037: A Heavy Load: Helping People on a Grief Journey through Multiple Losses
Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
Institute for Compassionate Care
60 B. West Terra Cotta Ave., #293
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Kevin Ellers, D.Min.
The Salvation Army
10 West Algonquin Rd.
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Helping people navigate grief is even more challenging when they are struck with multiple losses. Sometimes, people lose more than one loved one at the same time or in close proximity. The weight can also come from other types of losses—not just death. Facing many losses in a short span or not grieving losses throughout one’s life can cause a type of emotional and spiritual paralysis that can impair functioning and lead to “compounding” or “cumulative grief.” Some studies show that cumulative grief can lead to deteriorating mental health and self-destructive behaviors. This workshop will look at situations of multiple loss and explore practical assessment and intervention tools to assist individuals, couples, and families in an effective and productive grief journey.
• Examine current research on grieving multiple losses
• Discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has created complicated grief situations and explore tools for licensed mental health professionals assisting clients affected by them
• Utilize assessment tools to identify multiple losses and grief personality types
• Review a companioning plan that can be used to assist those grieving multiple losses