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Tue, Jan 30


Online Event

The Physical Responses of Grief: How Paying Attention to Our Bodies can Help System-Involved Youth Adapt to Loss

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

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The Physical Responses of Grief: How Paying Attention to Our Bodies can Help System-Involved Youth Adapt to Loss
The Physical Responses of Grief: How Paying Attention to Our Bodies can Help System-Involved Youth Adapt to Loss

Time & Location

Jan 30, 2024, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM PST

Online Event

About the Event

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Training Description

All of the losses (including non-death losses) experienced by system involved youth are processed as grief. Too often youth attempt to manage the pain of grief by disconnecting from their whole self. But grief is not just an emotional and cognitive experience; it is a physical process as well. Learning how to integrate all parts of self – heart, mind, and body – as we grieve can help move system-involved youth towards wellbeing when life has been derailed by loss. Participants in this training will be informed through presenter instruction, a slide presentation, guided discussion, collaborative sharing, learning coping strategies to manage physical symptoms of grief, and a supportive tool for helping system involved youth understand their physical responses as a guide to identifying and processing emotions related to loss.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

· Identify 5 reasons grief must be supported as a physical manifestation not just emotional experience

· Identify at least 2 coping strategies to manage 5 major physical symptoms of grief affecting system-involved youth

· Acquire 1 supportive tool which can be used to help system-involved youth identify physical symptoms as indicators of what they need to regulate their emotions


1:00 – 1:15pm  Welcome & Introductions

· FF Welcome & Instructions

· Self Introduction

· Topic Introduction

· Participant Introductions

1:15 – 2:15pm  Grief in the Body

· All loss is processed as grief

· Grief is more than a feeling

· Heart, Mind, Body Connection & Grief

· Trauma and Disassociation

· Grief as a Path to Reintegrating the Whole-Self

2:15 – 2:30pm  Guided Discussion

· What surprises you about this explanation of grief?

· How will you apply this understanding to your work with system-involved youth?

2:30 – 2:45pm  Break (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

2:45 – 3:15pm  Coping with Physical Symptoms of Grief

· Pain, Discomfort, Illness

· Digestive Issues & Weight Changes

· Sleep Disruptions

· Fatigue

· Anxiety

3:15 – 3:25pm  Guided Discussion

· Can you name a physical symptom you or someone you support has experienced that you didn’t connect to grief until now?

· Can you name additional body responses to loss you or someone you support as experienced?

· Are there additional coping strategies to manage the physical symptoms of grief you have found effective?

3:25 – 3:40pm  Supportive Tool

· “What My Body is Telling Me” Worksheet

· Participant Sharing:

o What would you add to the “something else” prompt in each “I need box”?

3:40 – 3:50pm  Questions & Answers

3:50 – 4:00pm  Closing

· Review

· 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 (2.75) 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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