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Tue, Jul 30


Online Event

Grief 101: Helping System-Involved Youth Process, Adapt, & Grow Around Loss

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Grief 101: Helping System-Involved Youth Process, Adapt, & Grow Around Loss
Grief 101: Helping System-Involved Youth Process, Adapt, & Grow Around Loss

Time & Location

Jul 30, 2024, 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Training Description

Grief is our natural response to loss. It is a process that is wired into human beings so that we can process painful emotions, identify restorative needs, adapt to unwanted changes, and grow through loss. However, there are multiple internal and external factors that complicate grief, causing this natural process to become stalled or derailed. This training will educate participants about the process of typical grief and common grief complications, as well as offer strategies for bolstering the resilience of system-involved youth (SIY) and families who are adapting to significant loss. This training includes presenter instruction, a slide presentation, learning activities, and explanation of supportive techniques. To increase participant engagement and content retention, the presenter will also utilize the chat box, reaction emojis, guided participant discussion, a learning activity, breakout room conversation, and opportunities for Questions & Answers (Q & A).

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

● Identify three grief models that provide a theoretical framework for understanding the purpose, process, and trajectory of grief.

● Explain four internal factors and four external factors that complicate adaptive grief.

● Acquire six strategies for helping system-involved youth process grief and adapt to loss.


12:30 – 12:45pm  Welcome & Introductions

12:45 – 1:30pm  The Universal Experience of Grief

· All Loss is Processed as Grief (death and non-death loss)

· Types of Loss

· Grief Models (how we process grief and adapt to loss)

· Types of Grief

· Anxiety, Depression, and Grief

1:30 – 2:00pm  The Unique Experience of Grief

· Developmental Aspects of Grieving

· Sociocultural Aspects of Grieving

· Grieving Styles

2:00 – 2:20pm  Learning Activity: “Grieving Style Assessment”

2:20 – 2:45pm  Breakout Rooms

· Small Group Discussion

o Share your grieving style.

o Do your assessment results surprise you? Why or Why not?

o How does knowing your grieving style help you understand what you need when you are processing loss?

· Main Room Reflection

o Shared reflections of small group discussions

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

3:00 – 3:30pm  Complicated Grief

· Societal Norms & Grieving Rules

· Types of Complicated Grief

· Internal Factors that Complicate, Stall, and Derail Adaptive Grief

· External Factors that Complicate, Stall, and Derail Adaptive Grief

3:30 – 4:00pm  Building Your Toolbox for Grief Support

· Teaching Grieving as a Life Skill

· Strategies for Self-Soothing & Physical Regulation

· Identifying Feelings & Processing Emotions

· Practicing Dialectical Thinking

· Evolving Hope

· Facilitating Healthy Mourning Through Ritual Practices

4:00 – 4:15pm  Breakout Rooms

· Talking with a partner about tools you will utilize with system-involved youth and families

· Sharing in the main room about insights learned

4:15 – 4:30pm  Closing & Wrap-up

Meet Our Trainer

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT is a Grief Specialist who is credentialed as a Fellow in Thanatology (the study of death, dying, and bereavement) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. She is also certified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Wendy’s experience includes working as Hospice Bereavement Counselor from 2017-2022 where she offered grief care to patients’ loved ones, hospice staff, and community partners. Through her 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 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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