September GSVLI: Understanding Grief and Adaptation to Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic

November GSVLI

In this keynote address, Dr. M. Katherine Shear describes a model of grief and adaptation to loss that is derived from clinical and experimental research. She discusses the new diagnosis of Prolonged Grief Disorder, identifies some unique challenges posed by loss during COVID-19, and explains why bereavement during the pandemic is associated with increased risk for the development of Prolonged Grief Disorder (i.e. complicated grief).

Download the slides HERE.



Dr. M. Katherine Shear, Founder and Director of the Center for Complicated Grief, is an internist and a psychiatrist with the heart of a social worker. She is a talented clinician who is widely recognized for her work in bereavement studies and complicated grief disorder. Dr. Shear developed a short-term psychotherapy for people unable to move forward after a loss that was influenced by her inherent optimism and faith in human creativity and resilience. Complicated Grief Therapy (CGT) has proved to be efficacious in three NIMH-funded randomized controlled trials. Her work has produced several assessment instruments and an instruction manual for CGT—a focused, adaptation-focused approach with the strongest evidence base of any grief treatment to date.

Dr. Shear is the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia School of Social Work and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served on review committees of the National Institute of Mental Health and on the advisory council for its National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She served as an advisor to the DSM-5 workgroup on complicated grief and adult separation anxiety, a member of the World Health Organization’s ICD11 Working Group on Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a member of the scientific advisory board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and an elected member of the board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

This webinar was the opening session of September's Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute (GSVLI). For more information on how to access resources from September's and November's GSVLI, please click here.

September 18, 2020
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