Grief and Loss (A Three-part Series)
Grief and loss are experienced by everyone. How can we as library staff better understand grief and loss so that we can support our communities as well as each other? Please join us for this special three-part series presented by Erin Spalding, LCSW-S, Director of Clinical Education at The Christi Center (Austin, TX). Attendees will be invited to a follow-up session in January 2023 that is intended to allow participants additional time to explore and process their learning.
Grief 101 – Part 1
Grief and loss will be experienced by everyone; however, in western culture it is often a taboo topic that leaves grievers feeling invalidated and isolated. This introductory session will cover why the stages of grief model is no longer the gold standard of understanding how people process loss. Current models of bereavement will be presented to help you understand your own grief and develop a clear sense of how to support others within your community both personally and professionally. We will explore how to approach these conversations, avoid platitudes that can discount the grievers feelings and offer meaningful support through active listening.
Grief During the Pandemic– Part 2
The focus of this session will be on the grief that has been experienced by individuals, families and communities over the last 2.5 years during the pandemic. The training will explore the bereavement complications that arise for those who have experienced a death loss due to the virus and the challenges faced by those who experience continued health impairment after contracting Covid-19. In addition, we will discuss continued grief and adjustment due to the chaos of the pandemic including: job changes, missed opportunities, supply shortages, political strain, inflation, and the impact on children developmentally. In closing we will introduce the topic of disenfranchised loss and how to better support those who are experiencing this complicating factor in their grief.
Disenfranchised Loss and Providing Support - Part 3
The final session will further explore disenfranchised grief. By definition, this type of grief is unseen, hidden away, not recognized by society and does not receive the support it needs. The session will explore the types of death losses that can lead to a lack of support including prenatal loss, loss to suicide, homicide, overdose and others. We will then shift to a discussion about common non-death losses that are often not recognized at all including: homelessness, loss to deportation, loss to incarceration, loss of ability, etcetera. The final piece of this training will be to review all three sections and how this information can inform programming that will support library patrons while navigating any grief responses that arise in yourself.
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