For over twenty-five years I have been TRAINING PROFESSIONALS IN BEREAVEMENT COUNSELING AND DEATH AWARENESS EDUCATION. From this experience, I have discovered that by exploring their own personal grief issues and responses to death and dying, professionals are more adequately prepared and comfortable to assist individuals and families in dealing with the trauma of death and loss. To further this end, I teach experientially oriented workshops which allow participants to focus on the wide variety of personal, emotional and  spiritual reactions which emerge in facing illness, dying, grief and bereavement.

In addition, I train professionals in specific bereavement counseling and hospice care skills, and offer Grand Round presentations in hospital settings for doctors and nurses; social workers, psychologists and mental health counselors; clergy, chaplains and pastoral counselors; and also in educational settings for elementary, middle school and high school teachers. Additionally, I offer para-professional training programs for pastoral care and “caring community” volunteers in synagogues, churches and hospice programs.

Death, Bereavement and Spirituality:   A Professional Development Training

This experientially-oriented workshop will present a personal and professional orientation addressing issues related to working with the dying and bereaved. Through personal sharing, meditation and other self-awareness exercises this workshop will focus on the emotional, psychological and spiritual reactions which emerge for care-givers in working with the dying and bereaved. We shall explore personal grief history, as well as the ways in which our own life experience enhances or hinders our capacity to work with the dying and bereaved. In the final analysis, we shall look at death as a teacher that gives one the opportunity for psychological and spiritual development.

Understanding The Human Encounter With Death:   A Bereavement Counseling Skills Training

Death is an inevitable dimension of life, often laden with deep and confusing human emotions.  Yet by encountering the reality of death with humility, honesty and integrity, it is possible to develop a much deeper appreciation of the meaning of life itself. In this training workshop, utilizing a variety of didactic and experiential learning modalities we focus on five inter-related areas:

1) Personal Grief Journey;
2) The Psychology of Death and Bereavement;
3) Specific Skills in Counseling the Dying and Bereaved;
4) Rituals of Dying, Mourning and Memorialization; and
5) Mortality, Life After Death and Questions of  “Ultimate Concern”.

(Taught as a five-day graduate intensive at LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA; and as a two-day CEU professional training at New York Open Center).

Compassion Fatigue of the Professional Care-Giver:   Renewing Our Spirits, Soothing Our Souls

An experientially-oriented workshop for health care professionals focusing on the spiritual and self-care needs of the care giver.

Spirit in Hospice Care:   From Apologetic Discomfort to Deathbed Soul-Guiding

Contemporary hospice work is catalyzing important changes with regard to spirituality in care for the dying. What might it be like to proceed in hospice and bereavement counseling without having to apologize for spirit, soul, God, etc.? In this presentation we shall envision the future of hospice and explore the implications of a spiritually based approach to the deathbed.


Healing the Hurting Heart: The Bereavement Journey of Care-Givers

In work with individuals and families who are bereaved, care-givers invariably come into contact with their own issue around grief and loss. Often one’s unresolved grief issues can get in the way in being present for those dealing with death, dying and end-of-life issues. On the other hand, the more one can heals their own experiences of loss, the more effective one can be as a care-giver for others in grief. In this experiential workshop, participants will learn more about healing the hurting heart of the bereaved, and have an opportunity to pay attention to their own personal bereavement journey.

Jewish Views of the Afterlife:   Applications and Implications for Rabbinic Counseling

While Judaism does have a set of teachings on survival of the soul after death, how can one utilize those teachings in pastoral work with the dying and bereaved and their families? If we start with the assumption that consciousness survives bodily death, how does that affect the way one proceeds in offering end-of-life care and in facilitating funeral and mourning rituals? In this presentation we shall study a series of texts on the afterlife journey of the soul as a way to explore how Jewish ideas of post-mortem survival offer new perspectives for end-of-life pastoral care, and approaches to Jewish rituals of death, burial, mourning and memorialization.

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Afterlife and the Journey of the Soul:
Workshop for Members of the Hevra Kaddisha – Sacred Burial Society

A study of texts on the afterlife journey of the soul in Rabbinic and Kabbalistic tradition. Applications and implications for members of the Hevra Kaddisha.

Death and the Afterlife:  A Workshop for Educators

A workshop educating teachers on specific ways to talk to young people death. For elementary, middle school and high school teachers.

Jewish End-of-Life Wisdom and Creation of Compassionate Caring Community:  A Para-Professional Training

In this age of “post-millennial stress” there is a hunger for both spiritual community and as well as practical resources for dealing with end-of-life transitions. This para-professional training program shall investigate the psychological and spiritual wisdom Judaism has to offer in response to aging and sickness; death and burial; grief and mourning; as well as the spirituality of soul and afterlife. Through study, discussion and practical experiential learning we shall explore both traditional Jewish teachings on issues related to end-of-life transitions, as well as contemporary guidelines for supporting others in times need and crisis. The intention of this program is to create within a congregation a compassionate caring community of para-professional caregivers who offer support each other within a community as  individuals and families wrestle with the inevitable changes life presents.



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