Dates: Friday, December 1, 2023
Time: 10am-4:15pm Eastern (Find the time for your location)
Instructor: Michele Bograd, PhD
Location: Live on Zoom, this event will not be recorded.
Credits: 5 CEUs


Death literacy is the knowledge and practical skills that allow people to gain access to, understand and make active choices around end-of-life and death care options. Death literacy, the difficult but necessary choices around terminal illness and how to live well until death, are rarely addressed in psychotherapy. Many therapists lack knowledge of how the experiences of dying and death are powerfully shaped by race, class, gender, and culture. Additionally, therapists can be unaware or misinformed about end-of life resources. Countertransference and/or lack of specialized skills contributes to therapists’ avoidance of these topics. When death is not part of the therapeutic conversation, opportunities are lost for empowering clients around this inevitable and natural human experience. Through lecture, video, journaling and small group conversations, this workshop will address the marginalization and medicalization of death in the 21st century, highlight the importance of fostering therapeutic conversations on mortality, summarize the parameters of palliative and hospice care, provide an outline of concrete topics of importance to address with clients, highlight ethical dilemmas for the therapist and explore therapist countertransference and personal life stories that often impact the therapeutic relations and interventions.

Statement of Need: Everyone dies. The US Census Bureau predicts that for the first time in history, by 2035, people over 65 will outnumber the number of children. Additionally, although medical advances have enabled people to live longer with terminal illnesses, there is controversy over whether such interventions compromise quality of life. The medicalization of death and the growth of the funeral industry have catalyzed social movements that question common practices. These movements include home and green burials, hospice and palliative care, end-of-life doulas, Medical Aid in Dying, the development of advanced directives. Research suggests that social dimensions (including but not limited to race, class, ableism, education, religion, given and chosen family) powerfully impact the nature of treatment and available choices about end-of-life, including the very experiences of dying and death. Most therapists lack specialized training in addressing our clients’ terminal illnesses and inevitable death, in what topics can lead to fruitful reflection and planning, and in how to navigate the complicated and often conflictual choices clients and their families will face through grave illness and death

Michele Bograd, Ph.D

Michele Bograd, Ph.D. is an individual and couples psychotherapist practicing in Massachusetts as well as a certified End-of-Life Doula. Former faculty member of the Family Institute of Cambridge and the Kantor Family Institute, she was also on the staff of Intimacy from the Inside Out, a relational therapy utilizing the Internal Family Systems Model. Following a long career of clinical work, teaching and writing on a number of issues, Michele became an end-of-life doula. She has immersed herself in writings on terminal illness, death and dying, palliative and hospice care, grief and bereavement, end of life planning, Medical Aid in Dying, Buddhism and death, and on how race, religion, social class, sexuality and other social factors strongly impact living and dying experiences.

Outline of Topics:

• Discussion of historical and social context changes in medicine, death and dying and accompanying changes in the funeral industry, the goals of care and patient choice

• Definition of the concept of death literacy

• Goals and parameters of hospice and palliative care, as well as the gaps or limitations in their practice

• Advanced directives whose creation empowers individuals as they approach the end-of-life

• Two different interview protocols for reflection on end of life

• The concept of “the good death” through the framework of intersectionality

• Three moral dilemmas that commonly occur at the end of life (for example, autonomy vs. protection)

• Personal biases/countertransferential reactions to end-of-life issues and concerns

Learning Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  • Define the concept of death literacy
  • List the goals and parameters of hospice and palliative care, as well as the gaps or limitations in their practice
  • Compile a list of directives that empower individuals as they approach the end-of-life
  • Compare two different interview protocols for reflection on end of life
  • Analyze the concept of “the good death” through the framework of intersectionality
  • Enumerate 3 moral dilemmas that commonly occur at the end of life

Target Audience

This learning event is designed for helping professionals including, but not limited to, social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage & family therapists. People who attend from professions other than those we are able to provide CEs for may request a Certificate of Attendance.


  • Individual Registration: Regular Rate—$140; Early Bird Rate: $125
  • Early Registration Deadline: October 14, 2023
  • NEAFAST Member Rate: $120
  • 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 CEUs will be available at an additional cost of $20 paid upon registration for social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage & family therapists.


The event will be held live on Zoom. We will not be recording this event.

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 to:
203 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.

Additional Information

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

CEU certificates will be downloadable within three days of each event after participants complete the workshop or course and fill out the online evaluation.

  • 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 approved for 5 CEUs by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy, Inc. for professional continuing education  on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMFT professional continuing education. Approval #PC- 042038
  • Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact us for the status of social work CE accreditation. 

Read detailed information about CEUs here.

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.

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, and marriage & family therapists.Commercial support and conflicts of interest: There is no commercial support for this program.

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