Grief & Chronic Illness

Dr.Walter has led numerous programs for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions. She conducts professional training for therapists and agencies on issues of grief and loss and has consulted with hospital staff on issues associated with serious and chronic illness.

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Grief & Loss Workshops for Therapists, Agencies, and Healthcare Professionals

As an author, educator, and counselor with 40 years' experience in the field of grief and loss, Dr. Walter offers fellow therapists, healthcare professionals, and other human service providers unique insight into grief work and its processes.

She has facilitated numerous groups and professional workshops for hospitals, hospice, community health organizations and agencies. Her dynamic workshops on grief, loss and bereavement include:

Living Again: Moving Forward After the Loss of a Spouse
During this presentation Dr. Walter discusses with senior citizens how older adults can begin to enjoy their daily activities again after the loss of a spouse. Because the loss of a loved one does not mean the loss of a relationship, Dr. Walter facilitates a discussion about how the importance of continuing bonds can help to create new pathways in their lives. Older adults who have been caregivers for their spouses will identity important ways of care for themselves.
Growing through Loss Across the Lifespan
Topics include the evolution of grief theory and explanation of how post-modern concepts inform grief intervention. Discussion will center around how the destabilization of loss promotes growth differentially over the course of the lifespan and how identification of losses other than death impact individuals at varied life course phases. Social workers who take this course will better understand grief theory, both traditional and post-modern concepts and how they inform intervention with their clients. They will also better understand how loss promotes growth.
Navigating the Passage through Adulthood: Losses, Transitions and Growth

Grief, loss and transition are inevitable passages during adulthood. Through this interactive seminar, participants will gain a greater understanding of grief ( including its many manifestations), loss and transition and ways these experiences during adulthood can lead to growth.. Therapists will come away with an appreciation of the dual process of mourning and its importance to the client and therapist. Specific attention will be paid to the unique maturational losses in young adults, mid-life adults, "third quarter" adults who are retiring or reinventing themselves and older adults.

Dr. Walter will discuss how resilience, meaning-making, and continuing bonds with the deceased are integral to healing toward growth and change. She will also address how shame and forgiveness are concepts that professionals need to understand as a part of the healing process. The effect of adult developmental issues upon the experience of loss, transition and growth will be discussed. Film clips will be used to illustrate some of the losses experienced during different phases of adulthood.

In addition to interventions for therapists working with bereaved clients and those who are disenfranchised in their grief, she will cover therapist self-care and coping with compassion fatigue through guided imagery.

Throughout this workshop attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss case material that pertains to issues of grief and loss.

Clinical Work for Clients Experiencing Grief and Loss
During this two-hour interactive workshop Dr. Walter will help clinical social workers and social work interns gain an understanding of grief and its many manifestations, including concepts such as the dual process of mourning and the importance of continuing bonds. Attendees will also learn to appreciate how resilience and meaning making contribute to the healing process. During the second half of this workshop attendees will have an opportunity to discuss challenging clients who are coping with issues of grief and loss.

To inquire about these, or other professional workshops, in-services or group sessions for your department, agency or organization, please contact Dr. Walter at 610-359-1077, or email. Dr. Walter provides services on a sliding scale to ensure affordable fees.


Grief Resources 

Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC):

American Academy of Bereavement:

National Hospice and Palliative Care:

Compassionate Friends: