Good Grief: Understanding and Supporting Grieving Youth and Adults – Dr. Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT

Presenter: Dr. Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT

When: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
(Registration 8:30 am - 9:00 am)
Location: Lankenau Hospital, Auditorium
Main Entrance- Lobby A
100 East Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096
Parking included, Garage B
Click here to register by mail.

Conference Summary
Based on four decades of work with bereaved youth, adults and communities faced with loss and grief, this workshop will help practitioners examine and improve their services to this population. Contemporary theoretical perspectives, including the movement toward conceptualizing grief as a “mental disorder” will set the foundation for practical application: What are the needs of grieving youth and adults? What are the elements of effective interventions with these populations? This workshop will weave research and practice in the field of grief counseling and grief therapy, with time for participant interaction and Q & A.

Invited Presenter
Dr. Donna Schuurman is the Senior Director of Advocacy & Training at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon, where she has served in various roles since 1986, including 25 years as Executive Director. She writes and trains internationally on bereavement issues, and has authored numerous articles, book chapter, and the book, Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent.

Dr. Schuurman served as President of the Board of Directors for the Association for Death Education & Counseling, and received their Annual Service Award in 2003 and their Clinical Practice Award in 2013. She is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, and a founding board member of The National Alliance for Grieving Children.

She has trained the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FBI’s Rapid Deployment teams, as well as medical personnel, NGO staff and caregivers following major natural and manmade disasters including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Japan’s 1995 Kobe earthquake and 3/11 earthquake, and the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Umpqua Community College. She serves as a national trainer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Compassionate Friends.

Donna has dedicated her career to supporting grieving youth and adults around the world and supporting those who support them.


  1. Participants will critique the pros and cons of conceptualizing grief as a mental disorder
  2. Participants will identify the core needs of grieving youth and adults
  3. Participants will describe essential elements of responding helpfully to people experiencing loss
  4. Participants will apply the 6 core values of the social work profession to effective interventions with people coping with loss and grief

Detailed Schedule

8:30 am - 9:00 am        Registration and refreshments
9:00 am -10:00 am       Conceptualizing loss and grief: How we conceptualize is how we concretize our therapeutic response
10:00 am – 10:45 am   Grief as a mental disorder through an Ecological Systems Theory Lens
10:45 am – 11 am         Break
11:00 am – Noon         The core needs of grieving youth and adults
Noon – 1:00 pm            Elements of effective interventions in concert with the 6 core values of the social work profession 

Registration Information
You may register for this conference by completing the registration form and mailing it with a check or credit card information to the PSCSW office; or you may register online below with a credit card.  Participation may be limited due to space constraints, so we encourage early registration, for which there is a discount.  All conference fees include a CE certificate.  If you need to cancel after you have registered, refunds (minus a $15 administrative fee) will be issued prior to the program date.

Student Volunteers:  PSCSW welcomes social work students to attend all programs.  If you would like to attend free of charge, please consider volunteering your assistance on the morning of the program.  Interested social work graduate student volunteers, please call or email Elizabeth Grecco (

Continuing Education 
FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for 4 CE credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for 4 CE credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).
FOR NEW JERSEY SOCIAL WORKERS:  This program is approved for 4 clinical credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state and national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).
FOR DELAWARE SOCIAL WORKERS:  Presenter(s) have a minimum of 2 (two) years of practical application and/or research experience pertaining to the subject matter of this presentation.  Please consult section 7.2.5 of the rules of the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners to determine if this course is in conformance with state regulations.

PSCSW is authorized to provide CE Credits to participants who attend programs in their entirety, in this case from 9 am until 1 pm

Time will be strictly enforced.

PSCSW Members - Before you begin any registration, you must log in to the website to pay the member rate. If you register without logging in, you will pay at the nonmember rate. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the PSCSW office at:

  • March 30, 2019
    9:00 am - 1:00 pm