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Attachment and Loss: From Practice to Theory and Back Again

Presenter: Dr Phyllis Kosminsky

Recorded: 14th July 2020

Webinar Overview: Attachment and Loss: From Practice to theory and back again.

Presentations like this one offer abundant opportunities to learn, to share, and to reflect on what we have come to understand about grief, loss, and the work of providing support to those affected by painful life changes. They also provide a forum for discussion of the limitations of what we know – and of what it is possible for us to know – about the deepest, most profound and most personal of human experiences. In this keynote, webinar, the speaker will present a narrative of her 25 years of work with the bereaved, with the explicit goal of illustrating how her understanding of grief, her therapeutic approach and her views regarding the role of a grief therapist have evolved throughout the course of her career. Factors in this evolution include the de facto, continuous collection of data on the grief experience that clinical work provides, and efforts to make sense of this data by turning, on a regular basis, to the literature on the roots of normative and complicated grief and on progress in addressing the needs of the bereaved. In her book, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications, co-authored by John R. Jordan and published in 2016, Dr. Kosminsky passes on what she has learned about how attachment shapes the development of the self, the character of our relationships, and our response to loss. Learning, like life, is a continuous process of unfolding and growth, and she looks forward to engaging with participants in this webinar.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Explain how theory related to grief and loss have evolved over the past twenty five years and factors that have influenced that evolution
  • Describe contrasting approaches to work with the bereaved and their underlying assumptions
  • Discuss the practice implications of theory, research and clinical reports linking insecure attachment and complicated grief.
  • Understand how experienced clinicians integrate theory and practice over time, and in so doing, develop an increasingly refined and meaningful understanding of grief and grief therapy.

Presenter Bio: Dr Phyllis Kosminsky

< Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, FT, is a clinical social worker in private practice and at the Centre for Hope in Darien, Connecticut, where her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. Dr. Kosminsky has written on a range of topics related to bereavement and loss and lectures frequently on these subjects to professional and lay audiences. Her first book,Getting Back to Life When Grief Won't Heal, (McGraw-Hill, 2007) provides a description of the challenges that often accompany the loss of a loved one, as well as resources for moving through complicated grief. Her most recent book, with John R. Jordan, bridges the fields of attachment studies and bereavement, providing a new understanding of the etiology of complicated grief and its treatment.

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