 16, subsequently available on-line. 
  • Attig, T. (2015). “Seeking Wisdom about Mortality, Dying, and Bereavement.” In Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices. Ed., Stillion, J. and Attig, T. (Springer, New York) 
  • Attig, T. (2012) Catching Your Breath in Grief…and grace will lead you home (Breath of Life Publishing, Victoria, B.C., Canada). 
  • Attig, T. (2011) How We Grieve: Relearning the World  (Oxford University Press, New York, Revised Edition).
  • Attig, T. (2000) The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love (Oxford University Press, New York).

Presenter Bio:

Thomas Attig, PhD., Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) is the recipient of the 2015 ADEC Death Educator of the Year Award and the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Network of Personal Meaning.  He is the author of How We Grieve: Relearning the World  (Oxford, Revised, 2011), The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love (Oxford, 2000), Catching Your Breath in Grief…and grace will lead you home (Breath of Life Publishing, 2012), and numerous articles and reviews on grief and loss, care of the dying, suicide intervention, death education, the ethics of interactions with the dying and bereaved, and seeking wisdom about mortality, dying, and bereavement.  He is Co-Editor with Judith Stillion of Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices (Springer, 2015).  A Past President of ADEC, he also served as Vice-Chair of the Board of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement (IWG). He holds degrees in philosophy from Northwestern University (BA) and Washington University in St. Louis (MA and PhD).  He currently resides in Victoria, BC, Canada and devotes his time to writing and speaking.  He invites you to visit his website at www.griefsheart.com.   


Specialty Workshops

Wednesday, April 25
Half Day AM Workshops: 8:30 a.m. - 12/noon


Half Day, AM Course Option 1:

Nuts and Bolts of Setting Up and Maintaining Bereavement Support Groups in Urban and Rural Settings

Presenter: Ben Wolfe, MEd, LICSW, FT

Category:  Loss, Grief and Mourning
Indicator: Professional Issues
Presentation Level: Intermediate
This interactive workshop is designed to teach participants not only how to develop, set up and maintain adult bereavement support groups, but more importantly, explore the challenges which occur while facilitating a group.  Participants will learn how to develop and organize grief support groups, necessary facilitation skills, and appreciate group process.  The significant amount of time will be spent learning how to interact with group attendees who may fit the “creepy factor,” “dominators,” etc. categories.  This workshop is appropriate for professionals or laypersons with limited or extensive group facilitative experience working within hospitals, hospices, religious institutions, agencies, community groups or organizations. 


  • Describe steps necessary to develop and maintain either “open” or “closed” adult bereavement support groups.
  • Describe group facilitator roles and responsibilities.
  • List and describe facilitative approaches when challenging situations occur within a bereavement support group.



  • Calhoun, L. & Tedeschi. R. (2013).  Posttraumatic Growth in Clinical Practice, Routledge.
  • Drebing. C. (2016). Leading Peer Support and Self-Help Groups: A Pocket Resource for Peer Specialists and Support Group.  Alderson Press.  
  • Hoy, William G.  (2016) Bereavement Groups and the Role of Social Support. Routledge.
  • Nappa, U., Lundgren, A-B., Axelsson, B. (2016).  The effect of bereavement groups on grief, anxiety and depression - a controlled, prospective intervention study.  BMC  Palliative Care.  2016; 15: 58.  Published online 2016 Jul 12 doj: 10.1186/s12904-016-0129-0.
  • Worden, J.W. (2009).  Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy:  A handbook for the mental health practitioner.  (4th ed.). Springer.

Presenter Bio:

Ben Wolfe, M.Ed., Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and Fellow in Thanatology, is a grief, loss and transition trainer and consultant after 28 years as director and grief therapist of St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Grief Support Center in Duluth, MN, where he provided life-threatening illness and bereavement counseling (from any cause of death) for all ages.  He is a former president of ADEC and has received a number of awards including the ADEC Service Award in 1994, the ADEC Death Educator of the Year Award in 2011, the first-ever Senator Paul Wellstone Legacy Award presented by the Minnesota School Counselors Association in May, 2004 for his work with schools and communities in crisis, and in May, 2005 was selected as “Employee of the Year” by St. Mary’s Medical Center.  In 2013 Ben was awarded the Northeastern Minnesota regional “Friend of EMS Award.”  He consults and trains internationally, and has given over 2,000 presentations dealing with grief and loss.  He is a clinical member of the Arrowhead CISD team, for the past  24 years has served as Chair of the Minnesota Coalition for Death Education and Support, serves on the Duluth Community Advance Care Planning (ACP) Advisory Council, and serves on the Tradgedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS) Advisory Board.  Addition-ally, for over 25 years Ben taught university graduate courses on death and dying, and for 23 years he also taught a course on life-threatening illness at the U of MN, Duluth School of Medicine. 

