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Loss of Another, Loss of the Self - Reconstructing Identity in Times of Transition course

Loss of Another, Loss of the Self - Reconstructing Identity in Times of Transition course

About the Course

As Thomas Attig might phrase it, grieving entails relearning the self and relearning the world, because both are challenged and changed, sometimes profoundly, by the unwelcome transitions we encounter when one world ends, and another begins. This adage holds whether the existential change we confront is associated with bereavement due to the death of a significant person or due to a non-death loss, as through serious but non-fatal illness, trauma, divorce or relational betrayal, loss of career or more. In each case, we may lose crucial relationships that anchor our sense of who we are, lose parts of ourselves sustained by the deceased, suffer deactivation of life-defining roles or positions, or when the loss is stigmatizing, as through the suicide or drug overdose of a loved one, struggle with social avoidance, shame or ostracism. In all of these ways radical changes in our lives commonly invite and often require us to revisit and revise core aspects of our identity and construct a new self in their wake.

This 2-day workshop addresses these themes as expressed in video recordings of clients dealing with significant and sometimes staggering loss and offers a generous toolbox of creative techniques for working with them in grief therapy. We begin by presenting various windows through which clients can explore subtle but substantial alterations in their identity arising from unwelcome transition, and then move toward procedures by which people can start to reconstruct their lives as they grow through grief.

Course Outline:

· Assessing clients’ needs through the Tripartite Model of Meaning Reconstruction

· Using art-assisted methods as visual representations of the grieving self

· Reflection of the self-narrative changed by loss through imaginary narratives

· Facilitation of rewriting the self-narrative using autobiography

· An attachment-oriented framework for scaffolding self-change

· Processing the seasons of changes through creative symbolic expression

· Using an internalized-other interview to envision a future self

Course Objectives

· Use the Self-Portraits to examine the grieving self

· Apply the Virtual Dream Stories to generate fresh self-understandings

· Implement the Chapters of Our Lives to process life transitions

· Use the Transition Cycle to reflect on the evolving sense of self across life transitions

· Construct a Tree of Identity as a representation of an evolving self across a major life transition

· Conduct a Future Self Interview to foster self-compassion balanced with self-reconstruction

Who Should Attend

All counsellors, healthcare workers, social workers, psychologists, teachers and principals, pastoral staff, and people involved in the helping profession who are keen in rendering bereavement support.


Participants who meet 75% class attendance will be awarded a Certificate of Completion by Portland Institute for Loss and Transition & Academy of Human Development.
For certification enquiries, please email

Course Description

Your Trainer

Dr Carolyn Ng

Dr Carolyn Ng

Dr Carolyn Ng, PsyD, FT, MMSAC, RegCLR maintains a private practice, Anchorage for Loss and Transition (for more information, please visit: She also serves as Associate Director and Faculty with the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition in Portland, OR, United States. Previously, she was a Principal Counsellor with the Children’s Cancer Foundation in Singapore, specialising in cancer-related palliative care and bereavement counselling support. She is a registered counsellor, master clinical member and approved clinical supervisor with the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC). She is also a Fellow in Thanatology (FT) registered with the Association of Death Education and Counselling (ADEC), USA; as well as a consultant to a cancer support and bereavement ministry in Sydney, NSW, Australia.
She is certified in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Narrative Therapy as well.
Carolyn first graduated with Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, Australia, majoring in psychology, followed by Master of Social Science (Counselling) from the Edith Cowan University, Australia and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (Conflict Management) from the Trinity Theological Seminary, USA. She subsequently completed her doctoral training in psychology with the California Southern University, USA. She is also trained in the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, USA, community crisis response by the National Organisation for Victim Assistance (NOVA), USA, as well as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) by LivingWorks, Canada. She is a trained end-of-life doula and a certified Advanced Care Planning facilitator as well.
Her wide counselling experiences cover youth delinquency issues, marital issues, family violence issues, mental health issues, incarceration issues, grief and loss issues, and crisis interventions. She has varied supervisory experiences with such helping professionals as counsellors, social workers and therapists in diverse settings as well. She also conducts training workshops and presents on various topics in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, as invited by different organizations both in Singapore and other countries like Malaysia, Taiwan, Bhutan, Australia and United States over the years.


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Check Course Fees:

To check course fees and available fundings, please click the registration button above and navigate to the "Pricing" tab:

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Enquiries about the course?

Contact Us

Mr Dave Goh / 6593 5284

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