Traumatic Grief After Violent Dying

Time: 12 – 1:30pm CST

Traumatic Grief After Violent Dying
Presentation Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Edward K (Ted) Rynearson, MD

Members - $35
Non-Members - $50

Contemporary research indicates there are differences between the bereavement experiences of individuals grieving non-violent versus violent death losses. In fact, studies suggest that violent death can be particularly challenging for mourners on a variety of levels. Individuals bereaved by homicide, suicide, and fatal accident appear to face distinct challenges physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Many experience shock and horror at the manner of death, a disruption of their assumptive world, traumatic dysregulation of their physiology, relational strain in their social network, an inability to make sense of the death, or a spiritual crisis as a result of the loss. There are a number of factors that may place survivors of violent loss at an increased risk for elevated levels of psychological distress as they struggle in accommodating. The lecture will discuss aspects of poor bereavement outcome in violent death survivors in the form of traumatic grief. More research and greater awareness is needed in relation to these unique and complicating aspects while mourning the sudden, violent death of a loved one. The objective of this lecture is to increase understanding on how this understudied and underserved population copes with the loss of a loved one to violent death while evaluating the clinical implications of high levels of psychological distress, and other factors facing survivors. Drawing on the lecturer’s ongoing research activities and extensive clinical experience with traumatic grief, this presentation will discuss theory, case examples and clinical principles illustrating the inherent differences found in unexpected, violent bereavement, and outline a manualized short term intervention (Restorative Retelling)  shown to be particularly helpful in treating this population.

Learning Objectives: 

  • TRAUMATIC GRIEF – COMPLICATED GRIEF:  descriptive clarification of separable syndromes
  • TRAUMATIC GRIEF – psychodynamic “narrative” model :  clarification of narrative dynamics of traumatic grief 
  • TRAUMATIC GRIEF – psychodynamic treatment model (restorative retelling – RR) for narrative “fixation” of traumatic grief

Presenter Bio:
E.K. RYNEARSON M.D. FAPA, FACP, FRANZCP, “Ted” Rynearson is a clinical psychiatrist and researcher from Seattle Washington where he founded the section of psychiatry at the Mason Clinic. In addition to full-time clinical practice, he has served on the clinical faculty of the University of Washington as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. For over 20 years, Dr. Rynearson has maintained a particular clinical and research focus on the effects of violent death on family members published in clinical papers, book chapters and  two books entitled, Retelling Violent Death and Violent Death: Resilience and Intervention Beyond the Crisis. He has given numerous national and international trainings on the management of the clinical effects of violent death and with grant support has founded a non-profit organization (the Violent Death Bereavement Society) with its own Internet site ( establishing an informative network for service providers, teachers and researchers of traumatic grief after violent death. Most recently he has developed a collaborative training program for Israeli and Palestinian clinicians in supporting members of their communities with traumatic grief associated with violent death.
Dr. Rynearson lives on Puget Sound where he rows each dawn in his rowing scull (weather and tide permitting) and almost always sees a seal or an eagle.


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


  • Rynearson, E. K. (2001).  Retelling Violent Death.  New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
  • Rynearson, E. K. (Ed.). (2006). Violent Death: Resilience and Intervention Beyond the Crisis.  New York:  Routledge.
  • Rheingold, A.A., Baddeley, J., Williams, J. L., Brown, C., Wallace, W. M., Correa, F., & Rynearson, E. K. (2015). Restorative Retelling for Violent Death: An Investigation of Treatment Effectiveness, Influencing Factors, and Durability. Journal of Loss and Trauma, Vol. 20, Issue 6, pp. 541-555.
  • Kristensen, P., Weisaeth, L., & Heir, T., (2012). Bereavement and mental health after sudden and violent losses: A review. Psychiatry 75(1). 76-97. dol:10.1521/psyc.2012.75.1.76.

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 and will require your system to allow the Zoom platform to be downloaded and ran to watch the live presentation. Log in instructions will be sent the day before the webinar to the email used during registration.

2/14/2018 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

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