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  • Stages? What stages? Let’s make grief solution focused, with a healthy dose of boundaries

Stages? What stages? Let’s make grief solution focused, with a healthy dose of boundaries

  • 24 Apr 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY │Department of Social Work & Social Ecology 1898 Business Center Dr., San Bernardino, CA. 92408
  • 63


  • Anyone who is not a member of IE-CAMFT
  • Member of the Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT


Jill A. Johnson-Young, LCSW

Common knowledge, and the material taught in grad school for many of us, was that grief involved five linear stages one must work through to find something called “closure.” At the same time, all the major grief theorists can be found saying that “grief never ends.” In fact, if you do not grieve “enough” (whatever that means and measures out to be) you must not have really loved the person who died, or at least not enough. And if you lost your intimate partner and entered a new relationship “too soon” you were doing it wrong, and would never really be over it--you were officially in denial. All the rules, all the expectations, all the unhealthy “shoulds” amount to the griever never being able to reclaim control over her life and finishing the grief.

As therapists we try to send grievers to support groups, when we ourselves do not attend them. We follow the “grief takes as long as it needs to” without offering an alternative, an active process to resolve what’s left. And we don’t know the dying process, so we can’t reframe the experiences and trauma that a client has experienced. We use words grievers do not want to hear when trying to fill the space that simply needs to be held in stillness.

We can do better. Our clients can hear that they can finish the leftover grief and make an active decision to reorganize their lives. The research shows those who do, not only survive a loss, but they thrive. Those who allow others to tell them how to grieve, to set their expectations, to cut their attempts at a new life off are the ones who survive at the end of their rope, knowing that they will feel that bad for the rest of their lives. We can help them reorganize, address the stuff holding them back, and give them permission to move, to set boundaries, and even to smile and laugh.

This course will take you through the dying process to completion. You will leave with skills to get your client away from stages and into recovery. And you will laugh and be part of the learning, because nobody can talk about death and grief without humor. Jill especially!


1. Participants will understand and describe the dying process with appropriate language to comprehend their clients’ experience, including how misunderstanding it creates trauma.

2. Participants will understand the multiple areas of functioning that grief impacts to better differentiate between grief and depression, identify the five most common emotions associated with grief, and to normalize grief for their clients.

3. Participants will understand the impact of the words and phrases their grief clients have heard, the barriers they create if used in initial appointments, and identify three ways to empower the client to respond to them.

4. Participants will be able to contrast the five stages of anticipatory grief for a dying person versus the experience for their grief clients after a death, and to create a treatment plan with their clients that has reasonable expectations that fit the grief experience.

5. Participants will understand the impact of a sudden death, and how the events surrounding the immediate aftermath can be equally traumatizing.


Jill Johnson-Young, LCSW is a dynamic and engaging local, national, and international speaker who loves teaching both professional and community groups about dementia, death and dying, and grief and loss. She’s known for her sense of humor and making people laugh while talking about the stuff nobody really wants to talk about, including therapists. She co-owns Central Counseling Services in Riverside, California, where she is also a clinical therapist. She is a certified Grief Recovery Facilitator after spending more than a decade with hospice as a medical social worker and as a director of social workers, chaplains, and grief staff. She holds a BA from UC Riverside and her MSW from the University of South Florida. Jill has authored three children’s grief books and an adult grief workbook with more in process, and created www.yourpaththroughgrief.com, a year-long, comprehensive grief support program. She also has a website, www.jilljohnson-young.com, which includes resources for therapists. In her spare time Jill facilitates a dementia support group in Riverside and is part of the Riverside Purple Cities Commission. Her book “The Rebellious Widow: A practical guide to love and life after loss” will be out in 2020.  Jill became a subject expert on grief after being widowed twice and marrying the funeral director who took care of both her late wives. She now spends quiet evenings with Stacie in the mortuary several nights a week. They share their life with three adult daughters, two grandsons, and three Oodles.  Her books can be found on Amazon.





Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT is a CAMFT Approved CEU Provider Agency  Provider # 62278

CEU Hours: This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Certificates: Completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation.

Refund Policy:  If a participant is unable to attend and notifies IE-CAMFT 72 hours in advance of the training, seminar fee will be fully reimbursed.

Grievance:  If any aspect of the training is not to the full satisfaction of any participant, please notify the coordinator, CEU committee chair, or another IE-CAMFT board member.  We hope to resolve any issue immediately on-site.  If not resolved, the full IE-CAMFT board will review and resolve the issue.

IE-CAMFT wishes all participants to have an excellent learning experience.  Please notify the coordinator or other board member if you need special accommodations.  If possible, call Garry Raley at (951) 640-5899 in advance

Presenter Non-Appearance Policy

In the unlikely event that a scheduled presenter does not appear for a scheduled event, the following steps will be used to remediate inconvenience to attendees:

An announcement will be made to inform everyone that CEU credits cannot be provided due to inability to meet CAMFT standards for advance notice, etc.

The meeting will be held.  Attendees will be encouraged to participate for the purpose of professional development.

If an attendee has paid for the seminar, s/he will receive either a full refund or credit for a future presentation.

If the topic will be repeated at a later time, notice of the date and time will be provided to all interested parties.

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