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Digital Seminar

Mindful Grief: Mindfulness Techniques to Address Avoidance and Improve Emotional Regulation in Grief Treatment

Debra Premashakti Alvis, PhD
6 Hours 10 Minutes
May 05, 2021
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Digital Seminar
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For grieving clients, the present moment can be terrifying. Painful and uncomfortable emotions push them to avoid their grief or rush past it without truly feeling it.

But when your clients can’t accept being with their grief in the now, they don’t just “get over it.” Those emotions keep coming back. Each time a little more powerful, a little more painful, and with a little more self-judgement.

Without sitting with their grief, willingly experiencing and processing it, healing can’t begin.

Mindfulness-based interventions give you the tools you need to help clients be with their grief – allowing them to better accept loss, experience their feelings without judgement, and transform their perspective so they can discover glimmers of joy amidst the sadness and open themselves to new possibilities, meaning and purpose.

Watch international mindfulness expert and trainer Dr. Debra Alvis as she shares the exercises and techniques she’s found most effective in over 25 years of practice so you can help your grieving clients:

  • Summon the courage to sit with grief and overcome avoidance
  • Open themselves to uncomfortable and painful emotions
  • Recognize and manage the physical symptoms of grief that manifest in the body
  • Disempower intrusive thoughts and feelings of self-judgement and blame

PLUS you’ll get scripts and clear instructions on guided meditations making it easy for you to incorporate these strategies into your grief work and use them right away!

Don’t miss this chance to add these valuable tools to your treatment toolbox so you can help clients be present with their grief, fully process it, and rediscover a life worth living!

purchase today!


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Debra Premashakti Alvis, PhD's Profile

Debra Premashakti Alvis, PhD Related seminars and products

Debra Premashakti Alvis, PhD, a licensed psychologist, developed the Mind/Body Program at the University of Georgia, providing clinician training on the integration of mindfulness and contemplative practices into psychotherapy. Her work as a professor at the University of Georgia included the supervision of doctoral students and co-leading a research team investigating mindfulness.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Alvis maintains a private practice and has more than 25 years of clinical experience in treating clients with a variety of conditions by mindfulness principles, body-oriented principles and traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. She also has an over 30-year personal contemplative practice.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Debra Alvis maintains a private practice and receives a speaking honorarium from Asadis Training, Essential Therapy Training, Georgia Museum of Art, Bascom Museum of Art, and Mountain Area Health Education Center. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Debra Alvis is a member of the American Association of College Student Personnel, the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, the Association of Specialists in Group Work, the Athens Area Psychological Association, and the Georgia Psychological Association.


  1. Investigate how the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on emotional regulation can facilitate client coping.
  2. Assess grief treatment implications of positive correlations between mindfulness practices and increases in non-reactivity and self-compassion.
  3. Evaluate how the non-judgmental focus on the present moment of mindfulness practices can help grieving clients with experiential avoidance issues.
  4. Analyze the neurological mechanisms contributing to various outcomes in grief.
  5. Evaluate the clinical implications of reduced trauma symptomology following mindfulness-based interventions on the treatment of traumatic grief.
  6. Investigate how the demonstrated efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing anxiety symptoms can inform the treatment plan of clinicians working with bereaved clients experiencing grief-related anxieties.


Models and Types of Grief
  • The uniqueness of grief
  • Mapping the journey
  • Grief as a spiral staircase
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • How to identify and adapt to individual grief styles
Mindfulness Strategies to Address Grief Avoidance
  • Resolve ambivalence in grief with “find middle ground exercises”
  • A sacred memory walk – combine talk therapy with mindful movement
  • Move beyond the waterfall of grief with compassionate non-judging
  • The Mustard Seed – metaphors for loss
Mindful Body Awareness and Body-Based Approaches:
Shift Clients from High-Alert and Shut Down Responses Following Traumatic Loss
  • The neurophysiology of grief
  • How grief interrupts normal brain functioning
  • How to serve as a safety and connection anchor
  • Exercises to strengthen resiliency
    • A Heart-Opening Playlist
    • Precious Memories Altar
    • Colours for Grounding and Calm
    • Muscle tension releasing – exercises to counter fight or flight responses
Calming and Grounding Techniques for Grief-Related Anxieties
  • A grief triggers chart
  • Grounding exercises and sample scripts
  • Guided meditations to disempower intrusive thoughts following loss
  • Self-soothe with calming words and imagery
  • 5 effective exercises to help clients breathe through anxiety
Finding Meaning After Loss
  • Find new meaning and purpose with “tobe” lists
  • Grief as love - continuing the relational bond after death
  • Help clients find meaning through traditions
The Mindful Grief Practitioner
  • The latest research on therapists who practice mindfulness
  • Cultural sensitivity and individualizing your approach
  • Compassion fatigue resiliency strategies
  • When practitioner grief arises – body/mind cues for presence
  • Research, limitations and treatment risks

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Pastoral Counselors
  • Chaplains/Clergy
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Mental Health Nurses
  • Thanatologists

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