Half Day, AM Course Option 2:

How To Survive Such Horror and Splendor?

Presenter:  Rob Zucker, MA, LCSW, FT

Category:  Assessment and Intervention
Indicator: Professional Issues
Presentation Level:  Advanced
Double Eye
By Jalal-ud-Din Rumi  (translated by Andrew Harvey)
You've given me your terrible Double Eye
That sees all things as empty and as You.
You scathe all flesh to bone, flame bone to Light
How could I survive such horror, and splendor?

In this half-day, experiential writing/sharing workshop participants will consider how they as death educators and counselors manage the extraordinary challenge of remaining open-hearted, vulnerable and professional while working to establish appropriately intimate relationships with those who suffer. The model for writing and sharing in this workshop offers a safe and powerful format for professional and personal growth.


In this half-day experiential workshop, each participant will have an opportunity to:

  • Consider their unique personal challenges as they encounter clients/patients/students experiencing deep suffering
  • Reflect on both the “horror” and splendor” associated with their work
  • Discuss how they manage balancing intimacy with professionalism


  • Baker, Carolyn,  Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California: 2013.
  • Greenspan, Miriam,  Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair.  Shambhala, Boston: 2004.
  • Harvey, Andrew, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism. Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California: 2009.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm. Harper One, NY, NY: 2012.
  • Weller, Francis. The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California: 2015.

Presenter Bio:

Rob Zucker, MA, LCSW, FT has been a grief counselor and death educator for nearly 30 years.  He is author of The Journey Through Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Your Child When Grief Is Shared (St. Martin’s Press). Rob has delivered hundreds of bereavement workshops, keynotes and consultations across the US and Canada and was co-chair of ADEC's 2015 annual conference in Baltimore. Since his wife’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and her death in 2017, which was compounded by Rob’s own serious health challenges, he has been writing and reflecting on the often complicated challenges faced by helping professionals encountering deep suffering and sorrow.  


Specialty Workshops
Wednesday, April 25
Half Day PM Workshops: 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.


Half Day, PM Course Option 1:

Beyond Burnout—Finding Balance, Transforming Stress 
Presenter:  Dale Larson, Ph. D

Category:  Loss, Grief and Mourning
Indicator:  Professional Issues
Presentation Level:  Intermediate

Burnout, moral distress, and compassion fatigue are well-documented risks we encounter in our work with people facing grief, loss, and trauma.  That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can—and often do—wrest personal and professional growth from this challenging and deeply rewarding work.  In this interactive workshop you will learn strategies and practice techniques for managing and transforming stress, enhancing meaning, and increasing your clinical effectiveness. Topics include helper secrets and social support; exquisite empathy and the helper’s pit; mindfulness in clinical practice; cognitive-affective stress management techniques; self-compassion; growth through adversity; and eudaimonia and great moments in helping.   

Learning Objectives

  • List the key features and causes of burnout, compassion fatigue and moral distress and self-assess on these dimensions
  • Identify strategies for strengthening resilience and stress-related personal and professional growth
  • Identify techniques for maintaining emotional balance and empathic attunement in counseling for grief and trauma


  • Blackburn, E., & Epel, E. (2017). The telomere effect: A revolutionary approach to living youngerm, healthier, longer. New York, NY: Grand Central.
  • Germer, C. K., & Neff, K. D. (2013). Self‐compassion in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(8), 856-867. 
  • Perez, G. K., Haime, V., Jackson, V., Chittenden, E., Mehta, D. H., & Park, E. R. (2015). Promoting resiliency among palliative care clinicians: Stressors, coping strategies, and training needs. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 18(4), 332-337. doi:10.1089/jpm.2014.0221
  • Smith, R. E., & Ascough, J. C. (2016). Promoting emotional resilience: Cognitive-affective stress management training. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
  • Slocum-Gori, S., Hemsworth, D., Chan, W. W. Y., Carson, A., & Kazanjian, A. (2013). Understanding compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout: A survey of the hospice palliative care workforce. Palliative Medicine, 27(2), 172-178. doi:10.1177/0269216311431311
  • Kamal, A. H., Bull, J. H., Wolf, S. P., Swetz, K. M., Shanafelt, T. D., Ast, K., . . . Abernethy, A. P. (2016). Prevalence and predictors of burnout among hospice and palliative care clinicians in the U.S. J Pain Symptom Manage, 51(4), 690-696. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.10.020
  • Zerubavel, N., & Wright, M. O. D. (2012). The dilemma of the wounded healer. Psychotherapy, 49(4), 482-491. doi:10.1037/a0027824

