​​Complicated and Traumatic Loss: Meaning Making, Hope, and Transcendence

  • Dates: Friday, December 3, 2021 - 10:00 am to 4:45 pm; EST
  • NOTE: Times are Eastern Standard Time
  • Instructor: Froma Walsh, PhD
  • Location: Live on Zoom
  • Credits: 5 CEs


Dr. Walsh will present her resilience-oriented systemic approach to working with couples and families who have suffered devastating losses including the death of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling. Dispelling myths of “normal” grief, Walsh applies current theory and research on bereavement and resilience. Expanding the lens from individual, symptom-focused treatment, this practice approach attends to suffering and fosters individual and relational healing and positive growth. Loss situations and relational variables in complicated bereavement are addressed including the following: untimely death; disenfranchised losses; LGBTQ losses; death of a pet; traumatic, violent & drug-related deaths, suicide; conflictual bonds.

Practice principal guidelines are provided, with case illustrations and discussion of practice challenges in diverse populations with a range of ethnicities and intersection identities. Specific attention will be paid to couple issues that arise in the face of loss as well as to helping children with loss. Long-term impact and resilience with multiple pandemic-related losses will be considered. Applying Walsh’s Family Resilience Framework, clinicians can mobilize key relational processes and cultural/spiritual resources, tapping the power of meaning-making, hope, and transcendence to help clients live and love fully, forging new purpose in the wake of loss. Dr. Walsh will outline risk entailed in doing this work, the empirical basis of the content and future areas for study needed. We will consider clinicians’ own loss experiences, compassion fatigue, and ways to nourish our resilience to support our provision of quality care.

Statement of Need: Prior to the pandemic there was a greater need for mental health professionals trained in working with grief, complicated and traumatic loss than there were clinicians available. Currently, we are living in a time of significant added stress, trauma, complicated grief, and uncertainty. Dr. Walsh’s research and teaching provides interventions to support clients as well as their loved ones who are suffering. This workshop will provide clinicians working with a wide range of clients and losses with many concepts and methods to enhance their capacity to serve this population.


Froma Walsh, PhD, is Co-Founder & Co-Director, Chicago Center for Family Health and is the Firestone Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago. Dr. Walsh, a leader in the field of family therapy, is the foremost expert on family resilience, with extensive experience in situations of trauma, complicated loss, disruptive life transitions, and multi-stress, chronic conditions. Her research-informed family resilience framework is widely applied in clinical practice and community-based services. Her collaborative, multi-level systemic practice approach integrates developmental, relational, socio-cultural, and spiritual perspectives.

Dr. Walsh, a Clinical Psychologist, is Past President, American Family Therapy Academy; Past Editor, Journal of Marital & Family Therapy; and recipient of many awards for her distinguished contributions to the mental health field, including the Presidential Citation, American Psychological Association. With 120+ scholarly/professional publications, her books, notably, Strengthening Family Resilience (3rd ed., 2016); Normal Family Processes (4th ed.); Living beyond Loss (2nd ed.); and Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy (2nd ed.), have been translated in many languages. She is a valued consultant internationally for resilience-oriented training and practice with families facing adversity.


10: 00 - 11:30 am
  • Overview: Resilience-Oriented Systemic Approach with Complicated and Traumatic Loss
  • Addressing Complicated and Traumatic Loss Situations and Relational Conflict
11:45 am to 1:30 pm
  • Identifying and Mobilizing Relational Processes for Healing and Resilience.
  • Tapping the Power of Meaning-making, Hope, and Transcendence.
2:30 pm to 3:45 pm
  • Practice Challenges, Principles, and Guidelines;
  • Video Case Illustration: Loss of a Child; Sibling loss issue
  • Working with Couples
4:00pm to 4:30 pm
  • Discussion of Practice Challenges
  • Interface with Clinicians’ own Loss Experiences;
  • Avoiding Compassion Fatigue; Nurturing Practitioner Resilience
4:30 to 4:45 pm
  • Discussion of Practice Challenges
  • Interface with Clinicians’ own Loss Experiences;
  • Completion of Course Evaluation

Learning Objectives

  1. Apply a minimum of three concepts from current bereavement and resilience theory and research to systemic practice with complicated and traumatic losses.
  2. Identify and explain a minimum of three ways to address complicated loss situations with regard to relational variables.
  3. Identify and mobilize a minimum of three key relational processes and cultural/spiritual resources that foster healing and resilience.
  4. Identify multiple pandemic-related losses and define a minimum of two ways to reorient lives and priorities, helping clients forge purpose and deeper bonds.
  5. Explain a minimum of two ways to counter compassion fatigues and forge practitioners’ resilience in the face of practice challenges including the interface of clinicians’ own loss experiences.

Target Audience

This offering is relevant to all helping professionals including but not limited to social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, marriage & family therapists.


  • Registration: Early bird: $120, Regular rate:$130.
  • Early registration deadline is October 31, 2021.
  • NEAFAST members may access a discounted rate of $330. Black Therapists Rock, National Association of Black Counselors and all BIPOC clinicians may access an equity rate of $100.
  • Please contact us for discount codes. No application is required.
  • 5 CEs will be available at an additional cost of $25 paid upon registration social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists and marriage & family therapists.


The event will be held live on Zoom.

Registration Instructions

Payment options include online registration with payment using PayPal as a conduit to your credit card or a PayPal account. You may also register online and mail a check with a note indicating what program the payment is for. If you are mailing payment, please note that your space is not reserved until we receive it.

Mail checks made out to Elizabeth Brenner and mail to:
Arlington Street, Suite 4, Watertown, MA 02472

Email acknowledgments will be sent to confirm receipt of online registrations only.

An email will be sent a few days before the start date of the event with details about your program.

Workshop CEs

ACEP Logo Participants MUST attend 100% of the program to earn the 5 CEs approved for eligible professions.

CE certificates will be given within three weeks of the end of the event after you are fully paid and have completed the evaluation form.

  • Therapy Training Boston is approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6707 for Mental Health Counselors. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Therapy Training Boston is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • This program is certified by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMFT professional continuing education.
  • Application for social work continuing education credits have been submitted. Please contact us for the status of social work CE accreditation.
  • Application is being made for psychology CE credit approval with our new APA approved CE co-sponsor.

Please contact us for the status of social work CE approvals.

Read detailed information about CEs, here.

PLEASE NOTE: Twelve continuing education credits for IFS Institute certification renewal have been approved.

Cancellations and Refunds

No refunds are available for cancellations by participants regardless of the reason or time frame. If participants cancel 30 days or more prior to the event beginning, they may apply the fee to a future program. Workshops may be cancelled by Therapy Training Boston if minimum enrollment requirements are not met or in the case of other unexpected circumstances. If this occurs, a full refund will be provided.

Additional Information

Course content level: This workshop will provide important information for clinicians who are at an introductory or intermediate level of knowledge about working with grief and traumatic loss. Advanced practitioners are welcome to attend the event to deepen their knowledge of the subject for practice, supervision, teaching, and administrative roles..

Target Audience: This offering is relevant to all helping professionals including but not limited to social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, marriage & family therapists.

Commercial support and conflicts of interest: There is no commercial support for this program.


For all event policies read this, detailed CE information here.