We all experience loss in our lives—it is an inevitable part of being human. Some losses we hurt over, manage, and move past. Other losses stop us dead in our tracks, leaving us feeling stuck in the pain and grief. This is complicated grief: those instances of loss in which we feel stuck and unable to get past. In this presentation we will explore how and why grief can become complicated, and where it critically overlaps and impacts active addiction and early recovery. We will discuss how to identify where a client is stuck and help guide them back to a healthy grieving path, through means of education, spirituality, coping skills, and therapeutic processing. We will also explore the value of making meaning out of our most painful losses in life by sharing stories of clients we have helped guide along this journey.
Michelle Morris, M.Div., M.A.
Rev. Stan Bumgarner, M.Div., LADAC II
Clinicians will gain a deeper understanding of grief: what it looks like, when it appears, and what can complicate it. Clinicians will learn how and why grief is intricately connected to our experiences of addiction and our recovery from this disease. Clinicians will be exposed to a new model of how to visualize grief so they can identify better where their clients are stuck in the grieving process, and what potential interventions to employ.
1. Gain a deeper understanding of grief as a complicated mix of emotions we feel in response to loss of any kind. Learn how expansive loss is in the human experience and how it ties into our experiences of addiction.
2. Become more comfortable with and competent at identifying and speaking about grief.
3. Learn what factors can complicate a person’s natural grieving process and be able to assess where a client is stuck.
4. Visualize interventions at work, both ones readily available to the clinician and ones that may be new, via case stories shared by presenters.