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Grief Training Institute

Upcoming trainings:

The Grief Training Institute at the Office of Education and Regional Programming of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic provides a wide range of programs and consulting services to assist and train health professionals and human service agencies in their support of individuals dealing with loss, mourning, and bereavement.

Our curriculum embraces an understanding of bereavement that extends to the experience of loss and grief after the loss of a loved one, a medical or psychiatric diagnosis, addiction and substance abuse, natural disasters, crisis in the workplace, divorce or separation, life transitions, and aging. These bereavement presentations can be structured and tailored to address the unique concerns and issues of a specific group or workplace based on a “needs evaluation” for the setting.

Categories of loss include but not limited to:
· Death of a loved one
· A divorce or separation
· A diagnosis; medical or psychiatric
· Loss of parts of self as in surgeries, accidents or aging
· Loss due to life’s transitions such as retirement, graduations, the “empty nest”
· Losses due to natural disasters, thefts and repossessions

Target Audience:
Professional agencies and staff development programs, Employee Assistance programs, NAMI, AA, NA and other  self-help/support groups, churches and school systems, penal institution staff, vocational and rehabilitation staff, medical and nursing schools, hospice services, and the work place.

Seminars and Trainings:
Please contact Doreen Barkowitz at barkowitzdh@upmc.edu for additional information.

Caregivers: Understanding Loss and Grief:
A Paradox Professional staff in outpatient and inpatient settings are often made aware that a patient or client has suffered a significant loss, i.e. the death of a family member or friend, a separation or divorce, an additional diagnosis, loss of a pet, loss of material possessions, etc. This program will emphasize the need to resolve and mange their own issues of loss if they are to be effective in assisting others in those losses. The process of mourning losses will be described and the “wounded healer” model will be identified. Participants in this program would include mental health professionals, physicians and medical students, nursing staff, nursing students and hospice staff. This program is designed for 2-4 credit hours depending your training needs.

Loss, Grief and Mental Illness/Addictions
Grief Educators and mental health/addictions professionals are currently acknowledging that bereavement also applies to non-death events such as medical or psychiatric/substance abuse disorder diagnosis. This program describes the primary and secondary losses suffered by individuals with mental illness and their families and the grieving process needed to resolve and manage these losses. In addition, the program will identify a “survivor” or a “victim” in this process and provide suggestions as to how to assist in the process of recovery. Attendance of this program is oriented towards individuals recovering from addiction, their families, and mental health and substance abuse inpatient and outpatient staff. This program is designed for 2-4 credit hours depending on your training needs.

Older Adult Sensitivity Training
This three hour training is designed to sensitize health care professionals to the potential needs of older adult health care consumers. Using hands‑on exercises and group discussion, participants have the opportunity to experience and understand the physical, social and emotional changes that are sometimes related to aging. The program will present positive actions, behaviors and communication skills to promote independence as well as assist in the provision of care to older individuals and their families. The program will also include a section on the various categories of loss incurred by the elderly across the life cycle with suggestions for how caregivers should assist them in the mourning process.

Grief at the Workplace
The death of a coworker can be very traumatizing and the resulting effects are not always fully recognized by corporations and surviving colleagues. This program will identify the categories of loss but will focus on the death of a coworker, both anticipated and sudden. The “stages” of the grieving process will be discussed and there will be suggestions for all levels of staff regarding the best way to assist a grieving colleague, especially “what to say” and “what not to say.” There will also be a discussion of “normal” grief reactions and “complicated” grief. This program is designed for 2-4 credit hours depending on your training needs.

We also provide individual consultations with agencies upon request.

Continuing Education Credit:
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic is an approved provider of continuing education credits for Social Workers, Psychologists, Counselors and Educators. These programs can be offered for continuing education credit.




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This page last updated 10/13/2016


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