DBT Therapy when Working with Grief and Loss



Presented and developed by Elyse Beckman, MA, LPC, NCC


Application of DBT therapy when working in Grief and Bereavement

Learn how to use the tools and therapist style associated with traditional DBT therapy in working with clients who have experienced loss. Explore what is normal versus complicated grief and how bereavement counselors can use DBT to benefit and change the lives of their clients.  While grief is a normal, healthy response to loss, DBT approaches can support clients in processing their grief and/or help them move through the process rather than getting stuck in avoidance, maladaptive coping etc. and can also support clients presenting with complex grief.

Learned outcomes of this workshop

1.    What to expect with grief, what the first year might look like

  •    Different grieving styles
  •    Normal versus complicated grief versus clinical depression
  •    Symptom overlap between BPD and grief
  •    Trauma – with both BPD clients and Grief clients
  •    Boundary setting with grief clients
  •    Transference and counter transference 
  •    DBT tools that will benefit bereaved clients  
  •    How the therapeutic relationship can allow your clients to feel their pain associated with grief   without ‘acting out’ behavior 
  •     Dual process model

Outline of the day

a.    Introductions, who am I, what I have been doing and where Ive been working, how did this class get started
i.    Who are you? Briefly describe why you wanted to take this course
ii.    15 mins
b.    Review of grief in general –
i.     power point presentation describing 1-3 above and 7
ii.    Discuss briefly how reflection is key, sitting with the emotion of sadness
iii.    1 hr and 30 mins
c.    Break (15 minutes)
a.    Brief understanding of DBT
i.    Power point and discussion, who has worked with DBT, what do you see?
b.    Symptom overlap between BPD and grief
i.    Trauma overlap
ii.    Continue to normalize grief, not pathaologize
iii.    Tools that will be helpful
iv.    Power point presentation
v.    Case studies
1.    Real case studies of people that Ive worked with, what I saw and what I did
vi.    1 hr and a half -2  hrs
c.    Lunch on your own 1-hou
d.    Triad practice
i.    Handout of scenarios, practice in groups, one person is the patient, one is the therapist and observer, have therapist practice sitting with emotions
ii.    Meet back in a big group and discuss what they noticed
1.    Review countertransference
2.    Review boundary setting
3.    Power point on above two topics but talked about in a larger group, what came up in triads?
?    Please skills versus basic grief tools
?    New identify, how to live a new way versus how to live without BPD/destruction
Trauma of seeing someone you love die




Continuing Education (CE) Information


6 CEs


Elyse Beckman, MA, LPC, NCC


Elyse Beckman, MA, LPC, NCC is a therapist working for Providence Health and Services – Hospice department as a Bereavement Counselor. She has had extensive experience working with grief in various clinical settings for both adults and children. She is a trained Dialectical Behavioral Therapy therapist and worked in a structured DBT program for three years before moving to Hospice. She leads trainings for many different professions covering these topics. She is a clinical supervisor and adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.


Upcoming Dates and Registration


Date: Friday, September 21st, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Cost: $155.00 USD

Campus: Nile Event Center, Nile Golf Course, Mount Lake Terrace, WA
Map:       Directions to our campus location.
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