• Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
Hours: 6 Contact Hours
Author(s): Mary E. Sormanti, PhD, MSW
Peer Reviewer(s): Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, LMSW, FT
Item#: B4179
Contents: 1 Course Book (124 pages)

Understanding Loss and Grief: Implications for Healthcare Professionals

Price $49.95
Item # B4179
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Behavioral health professionals and social workers commonly encounter individuals and families who have faced or are grieving significant losses. This intermediate-level course will aid practitioners in helping clients and their families adapt to major losses in ways that are both sensitive to cultural considerations and attentive to clients’ psychosocial circumstances. The course opens with an overview of grief, bereavement, and mourning and describes different kinds of loss, such as expected loss, sudden loss, disenfranchised loss, and traumatic loss. It discusses theories of grief and healing and describes various manifestations of grief, such as emotional, physical, behavioral, cognitive, spiritual, religious, and philosophical manifestations. Participants will learn about children’s experiences of loss and grief within developmental stages. Loss and grief in the developmental context of adulthood are described as well, including parental bereavement and common challenges for individuals whose life partners have died. Participants will learn about grief and bereavement during the stages of serious medical illness, including diagnosis, treatment, remission and survivorship, recurrence, and the terminal stage. Clinicians will benefit from the information presented about the impact of burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious traumatization on work. Case examples are presented throughout the course.

Participants will receive 6 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours upon successful completion of this course.

This course should not be taken in conjunction with the 3-hour course titled Grief Bereavement and Mourning in Children and Adults.

Course Objectives
  • Describe the categories of loss and the factors that influence adaption to grief.
  • Differentiate the models of grief.
  • Discuss the impact of loss on children and adolescents.
  • Discuss the impact of loss in adulthood.
  • Identify interventions used in addressing the common psychosocial challenges affecting individuals and their families facing serious illness.
  • Identify the challenges for helping professionals who work with grieving or bereaved individuals.
Mary Sormanti, Ph.D., MSW, is an associate professor of professional practice at the Columbia University School of Social Work where she has been a full-time faculty member since 1997. She has extensive professional experience working with individuals families and groups coping with stressful sometimes traumatic events and experiences including life-threatening medical illness bereavement community trauma disaster and partner violence and has published and presented nationally in these areas. From 1989 through 1996 Dr. Sormanti was a pediatric oncology social worker at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital where she specialized in work with the families of children receiving bone marrow transplants. In 2001-2002 she served as Clinical Director of a Project Liberty-funded program providing mental health services to individuals and organizations in New York City impacted by the events of September 11th. Her direct practice also includes facilitation of short-term community-based bereavement groups and process/support groups for multidisciplinary hospice staff. Dr. Sormanti's experience also includes research; some of which has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Soros Foundation's Project on Death in America. She received her master's degree in 1988 from the New York University School of Social Work and her doctoral degree in 1996 from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.
Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, LMSW, FT is the Director of the Center for Loss and Trauma in Phoenix, Arizona and the founder of the international nonprofit group the MISS Foundation. She is regarded as an expert in traumatic loss and child death in families, and has been working directly with families who experience traumatic loss after the death of a child since 1996. She is also a researcher and professor at Arizona State University where she spearheaded the first graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement program. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Death Studies, Social Work, Death Studies, Omega Journal of Death and Dying, and Families in Society

Dr. Cacciatore received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree in social work and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University. Her work has been featured in major media sources such as People and Newsweek magazines, the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times. She received the prestigious Hon Kachina Award in 2007, and has been listed since 2006 in Who’s Who and Who’s Who of American Women.

  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.