Grieving in the Online World

Time: 12 – 1:30pm CST

Grieving in the Online World: What Clinicians and Researchers Need to Know
Presentation Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Mary Alice Varga, Ph.D.

Members - $35
Non-Members - $50

As the world becomes more technological, so does grief. More people are turning to the internet for grief information and support through social media platforms, support forums, and other venues, thus changing the nature of our work in thanatology. As a result, clinicians and human service professionals are seeking ways to assist clients using online environments to process their grief. Researchers are investigating online spaces to empirically and holistically understand their role in grief experiences. What we have learned through research in these spaces has many practical implications for how we advise grieving individuals using online resources. While there are numerous benefits, there are also risks and cautions. This webinar will explore ways in which individuals use the online world to process their grief, how clinicians can use these findings to assist their clients, and what questions still remain to be explored.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this webcast, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe ways individuals use online environments to process grief.
  2. Identify the benefits and risks associated with grief in the online world.
  3. Outline strategies to support individuals using the internet for grief support.  

Presenter Bio:
Mary Alice Varga, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Research and Director of the School Improvement Doctoral Program at the University of West Georgia. Her work in thanatology began as a graduate student with the Grief Outreach Initiative at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a program that trains college students to mentor grieving children in the community. She has been an active member of ADEC since 2011 and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Her primary research focuses on student grief, online grief support, and ethics in grief research. She has presented and published several articles and book chapters, including a contribution to the second edition of the Handbook of Thanatology. 

CEU: This webinar has been submitted for accreditation and will be approved shortly. We anticipate full 1.5 CE credits. CE credits are included with your registration


  • Lingel, J. (2013). The digital remains: Social media and practices of online grief. The Information Society: An International Journal, 29(3), 190-195. 
    doi: 10.1080/01972243.2013.777311
  • Egnoto, M. J., Sirianni, J. M., Ortega, C. R., & Stefanone, M. (2014). Death on the digital landscape: A preliminary investigation into the grief process and motivations behind participation in the online memoriam. OMEGA Journal of Death & Dying, 69(3), 283-304. doi: 10.2190/OM.69.3.d
  • Paulus, T. M. & Varga, M. A. (2015). “Please know you are not alone with your pain”: Responses to newcomer posts in an online grief support group. Death Studies, 39(10), 633-640. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2015.1047060
  • Sofka, C.J., Culpit, I.N., & Gilbert, K.R. (2012). Dying, death, and grief in an online universe: For counselors and educators. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Varga, M. A. & Paulus, T. M. (2014). Grieving online: Newcomers’ constructions of grief in an online support group. Death Studies, 38(7), 443-449. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2013.780112

Cancellation: Cancellations will be accepted through end of business on the Monday immediately prior to each specific Webinar. Registrants who cancel within that time will receive a refund, minus a $10 service fee. Cancellations received after that day will not be refunded. To cancel your registration, call the ADEC office or email us. ADEC is not responsible for miscalculations relating to the webinar start time in your area and will not issue refunds for anyone who missed the event due to timing mix-ups.

Webinar Platform:
The webinar will be presented via Zoom. Log in instructions will be sent the day before the webinar to the email used during registration.

1/10/2018 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

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