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The Psychotherapy Curriculum


A compilation of new and previously recorded interviews inspired by the events of September 11th, including two compelling new interviews with therapists working with airline personnel and at the disaster scene.

Program Description

In the wake of the incomprehensible events of September 11th, the nature of the losses posed unbelievable challenges to counselors and therapists. The shock of this event traumatized all of us, and our nation went through a mourning process.

Therapists were grappling with their trauma as well because, in a sense, we are all survivors. The enormity of this catastrophe made our work even harder. We felt personally vulnerable, and at the same time, we had to be there for others. These catastrophic events are professionally difficult and, as therapists, we have to find our own sources of renewal. The emotional demands are great, and there is no preset formula for this work.

All of our speakers share the view that adhering to the notion of recovery “stages” does a disservice to the client and oversimplifies a very personal, complex, and intimate process. One thing has been certain: we will be dealing with the post traumatic effects of this event for a very long time.

In response to the events of September 11th, we compiled previously recorded interviews on the subject of grief work, in addition to new interviews.

Learning Objectives

This program provides clinicians with the opportunity to:

Learn not to over simplify the grieving process and how to recognize complicated mourning.

Understand the concept of meaning reconstruction.

Develop a sensitivity to working with families in denial.

Learn how a child’s development is shaped by loss.

Learn how to prevent compassion fatigue.


A Narrative-Constructivist Approach - Robert Neimeyer, Ph.D.

Dr. Neimeyer presents his conceptualization of grief and loss from a narrative-constructivist point of view. He suggests the problem with using "stage" theories of grief is they simplistically distort the human experience of grieving.

AIDS Partners and Loss - Dennis Shelby, Ph.D.

Dennis Shelby, PhD, BCD, is the author of If a Partner Has AIDS: A Guide to Clinical Intervention. He discusses his research with patients whose life partners have died of AIDS, the complex mourning that ensues, and how to treat it.

Dealing with Death in Families - Froma Walsh, Ph.D., MSW

Dr. Froma Walsh, author of Living Beyond Loss, discusses her work with families of dying patients, how to work with denial, and how to decide if and when to push people to talk.

Disaster Mental Health - John Weaver, A.C.S.W.

Author of Disasters: Mental Health Interventions, John Weaver discusses disaster mental health work with many examples from actual disasters.

Families of Homicide Victims

Learn how to work with families of murder victims and prevent compassion fatigue.

Parent Loss in Adolescence - Colin Pereira - Webber, M.A.

Colin Webber, who has worked with parent loss for many years, describes the coping styles of children who have lost a parent, the difference between adjustment and internal processing, the challenges faced by adolescents dealing with the death of a parent due to their stage of development, and the defense mechanisms most likely to be used by a bereaved adolescent to protect against narcissistic injury.

Work with the Grieving - Mila Tecala, LCSW, BCD

Mila Tecala is an internationally renowned expert on grief and mourning in the face of catastrophic events. In the wake of September 11th, she worked with employees of American Airlines based at Dulles Airport. She discusses how to prevent grief from turning into complicated and unresolved mourning.

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Client Testimonials

“The speakers did a great job. I love the flexibility of listening at my leisure.”

... Christine S.

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