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SUICIDE BEREAVEMENT CLINICIAN TRAINING PROGRAM – This new seminar has been developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the American Association of Suicidology (AAS). It is designed specifically for mental health professionals who provide grief therapy or counseling to suicide loss survivors. It focuses on individual therapy, and includes information about suicide bereavement, the tasks of loss integration for survivors, and discussion of case examples and specific techniques that may be helpful in working with survivors. The overarching goal for the development of this training is to increase the quantity and quality of professional mental health support for suicide loss survivors. After completing the training, participants who are licensed mental health clinicians may enroll in an online database maintained by AFSP/AAS that contains their contact information, so that loss survivors in their community will have a way of finding therapists who are “survivor knowledgeable”. For more information on the program, see this page on the AFSP website: or click on the title of this Workshop to open a description of the SCBTP, including educational objectives and agenda.


BEREAVEMENT AFTER SUICIDE: Walking the Journey with Survivors - Professional Workshop - This workshop will provide a focused overview of the impact of suicide on survivors, and the clinical and support responses that are needed after a suicide occurs. The workshop will include didactic presentation, group discussion, case examples from the presenter's practice, and video. The workshop will also draw from the instructor's recently released volume: Grief After Suicide (Routledge, 2011).

SUICIDE AWARENESS: PREVENTION, INTERVENTION, & POSTVENTION - This practical seminar is designed for the counselor, clergyperson, or human services professional who would like an overview of contemporary suicidology. The emphasis will be on cutting edge and practical knowledge about suicide that caregivers can put to immediate use. Three broad areas of interest regarding suicide will be addressed. The first is an overview of new developments in suicide epidemiology and prevention programs in community and school settings. The second will be information about risk assessment and intervention with suicidal individuals. The third will focus on guidelines for work with bereavement after suicide. Case examples, recent research, and interactive small group discussion will be used to illustrate relevant issues and interventions. While not specifically a course in the management of suicidal clients, the seminar will provide a broad framework for clinicians to understand and intervene with suicidality. The program will also be of relevance to program administrators who deal with suicide prevention, and grief counselors and other caregivers who provide support after a suicide.

TRAUMATIC LOSS: New Understandings, New Directions - Bereavement after the sudden, unexpected, and violent death of a loved one often creates an extraordinarily difficult healing journey for survivors. This unique training will provide an overview and update on what we know about the impact of traumatic deaths such as suicides, homicides, and accidental deaths. We will begin with an exploration of the significant changes in our understanding of the mourning process that are emerging from new bereavement models and research findings. The implications of these new ways of viewing grief for understanding the response to traumatic loss will be discussed. Building on this, we will also investigate new intervention models that are developing within the fields of traumatology and thanatology. While drawing primarily on the presenter's extensive experience working with survivors of suicide loss, the information presented will have wide applicability to work with people who have lost a loved one to any type of sudden or violent death. The conference will also offer a number of experiential opportunities for participants to reflect on, journal about, and discuss their professional work with other participants. The conference will be informed by research and clinical experience, and will include the use of didactic lecture, case discussion, audiovisual presentation, reflective writing exercises, and discussion with fellow conference participants.

GRIEF AFTER SUICIDE: Finding Hope and Healing - This workshop will draw on the presenter's years of experience as a grief counselor specializing in work with suicide loss survivors to describe the remarkable pathways of healing that survivors can walk. The presentation will cover topics such as the impact of suicide on individuals and the family as a group, some of the myths of grief recovery, things that survivors can do to help themselves, and when to seek professional help. The workshop is geared towards people who are grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, but will also be of value to those who wish to support a grieving survivor, and to professional caregivers such as therapists and clergy who are working with survivors. The format will include didactic presentation, case examples from the presenter's practice, and time for questions and answer with the audience.

WORKING WITH LOSS AND GRIEF - Loss and grief are universal human experiences. Yet mourning can sometimes become complicated and unresolved, leading to lasting psychological injury. This workshop will describe the normal processes of mourning, the diversity of responses to the loss of a loved one, and the risk factors for complications in the mourning process. We will also focus on the kinds of social support that facilitate healing during bereavement, and explore various interventions that human service professionals can offer to assist with integration of the loss.