Presenter Bio:

Dale G. Larson, Ph.D. (U. C. Berkeley) is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Director of the Graduate Health Psychology Program at Santa Clara University. A clinician and researcher, he is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and was Senior Editor and a contributing author for Finding Our Way: Living with Dying in America, the national newspaper series that reached 7 million Americans. His publications on end-of-life issues, stress in professional caregivers, grief and grief counseling, and self-concealment are widely cited, both in the scientific literature and in the popular media.  He is the author of the award-winning book, The Helper's Journey: Working with People Facing Grief, Loss, and Life-Threatening Illness, and is a popular national and international presenter. He has recently given keynote presentations for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Minnesota Network of Hospice and Palliative Care, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and has conducted webinars for the Hospice Foundation of America, NHPCO, and ADEC.  He was the International Educator for the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement in 2017 and received ADEC’s Death Educator Award in 2016.  

Half Day, PM Course Option 2:

Creating Inclusion and Well-Being for Grieving Children in Today’s World

Presenter:  Linda Goldman, MS, LCPC, FT

Category:  Grief, Loss and Mourning
Indicator:  Family and Individual
Presentation Level:  Intermediate

Working with children and grief in contemporary society is a monumental task, considering the groundswell of disasters, mass killings, disease, poverty, etc. that acts as an overlay for everyday grief and loss events in a young person’s life. This course develops an understanding of a child’s journey through grief and traumatic events, and offers participant’s practical concepts and tools to help these youngsters become resilient. Participant learning focuses on children’s grief and loss issues and techniques for working with these issues: with special consideration for complex issues (ex. suicide, homicide, terrorism, violence, disasters). Resources, theory, and practical case studies will be presented and discussed.


  • Participants will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of common signs of grief in children and issues that may complicate grief.
  • Participants will demonstrate ability to use appropriate vocabulary when working with children’s grief, loss, and issues surrounding traumatic events issues
  • Participants will demonstrate knowledge of age appropriate resources for children specific to grief and fostering resiliency.
  • Participants will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of useful techniques when working with children experiencing grief, loss, and issues involving traumatic events.


  • Linda Goldman, Editor. Creating Inclusion and Well-being for Marginalized Students: Whole-School Approaches to Supporting Children’s Grief, Loss, and Trauma. 2017. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Linda Goldman. Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children. 3rd Edition. 2014. Taylor and Francis Publishers.
  • Judith Stillion and Thomas Attig, Editors. Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices. 2015. Springer Publishing.
  • Brenda Marshall and Howard Winokuer, Editors. Sibling Loss Across the Lifespan: Research, Practice, and Personal Stories. 2017. Routledge Publisher.
  • Sara Truebridge. Resilience Begins with Beliefs. 2014.Teachers College Press. J. P. Anglin. 'Pain-Based behavior with children and adolescents in conflict'. 2014. Reclaiming Children and Youth.  22, 4, 53-55.
  • Susan Craig. 2016. Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Learning Communities Transforming Children’s Lives. k-5. NY: Teachers College Press.

Presenter Bio:

Linda Goldman, MS, LCPC, FT, is a grief therapist, grief educator, and author of several books, including Creating Inclusion and Well-being for Marginalized Students (2017), Coming Out: Coming In: Nurturing the Well Being and Inclusion of Gay Youth in Mainstream Society, Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children, 3rd Edition, Breaking the Silence: A Guide to Help Children with Complicated Grief 2nd Edition, Raising Our Children to Be Resilient: A Guide for Helping Children Cope with Trauma in Today’s World Children Also Grieve: Talking About Death and Healing, Great Answers to Difficult Questions About Death, and Bart Speaks Out on Suicide. She has taught as an adjunct professor at John Hopkins Graduate School and Kings College. Linda is the recipient of the ADEC Clinical Practice Award and a past ADEC board member and serves on the advisory board of TAPS.