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How Do I Talk To My Grieving Client?

  • 09/27/2019
  • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • 40651 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd, Murrieta, CA 92562

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How Do I Talk To My Grieving Client?

The "Stuff" To Know, And the Words NOT To Use

Presented by:  Jill Johnson-Young, LCSW

This presentation will bring the participants into the world of grieving clients and the experiences that have had before they reached your door. Grieving clients have some very specific needs, and some that they are unaware they are bringing to you. They have others that will never come up without your invitation- and they need you to have the knowledge base to meet those needs. Can you provide the environment and therapeutic approach to meet their needs?

·         Do you know what they dying process looks and sounds like?

·         Do you have the words to reeducate your client if they misunderstood what they experienced and saw?

·         Can you address the self-blame and guilt that comes with the death of a loved one by reframing it with a reality-based approach.

·         Are you fully aware of the words and phrases that no grief client ever wants to hear, especially in the safety of their therapist’s office?

·         Are you ready to really, really hold space?

Grieving clients are facing fear, guilt, anxiety, and sadness. They frequently put their grief needs behind those of the others grievers in their family, and their therapist is one of the few safe places they can find support when they are struggling. They have frequently heard they are supposed to be experiencing “stages” and that they are not doing their grief process they way they are supposed to.

This presentation will provide you with a description of the dying process, the most common experiences of grievers, the words to use and the ones to avoid, and will frame grief work as a solution-focused process, no stages, and not one that never ends. It will prepare you to meet your grief clients where they are, and to walk them through to their new life.


Jill Johnson-Young, LCSW, is the CEO and Clinical Director of Central Counseling Services in Riverside.  She is a certified Grief Recovery Facilitator, and specializes in grief and loss, dementia, trauma, and adoption issues. She has more than a decade of experience with hospice and trains therapists and social workers in areas that include correctly treating childhood trauma, grief and loss, and dementia care. She holds a BA from UC Riverside, and her MSW from the University of South Florida.  She speaks on the topics of grief and loss, dementia, and the needs of adoptive children on the local, state, and national level, and receives positive reviews that note her engagement with her audience, energy, and sense of humor while providing valuable information. Jill is the creator of Your Path Through Grief, which is a year-long, comprehensive grief support program, and the author of the soon to be published books “Don’t Grieve like that! How to grieve your way from a rebellious widow” and the children’s book “Someone is sick- how do I say goodbye?” She is a member of the Purple Cities coalition in Riverside and facilitates a dementia support group monthly.


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