Working through the pain of loss – applying theory and evidence to grief and loss work across the lifespan

Date:  to
Event type:  Workshop
Region:  Brisbane
Organiser:  AASW Qld Branch
Pricing:  As per event listing


Address:  TBC
State:  Queensland
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This full day workshop provides an overview of grief and loss theory and an evidence-based practice application to acute presentations of bereavement and loss in adults and children. It will use case examples and practice reflection to consolidate active learning of the content presented.

What does the workshop cover?

  • A primer in grief and loss theory.
  • A range of therapeutic approaches to grief and loss work, including Focused Psychological Strategies.
  • Trauma-informed approaches to working with sudden and traumatic loss.
  • Considerations for specific types of loss such as; anticipatory, disenfranchised, ambiguous loss.
  • Considerations for specific types of bereavement such as; suicide, homicide, disaster.
  • Developmental considerations across the lifespan.
  • Assessing for and intervening in complicated grief, comorbidity and problematic mourning.
  • Self-care and building resilience to combat compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation and burn out.

Social workers are often presented with clients experiencing acute grief and loss in a broad variety of work contexts. The universal training of Accredited Social Workers equips us to provide generalist psychosocial assessments of stressors and strengths as well as sound generic interpersonal counselling services. However, many Social Workers identify a professional development goal to build upon this foundation to foster increased confidence and competence in working with the bereaved. This workshop provides an overview of seminal and contemporary grief theory as well as practice approaches to grief work based on the best available evidence as well as expert opinion.

Who should attend?

This workshop has been designed to cater to social work service providers working with grief and loss across a variety of settings including;-

  • acute and community health services
  • the child safety sector
  • other public sector areas
  • counselling agencies and private practice.

What are the learning outcomes for participants?

At the end of this workshop participants will have:

  • Knowledge of core grief and loss theoretical models.
  • Introductory knowledge of a range of psychotherapeutic tools and approaches for clients experiencing grief and loss.
  • Introductory knowledge of trauma-informed care for traumatically bereaved clients.
  • Awareness of specific considerations for complex bereavement and a spectrum of loss experiences.
  • Awareness of developmental considerations in relation to grief and loss.
  • Application of an assessment and
    intervention planning approach for the bereaved client with a particular
    focus on identifying risk for, or to presence of, complicated grief.
  • Knowledge of self-care and building resilience in response to the emotional labour of grief work.

Meet the Presenter

Martha Druery is currently enrolled in a Research Higher Degree at the University of Queensland, having previously worked as a Social Work Specialist in Intensive Care and Burns across adult and paediatric settings since 1997. Her PhD is investigating the quantitative relationship between burns outcomes and domains such as injury, treatment, personal and social factors.

She is also an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker conducting a part-time private practice offering specialist counselling services to burns survivors, traumatically bereaved clients and others with general mental health difficulties, as well as clinical supervision to allied health professionals working in high acuity areas. She was the lead author of ‘Psychosocial management of burn injury’, and a co-author of ‘Mutual Elements’, chapters of the recently published ‘Burn Trauma Rehabilitation: Allied Health Practice Guidelines’ (2014), contributing content relating to the section on ‘Staff Support and Self Care’. She has previously published other Quality of Life original research. She also provides burns patient and family psychosocial education and support at local and national events.


Venue – TBA

Friday 26 February 2021

9.00am – 4.15pm

Registration from 8.45am

Fruit platters for morning and afternoon tea.

CPD: 6 hrs

Members – Please log on to the website prior to registering to take advantage of the member rates.