Attachment Issues in Grief Therapy An evening webinar with Dr Phyllis Kosminsky and Dr John R. Jordan authors of Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications Online, 17 May 2018 (Thursday) 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time
Attachment security is one of the very few factors that have been consistently identified by researchers seeking to understand the underlying causes of complicated vs. normal grief. In this webinar, Drs. Kosminsky and Jordan will look at what research and clinical practice have taught us about the development of a secure vs. insecure orientation to attachment, and how attachment orientation impacts emotional health across the lifespan, with an emphasis on response to loss. The presenters will explain the significance of contemporary perspectives on attachment and interpersonal neuroscience that are critical to understanding variations in peoples’ adaptation to loss, and will outline the implications of these insights for the practice of therapy with bereaved individuals. The core principles and practices of grief therapy have been consolidated in attachment informed grief therapy, an approach that emphasizes the centrality of the therapeutic relationship and the role of the therapist in helping the bereaved client re-regulate in the aftermath of significant loss. This approach is guided by an appreciation of the ways that attachment styles both mediate mourning and influence the therapeutic process. In order to understand how early attachment experience influences emotional and interpersonal functioning, Kosminsky and Jordan will begin by reviewing recent developments in neuroscience related to brain development and affect regulation. They will elaborate on the implications of these findings for our understanding of grief, particularly the phenomenon of complicated grief, and will demonstrate how contemporary neuroscience and modern attachment theory, in conjunction with new models of grief and loss, can help us make sense of a given individual’s grief response, their methods of coping with the strong emotions that accompany bereavement, and how they make use of grief therapy.
Having established the basis and rationale of an attachment informed approach, the presenters will expand on the elements of grief therapy and the core clinical skills of the grief therapist that comprise this model. These principles and skills will be illustrated with clinical vignettes and client videos. This clinically orientated presentation, specifically explores: Our emerging understanding of the impact of early attachment experience on how people form relationships and how they manage strong emotions The significance of recent findings about attachment security as a factor in adaptation to loss Customising therapy to the client’s attachment orientation What it means to adopt an attachment informed approach to grief therapy, and the benefits of this approach for building a strong therapeutic alliance with bereaved clients About the speakers Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice in New York and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut. She has provided individual counseling to hundreds of bereaved individuals, and has helped many more in bereavement support groups and in the aftermath of traumatic events. She has conducted trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and problematic grief. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, and the book Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal (McGraw Hill, 2007). Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications was published in 2016. John R Jordan, Ph.D. John (Jack) Jordan is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he has specialized in work with survivors of suicide and other traumatic losses for more than 40 years. He is the Clinical Consultant for the Grief Support Services of the Samaritans in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Professional Advisor to the Loss and Healing Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He is Co-Chair of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Jack is also the co-author of four books: “After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief – 2nd Edition” (2015 – self-published); “Grief After Suicide: Understanding the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors” (Routledge, 2011), “Devastating Losses: How Parents Cope With the Death of a Child to Suicide or Drugs” (Springer, 2012); and “Attachment Informed Grief Therapy” (Routledge, 2016). Webinar Schedule 5.45PM: Online Registration 6.00PM: Session 1: Foundations Understanding grief from an attachment perspective Early experience and the development of attachment security Brain development and affect regulation Emotional and behavioural flexibility in adaptation to loss Use of the client’s attachment orientation in customising therapy 7:30PM: Break 7:45PM: Session 2: Applications Looking at the therapeutic relationship through the lens of attachment theory Medical vs. companioning models of therapy Core capacities of the attachment informed grief therapist Examples of attachment informed grief therapy 9:00pm: Close
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