Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grief Resources Ottawa Workshop (GROW)

Grief Resources Ottawa Workshop (GROW!) is a new event for individuals in Ottawa who work in the field of grief and bereavement as professionals, students or volunteers.  This initiative emerged out of a community consultation coordinated by Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region in the October 2012, where small discussion groups shared their hopes and vision for a local network of grief service providers.

From this beginning, a smaller team of volunteers (representing a variety of organizations, private practitioners and businesses) offered to carry forward the momentum to plan for a twice yearly workshop which will focus on:
1. Education /training
2. Support for grief practitioners
3. Resource awareness about grief support services

 The first GROW workshop is on the website at

Robin Macdonald
Volunteer and Cultural Outreach Coordinator
Bereaved Families of Ontario - Ottawa Region

Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Here are two of the presentations:

PANEL PRESENTATION: An Exploration of Different Types of Disenfranchised Grief 

 What is disenfranchised Grief? Presented by Ian Henderson
Group work from Bereavement Art Therapy
 Grief is a reaction to all kinds of losses, not just death, and loss is difficult under any circumstances. To facilitate healing, the bereaved need to feel the support of others (and society) during the grief process. Disenfranchised grief occurs when an individual’s loss is not publicly recognized or acknowledged by others. Because their grief cannot be shared, the grievers face special pain and problems that can result in complicated grief.
 Topics to be addressed:
 • Defining disenfranchised grief.
 • Categorizing and examples of “types” of disenfranchised grief.
 • The primary conditions and reasons why grief becomes disenfranchised.
 • How disenfranchised grief violates “The Mourner’s Bill of Rights.”

 Ian Henderson is a certified grief educator and facilitator. He is a graduate of the Death and Grief Studies Certification Program at the Center For Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ian offers support groups and one-on-one grief coaching to the bereaved. Ian has been presenting educational workshops for the last 7 years in the Ontario region.

Dementia and Alzheimer 

 Presented by Christine Hanssens

 Losing a person to dementia and Alzheimer is often called “a death before dying”. Grief related to loss of identity, memory, normal functioning in a person we love can be very painful yet it is often not recognized as authentic mourning because the person is still alive. What is often forgotten in this grief is the emotional burden on the caregivers. Christine Hanssens is a Psychoanalyst with a private practice in Ottawa.

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