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Wed, Aug 30


Online Event

Identifying & Supporting Unique Styles for Processing Loss with System Involved Youth & Families

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

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Identifying & Supporting Unique Styles for Processing Loss with System Involved Youth & Families
Identifying & Supporting Unique Styles for Processing Loss with System Involved Youth & Families

Time & Location

Aug 30, 2023, 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Training Description

Every person experiencing a significant loss is grieving – regardless of whether one’s loss is the result of death or the end of a relationship or the absence of something we need, trust, or value. Therefore, grief is most universal experience people share and at the same time it is a unique process for each individual griever. Most system involved youth and families experience a significant amount of loss through incidents including, but not limited to, removals of children from homes, changes in placements, deaths, incarceration of caregivers, divorce, and/or loss of culture and community while engaged in the system. While everyone experiences significant loss throughout their lifetime - how we process loss, experience and express emotions, and feel supported varies tremendously. This training will introduce and explain three primary grieving styles, explore complications that arise when grieving styles are unacknowledged, and help participants understand their own unique grieving style so that they can then more empathetically help system involved youth and families identify their unique grieving styles. Most people tend to offer support the way they want to be supported, and as a result a griever may feel misunderstood by well-intended support people. Oftentimes the disconnect can be resolved by understanding the multiple ways to grieve and shifting our care to match the unique grieving style of the system involved youth and families we support.

Learning Objectives

● Participants will be able to identify 4 primary grieving styles.

● Participants will be able to explain 2 variations that influence grieving styles.

● Participants will be able to apply 1 Assessment Tool to identify the grieving style of a system involved youth they support.


12:30 - 12:45pm  Welcome & Introductions

12:45 - 1:30pm  Grief is Universal & Unique

● PPT Education

   ○ Universality of Grief

   ○ Uniqueness of Grief

   ○ Identified Grieving Styles (Intuitive, Instrumental, Blended, Dissonant)

● Open Questions & Answers

1:30 - 2:00pm  Grieving Styles Case Study: Batman

● PPT presentation of scenarios from Batman movies that demonstrate each Grieving Style

● Application Exercise: participants identify Grieving Styles represented in each scenario

2:00 - 2:30pm  Breakout Rooms/Small Group Discussion

● Exploring your grieving style w/discussion prompts

2:30 - 2:45pm  Main Room Discussion

· Guided Reflection

· Sharing

2:45 - 3:00pm  BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

3:00 - 3:20pm  Group Activity

· The Grieving Styles Grid

3:20 - 3:40pm  Explanation of Activity

● Influence of Personality & Cultural/Religious Norms on Grieving Style

● Guided Discussion

3:40 - 4:10pm  Why Understanding Grieving Styles is Significant to Effective Care

● We offer grief support according to how we want to be comforted

● How to assess for Grieving Style

4:10 - 4:20pm  Open Questions & Answers

4:20 - 4:25pm  Grounding Exercise

4:25 - 4:30pm  Wrap-up

Meet Our Trainer

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT is a Grief Specialist. She is credentialed as a Fellow in Thanatology (the study of death, dying, and bereavement) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling, and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Wendy worked as hospice Bereavement Specialist from 2017-2022 – offering grief care to patients’ loved ones, hospice staff, and community partners. Through hospice work she recognized a gap in grief education for helping professionals, and a need for better understanding and support for grievers. As a result, she left corporate hospice care and launched Grief Guide Consulting, LLC in 2022. Her private practice grief services include individual counseling, support group facilitation, group education, and consulting. She believes that grief is not a problem to be fixed. It is a journey that we can learn to navigate, and when the path is unfamiliar or uncertain it can help to have a guide. You can learn more about Wendy or contact her at her website:

This course meets the qualifications for (3.75) BBS CE hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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