WHO IS CREATIVE GRIEF CERTIFICATION FOR?
Creative Grief Studio’s online training and Certification program is for you if you are:
- An experienced grief counselor or helping professional looking for inspiration, fresh perspectives and new, highly imaginative approaches to address loss and bereavement.
- A counselor looking to enrich and enliven your grief support practice.
- A helping professional weary of limited models of grief and looking for respectful ways to help culturally diverse people with different life experiences manage different kinds of loss.
- A grief coach who is dissatisfied with approaches viewing grief as a medical problem and wish rather to notice and nurture a clients’ agency and resilience.
For Therapists, Social Workers, Hospice Workers, Counselors, Art Therapists, Music Therapists, Nurses, Clergy, Spiritual Directors, Funeral Directors, and Life Coaches, our online grief counseling training and creative grief certification has proven extremely relevant.
Grief Creative Studio specializes in advanced and grief-specific theory and practice for professionals who are already familiar with foundational skills such as empathy, listening, and rapport-building.
Creative Grief Studio welcomes you! We invite you to apply!
Find all the information you need regarding course content and materials, pricing, schedules, scholarships, and certification on the tabs under the menu “About This Course”
Listening to participant’s personal stories and the work in grief was stimulating, moving and helpful. I recommend the program for anyone who wants to grow with heart and backbone in their personal journey and vocational practice in grief.
After years of seeking to upgrade my coaching credentials, I finally found what I was looking for! This program is totally interactive and provided me with the best creative tools I have found to coach clients through loss and grief.
WHAT’S IN THE CREATIVE GRIEF STUDIO COURSE?
Creative Grief Studio offers you a four month interactive learning experience that is rich, supportive, and experiential. You will receive:
- Online grief training using interactive teaching tools such as recorded demos, practice sessions with your classmates, experiential heART-making, and reflective journaling.
- Guidance and support from our teaching team and guest faculty members, like Dr. Harriet Lerner, Dr. Lorraine Hedtke, Dr. Darcy Harris, & others, who share contemporary and perspective-shifting grief research.
- Practical approaches for helping clients in your grief counseling practice to create comfort, hope, and meaning after loss.
- Confidence for integrating Creative Grief Studio’s theories and methods with your own skills to support people struggling with different kinds of grief.
Creative Grief Studio’s Course Goals:
- Familiarize students and faculty with one another and the online classroom.
- Review core themes such as grief as a social meaning process, shame-resilience, agency, belonging, and hope.
- Learn the role of the support relationship and how to nurture with creative grief support.
- Examine current assumptions and misconceptions regarding mainstream grief theories.
- Study the effects of shame and how to build shame resilience.
- Identify creative ways to support greater range and flexibility in the experience, understanding, and expression of grieving emotions.
- Explore the relationships between grief and the body, and learn creative ways to help grieving clients to find ways to embody agency during and after loss.
- Discover the comforting philosophy and deeply respectful approach of facilitating re-membering conversations. Learn to use this approach those grieving the death of a person with whom they had a difficult or abusive relationship, or when the death was traumatic.
- Investigate the nature of trauma, its potential effects, how to know when your client needs specialist trauma support.
- Discuss grieving in community and ways to provide support as grief alters a person’s social world.
- Grapple with the ethics, values, choices, and aesthetics involved when death is near.
- Learn the differences between therapy and coaching, how to discern whether your client needs more specialist support.
Creative Grief Studio’s Certification Assessment Preparation
For those who wish to proceed with certification assessment, we’ll review the requirements for certification, and help you to prepare logistically, emotionally, and academically for your certification submissions.
Brown, B (2006). Shame Resilience Theory: A Grounded Theory Study on Women and Shame. Families in Society. Volume 87. No. 1, pp. 43-51.
Madigan, S. (2011. Narrative Therapy. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
White, M. (1997). Narratives of therapist’s lives. Dulwich Centre Publications. Adelaide, South Australia.
