Full Course Description

2-Day Certification Course on Grief Counseling for Children & Adolescents: Developmentally-Appropriate Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Processing Grief

Grief looks different in a child.

When a child loses someone, it’s a lifelong loss. Not only have they lost someone important, they often become isolated in their pain, confusion, and self-blame. Safety and security have been replaced by trauma and anxiety.

Their understanding of death, and responses to the grief that follows, are largely influenced by their developmental level, making their treatment much different from that of an adult.

Many clinicians are unprepared…a child’s unique grief leaving them struggling in session.

This live webinar featuring grief expert, author, and speaker Erica H. Sirrine, Ph.D., LCSW, FT provides you with the assessment and treatment strategies you need to help your most vulnerable clients.

Watch Dr. Sirrine and discover how you can:

  • Better evaluate for developmentally appropriate grief symptomology
  • Provide anticipatory grief support to children facing the death of a parent
  • Talk to kids about death and tough topics like suicide
  • Match strategies and interventions to developmental level for improved outcomes
  • Use therapeutic games, arts and activities to promote healing when talking is too difficult

Don’t miss this opportunity to get the skills you need to make a difference for your young clients.

Purchase today!

Program Information


  1. Analyze the cognitive components of understanding grief in childhood (i.e., irreversibility, non-functionality, causality, universality) and connect these concepts to a developmentally appropriate treatment approach.  
  2. Distinguish between different types of grief and recognize the implications of different types for treatment/intervention with children and adolescents. 
  3. Perform a clinical assessment to identify grief reactions, coping mechanisms, red flag behaviors, and factors that influence mourning in grieving children and adolescents. 
  4. Design individualized therapeutic interventions to help children and adolescents express and reconcile grief. 
  5. Analyze continuing attachment bonds after death and their relevance to clinical practice with bereaved children and adolescents. 
  6. Evaluate developmentally appropriate grief symptomology for children and adolescents and assess for clinical concerns. 
  7. Investigate how traumatic loss impacts young people and use trauma-informed interventions to reduce symptomology.
  8. Utilize strategies for providing anticipatory grief support to children facing the death of a parent, family member, or friend. 
  9. Determine boundaries of professional competence and analyze ethical considerations for working with minors and families  
  10. Utilize developmentally appropriate techniques for working through regret, forgiveness, and reconciliation with children and adolescents 
  11. Assess factors that can influence the grief process, such as multicultural and spirituality considerations, nature and type of loss, and support system. 
  12. Construct concrete terms to increase effectiveness in grief work with children. 


Critical Concepts for Treating Grieving Children & Adolescents

  • Grief vs. mourning: A distinction
  • Primary and secondary losses
  • Parental and sibling loss
  • Non-death losses experienced by kids
  • Traditional grief models & kids
  • Cognitive components of understanding grief in childhood
  • Grief concepts & loss responses by developmental age and stage (using case examples)
  • Distinctions between adult and youth responses to loss
  • Explaining sensitive topics like suicide or homicide death to kids
  • Magical thinking, guilt, and regret in childhood loss
Assessment of Grief & Loss in Children & Adolescents
  • How children and adolescents understand and cope with death
  • Six common questions following a death
  • “Things we want adults to know about our grief”
  • “De-code” the meanings of behaviors
  • Factors that influence mourning and healing in kids
  • Red flag behaviors
  • Ethical considerations for working with kids
Normal vs. Abnormal Responses to Loss in Children and Adolescents
  • Depression vs. bereavement: A DSM-5 distinction
  • Differentiating between normal, complicated, prolonged, and traumatic grief in children
Traumatic Grief in Children & Adolescents
  • Trauma exposure and traumatic loss
  • Assessing traumatic grief
  • Differentiating from normal bereavement
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Evidence-based interventions for treating traumatic grief
The Role of Attachment in Childhood Grief
  • The role of the pre-death relationship
  • Factors that influence continuing bonds
  • Assessment and expression of child and adolescent continuing bonds after death
  • Adaptive vs. maladaptive continuing bonds
  • Grief Cave Intervention
Anticipatory Grief Counseling
  • Talking to kids about terminal illness and death: Do’s and Don’ts
  • Anticipatory grief interventions
  • Explaining cancer to kids
  • Explaining the dying process to kids
  • Strategies to prepare kids for funerals & memorial services
  • Strategies to prepare children to return to school after a death
Individual Interventions to Help Children Reconcile Losses & Discover Hope
  • Bibliotherapy and journaling
  • Therapeutic games and play
  • Expressive arts interventions
  • Poetry, writing, and music interventions
  • Memorialization Rituals- Holidays and Significant Dates
School-Based and Group Interventions
  • Factors for assessing and counseling kids and teens at schools
  • Strategies for building rapport
  • 6-week support group session outline
  • Grief Camps
  • Family Camps
  • “Pamper Days”

