Panel Examines Dying, Grief

An expert panel will discuss the latest perspectives concerning dying, death and the grieving process building on the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, published in 1969 and written by the late Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

NASW, the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and others are cooperating partners for the Hospice Foundation of America’s New Perspectives fall program, “Beyond Kübler-Ross: New Perspectives on Death, Dying and Grief.”

Registration is now open for the DVD-only presentation, which will be available after Nov. 10. The two-hour program will focus on practice implications of these new perspectives and provide insight for those who counsel people who are dying or bereaved, including social workers, clergy, nurses, physicians, licensed counselors and other health care workers and educators.

Organizers said the program will explore the most current theoretical perspectives of dying, death and grief, emphasizing areas where understandings have been challenged and developed.

The scheduled panelists are Elizabeth J. Clark, executive director of NASW whose clinical specializations include loss and grief; Kenneth Doka, professor of gerontology at the Graduate School of the College of New Rochelle; Sherry Schachter, director of bereavement services at Calvary Hospital/Hospice; Dale Larson, professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University; George Bonanno, professor at Columbia University; and Steven Thomason, chief medical officer at Circle of Life Hospice of Northwest Arkansas.

Kristen Baker, manager of continuing education at HFA, said the presentation is suited for organizations who can host an educational meeting to view the DVD.

“We give the group leader the materials to host the viewing site and a detailed manual,” she explained.

Unlike previous HFA presentations that offered specific viewing times, the DVD-only format allows greater flexibility for organizers to host screenings at their convenience, Baker said.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • discuss the role, value and limitations of stages theories in the understanding of the dying process;
  • describe two task models of the dying process;
  • define anticipatory grief and trace the evolution of the concept;
  • describe the process of grief, noting grief manifestations and factors that influence the grieving process;
  • describe six challenges to current understandings of grief;
  • name three factors that have increased cultural diversity in the U.S. and discuss the effects of cultural diversity on grief theory and practice; and
  • describe contemporary research on grief interventions.
  • An early registration discount for the program is available until Sept. 14. Organizations can register as host sites and individuals can find host sites to attend a viewing. NASW has approved the program for 2.5 continuing education credits.

At its website, HFA is also offering its spring living with grief program, “End-of-Life Ethics,” a 2.5-hour DVD.

For a list of sites, board CE approvals and registration information, visit Hospice Foundation of America.