Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work Clinical Book Discussion Program Presents To Grieve or Not to Grieve: Clashing Responses to Loss in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work

Clinical Book Discussion Program


To Grieve or Not to Grieve: Clashing Responses to Loss in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Book Title: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Shakespeare’s Hamlet)
Author: William Shakespeare
Program Facilitator: Jeffrey T. Barg, MSS, LCSW
Date:           Sunday April 23rd, 2023
Time:          11:00am – 2:00pm || 3 CEUS awarded for attending the entire meeting.
Location:    Zoom

Book description: Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, is considered by many critics to be the finest work of literature written in the English language. The play is action packed depicting, murder, betrayal, and revenge as well as grief, suicide and madness within the royal court of Denmark.  But Hamlet is more often cited for its existential themes of ambition, isolation, death, and meaning.

Beginning with the death of Hamlet’s father, King of Denmark, the play offers rich material for analyzing each character’s perception of and response to loss. Interpreting Hamlet through a clinical lens we will explore the difference between normal and pathological grief, the influence of gender and social roles on expressions of grief and translating clinical models of grief from the play to work with grieving clients.

Clinical Goal of this program: To reconsider our assumptions about grief and the treatment of grief experienced by our clients through the lens of own assumptions about grief.

Clinical objectives:

By rereading the play and discussing it in this program, Social Workers will be able to:


  1. Recognize and assess various grief reactions within the play.
  2. Analyze the influence of gender and social roles on people’s expressions of grief.
  3. Evaluate different models of grieving as demonstrated by characters within the play.
  4. Apply insights from evidence-based models of grieving to work with grieving clients and families.


Jeffrey T Barg, MSS, LCSW, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, was the administrator of Penn Medicine Hospice’s Bereavement Support Program before going into private practice specializing in bereavement care. He continues to provide staff training and support to Penn Medicine Hospice as a consultant. He was an instructor at Temple University and Penn State University.

Attendees are required to have read the book.

This event is open to PSCSW members only; participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety to get continuing education credits.

Cancellation Policy: There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours’ notice is given for this program.

Continuing Education Credits:

FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for 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 3 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 3 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 clinical credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).

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:

  • April 23, 2023
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Details Price Qty
The Member Ticket No CE Included is available to members only. On Sale
The Member Ticket CE included ($10.00 (USD)) is available to members only. On Sale