Supporting Healthy Grief Reactions in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

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Supporting Healthy Grief Reactions in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

September 8 @ 8:00 am 11:00 am CDT

Middle-aged and older adults experience the deaths of pets, friends, parents, siblings, life partners. Other losses can be related to declining health, moves, and loss of roles that have been important parts of personal identity. This webinar features clinical strategies to support clients’ healthy grieving processes and management of daily life tasks. Screening and assessment tools are reviewed to aid clinicians in distinguishing normative grief reactions from prolonged grief disorder, with implications for treatment planning and implementation. An emphasis will be on grief therapy strategies that are responsive to the needs of culturally diverse aging clients, including within the context of telehealth. Case examples are provided to support the efforts of practitioners from a range of disciplines (e.g., social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, nursing, clinicial psychology) in busy clinical practices.


At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe differences between normative grief reactions and DSM-V-TR Prolonged Grief Disorder
  2. Discuss rationale and technique for at least 3 culturally responsive strategies to support healthy grieving
  3. Identify strategies that are potentially harmful and should be avoided in most cases of supporting normative grief reactions


Abby Laine, MA holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis specializes in clinical geropsychology. Along with being a community educator with the Alzheimer’s Association, she teaches undergraduate courses in both mental health and aging and in the psychology of death and dying. Her program of research is focused on assessing behavioral health providers’ understanding of later-life depression, including the relationships between bereavement and clinical depression.