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Fri, May 31


Online Event

Where There is Loss, Grief Follows: Supporting System Involved Youth Processing Non-Death Losses

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Where There is Loss, Grief Follows: Supporting System Involved Youth Processing Non-Death Losses
Where There is Loss, Grief Follows: Supporting System Involved Youth Processing Non-Death Losses

Time & Location

May 31, 2024, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Training Description

System-Involved youth endure numerous losses related to their lived experience. Because grief is the natural process that enables people of any age to process difficult emotions and adapt to unwanted changes - any significant loss (including non-death losses) must be grieved in order to heal, grow, and find a path forward. This training offers education about grieving the non-death losses that are unique to system-involved youth, specific strategies for providing support, and practical strategies for offering help. Participants will be informed through presenter instruction, self-reflection, guided discussion breakout rooms sharing, learning supportive tools, and Questions & Answers.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

● Identify four (4) specific non-death losses that need to be grieved that are commonly experienced by system-involved youth;

● Identify 3 ways to offer help to help system-involved youth experiencing non-death losses; and

● Apply 5 techniques for supporting system-involved youth processing grief related non-death losses.


1:00 – 1:15pm  Welcome & Introductions

1:15 – 1:45pm  Grieving Non-Death Losses

· Definition of grief

· All loss is processed as grief

· Non-death losses experienced by SIY

· The myth of closure

· We don’t heal; we adapt

1:45 – 2:30pm  Specific Non-Death Losses of SIY

· Ambiguous Loss (losses that lack clarity, definition, and finality)

· Intangible Losses (losses that are abstract or symbolic)

· Cumulative Loss in Foster Care

· Loss Experienced in Family Justice System

2:30 – 3:00pm  Learning Activity: What Have You Lost?

· Learning Activity Explanation

· Break Out Room Sharing

· Main Room Discussion

3:00 – 3:15pm  Break (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

3:15 – 4:00pm  How We Help System Involved Youth Experiencing Non-Death Losses

· Helping Clients Oscillate Between Exploring Loss and Restoration

· Managing Anxiety

· Processing Emotions

4:00 – 4:45pm  Techniques for Processing Grief Related Non-Death Losses

· Personal Grief Ritual

· Feeling Conflicting Emotions

· Mantras

· Grief Dance

· Letters to Love, Time, and Loss

4:45 – 5:00pm Wrap-up & Closing

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 grief) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling, and is certified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Wendy’s approach to grief work is characterized by nonjudgmental, compassionate, strengths-based counseling; as well as the belief that grieving is an essential life skill that enables us to adapt to unwanted change and grow through loss that can be learned. Her support services include individual counseling, group facilitation, team training, and corporate consulting. When the path forward through loss is uncertain, it helps 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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