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Chaplains/Clergy
  • Thanatologists
  • Bereavement Counselors
  • Hospice Professionals
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 01/27/2021

Module 3: Traumatic Grief, Continuing Bonds and Anticipatory Grief Counseling

Copyright : 01/27/2021

Suicidality and Suicide Loss in Children and Teens: Prevent Suicide and Restore Hope to Kids Grieving After Traumatic Loss

Suicide shatters worlds. And working with suicide is one of the most nerve-wracking and emotionally draining parts of your job.

Whether your client is a suicidal young person, or one who’s grieving in the aftermath of a loved one’s death by suicide, the weight of the situation can leave you feeling uncertain of your next steps and looking for answers …

  • How do I identify true suicidal intent and/or lethality?
  • How do I effectively work with kids and adolescents when their developmental levels vary drastically?
  • How do I restore hope when a loved one’s sudden, and sometimes violent, death has left a child or adolescent in an emotional freefall?

This recording will provide you with answers to your toughest questions and give you the tools you need to assess for suicide risk in kids and adolescents, effectively intervene in suicidal crisis, and help them cope with the feelings that can leave them at risk for suicide.

You’ll also learn how to apply play therapy interventions for children and teens whose worlds’ have been shattered following a loved ones’ death by suicide.

Along with guidance from our expert instructors, these evidence-based techniques will empower you to work with vulnerable young people experiencing traumatic grief more skillfully than ever before.

This recording will leave you feeling confident and capable in your ability to move young clients toward hope and healing!

Program Information


  1. Appraise risk factors and warning signs of suicidal behavior in children and adolescents to increase skills in risk assessment of suicidality.
  2. Analyze protective factors that may reduce suicidal behavior in children and teens.
  3. Apply play-based interventions to reduce suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal behaviors in children and teens.
  4. Implement assessment tools that identify children and teens at highest risk for suicidality.
  5. Determine the role of parents and caregivers in suicide risk assessment and prevention situations.
  6. Articulate and apply play-based interventions to address childhood traumatic grief (CTG) for children and teens who are survivors of suicide loss.


Warning Signs For Children and Teens

  • Risk factors with or without a mental health diagnosis
  • Build compassion, reduce stigma for clinicians and parents
  • Determine roles in suicide risk assessment situations
Risk Assessment And Crisis Response
  • Implicit vs. explicit forms of expressions of suicidality
  • Listening, supportive, caring response
  • Introduction of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale – C-SSRS
  • Brief protocols for assessment and treatment
Creating The Treatment Plan
  • Protective factors: Adults vs Youth
  • Complicating factors for children and teens: dual diagnosis, negative life events
  • Handling a crisis of suicidal intent or ideation
    • Clinician – Case examples of applying assessment protocol and action
    • Parents & caregivers – Case examples of applying assessment protocol and action
Bringing The Prefrontal Cortex Back Online
  • Bottom-up treatment approach to calm, regulate and soothe
  • Match intervention to brain development
  • Develop brain-based treatment plan
Suicide Prevention
  • CBT Interventions & Play-based interventions adapted for ages 4-20
    • Explore with symbols and/or words – “Puzzling” Warning Signs
    • Thought-stopping, self-soothing: affirmations, mediation and mantras – Stop & Calm
    • Key areas of prevention – Three Circles of Hope
    • Skills to assist in coping, promoting social connection, increasing support, removing access to lethal means – Handy Circle
    • Caring Contacts, keeping connected – Hope Notes & Post Cards
    • Safety Planning – Bee-Safe, MY3 APP
Treatment of Traumatic Grief After Suicide Loss
  • Emotional regulation and containment
    • Guided imagery to recreate scene of passing, create new reality
    • Explore the changes since the loss
    • Promote mastery & control in communication
  • Memorializing, Legacy, Imaginal Dialogue
    • Continue bonds and relationships
    • Memorialize in a safe and non-permanent manner
    • Process feelings in imaginal dialogue
  • Story Telling and Social Action
    • Express your story in the sandtray
    • Hope for the future
    • In Action! Integrating loss – Impacting Community
Supporting School Staff, Parents and Caregivers
  • Manage suicidal thoughts & behaviors
  • Caregiver assess risk
  • Address fears, worries and concerns
  • Hospitalization, after care, and reducing suicidal ideation
  • Resources for teachers, parents and caregivers

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Educators
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • School Personnel all helping professionals who work with children

Copyright : 11/20/2019