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Re-imagining Group Interventions for Grieving Clients - A Therapist’s Toolkit course

Re-imagining Group Interventions for Grieving Clients - A Therapist’s Toolkit course

About the Course

Conventional support groups or therapy groups for grieving clients can be rather predictable affairs: A group of grievers gather to share their stories of loss, express their relevant emotions, normalize their pain and receive social support, sometimes with the facilitation of a professional therapist. While useful, this generic format does not appeal to all mourners, and encounters some common challenges in terms of uneven participation, dominance of the group by its neediest or most vocal members, inconsistent attendance, potential re-traumatization by the stories of others and dispiriting rumination about shared grief at the expense of fostering change. None of these disadvantages are inherent to the group format, however, as all can be avoided, mitigated or resolved by creative innovations in the format and focus of the support groups or grief therapy groups. 

This workshop is designed for all professionals and volunteers who facilitate groups for the bereaved or those dealing with significant non-death losses, as of health, an intimate relationship, or career.

Day 1 begins by sketching a meaning-focused approach to group work, and illustrates in detail a multi-session format with phases that help participants safely process and integrate their stories of loss and their associated  emotions, access and address lingering unfinished business in the back stories of their relationships with the deceased, and envision necessary changes in their personal stories of who they are in the wake of unwelcome change. We then introduce and practice one highly engaging reflective exercise incorporated in this format for exploring transitions in group members’ stories of loss and sharing the resulting insights with fellow participants.

Day 2 then invites participants to give visual and verbal form to their own experiences of loss while preserving as much confidentiality about its   content as they wish, and does so in ways that combine these individual experiences into a joint product that fosters both appreciation of difference and recognition of commonalities that transcend any single individual. Finally, we conclude with systematic instruction in reflecting team methodology, a group practice involving multiple observers offering pluralistic feedback on an individual or family therapy session in the presence of the clients and therapist, who are then free to engage or utilize those parts of the feedback that move or speak to them. Taken together, the two days of training offer in-depth exposure to and practice of a generous toolbox of creative techniques for enlivening group approaches to grief therapy and bereavement support, while resolving many of its conventional challenges.

Course Objectives

· Common problems in grief groups and how to avoid or address them

· Meaning focused therapy through the complementary lenses of attachment, trauma and resilience and its implementation in the Meaning In Loss Group structure

· Promoting artful grieving through personal and interpersonal creativity  utilizing the My LOG Book in Grief Journey and When Grief Finds Expression techniques

· Conducting Reflecting Teams to support grieving clients while also challenging them to grow through grief

Who Should Attend

Professionals and volunteers who facilitate groups for the bereaved or those dealing with significant non-death losses, as of health, an intimate relationship, or career.


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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