I really valued that there is space, flexibility, and people are seen as humans. The way this course talks about grief and loss is how I want to see grief and loss in my life, and in my clients’ lives.
This course was highly relevant and informative. The amount of information was manageable and there were offerings that allowed me to go beyond the classroom for further information if I was particularly inspired.
THE CREATIVE GRIEF STUDIO TEACHING TEAM
Why is social identity important?
We take social justice seriously. We do this work because we have a vision for agency, belonging, and hope – for everyone. Our grief support approach takes account of social identities and how social power influences making meaning after loss. We disagree with colorblind and politically neutral stances that encourage grief support practitioners to look past social identities. Instead, we believe strongly in claiming our preferred social identities. Often social identities are imposed upon us. We think it important to name the visible and invisible effects of social identity to facilitate agency, and offer a sense of belonging, and hope. In this spirit, we want to introduce ourselves to give you an idea of who you will be collaborating with as you complete this course.
Kara LC Jones (CAIC, CRMT, BA)
I’m White, American born, cisgender woman with Italian heritage, and though I know all the curse words in Italian, truly, I only speak English. Since 1996, I’ve been in a monogamous, heterosexual commitment with a cisgender man who is Black and German. (Truth be told, I also know a few curse words in German, too.)
With the help of academic scholarships, grants, and way too many loans, I managed to get a solid college education, but like most of my generation, that means I have debts I will take to my grave. I have experienced homelessness, but for the past 17 years we have been steady renters living in a community we were lovingly introduced to by a friend on Vashon Island, Washington.
While I was initially raised Roman Catholic, that changed when my mother divorced my father and the church ex-communicated us. I’ve never really trusted any religious organization since then. I do identify as a student of Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice though.
My biggest grief experiences came with the deaths of three babies at birth. I’m a mom who has living and dead children, mom in a blended family, and now a grandma, too.
My continued exploration of grief comes in around chronic illness. I have multiple chronic illness diagnoses (chronic fatigue, Polycystic ovary syndrome, and idiopathic angioedema), though some of what is happening with my health is still a mystery. Given our lousy healthcare system here in America, I’m not entirely sure the root cause will ever be found. Anxiety and depression are part of my experiences at times, too, as the mystery part of being chronically alive can get to me. For the most part, I pass as abled which, as Cath said in her bio, has both advantages and disadvantages.
I’m a Certified Appreciative Inquiry and Whole Systems Coach, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, holding double degrees in Literary and Cultural Theory and Creative Writing. I also have a minor degree from Chatham College in Early Childhood Development. I interned for three years at Family Communications (FCI) on production of Mister Rogers Neighborhood back in the day. I have authored several books including Mrs. Duck and the Woman, Flash Of Life, and 1000 Permissions Granted. I have contributed to publications such as They Were Still Born, Journal of Family Social Work, Living With Grief, Elegy, and more. For more about my heARTwork, see GriefAndCreativity.com
Tamara Beachum (BS)
According to my DNA profile, I am 100% White which would be no surprise if you could see how fast my skin burns in the sun. I am a cisgender, heterosexual woman in my second heterosexual marriage after being widowed at 44. My current husband is a dentist and that privileged economic status allows me to pursue my artistic and professional practices with less concern about meeting basic needs. As a result, I am able to lead a social support group for widowed people in my city twice a month. Since the 2016 presidential election, I have also become more politically engaged to actively elect government leaders who more closely reflect the demographics of our society and to battle government policies that further disenfranchise people who are not straight, White, male and Christian.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology, I held a variety of jobs in Human Resources with a major corporation that is a household name in the USA. In my over 20 years there, I was able to learn a great deal that applies to the work that I do today. I was often called on to assist employees who were grieving, struggling with career changes and layoff, or experiencing workplace harassment. I was fortunate that the corporation had little tolerance for the latter so the position I was in aligned with my values and I was able to lead Affirmative Action, sexual harassment prevention and other efforts aligned with social justice.
After my first husband died I needed to make a career shift toward a position that allowed me to use my creativity, grieve outside the bounds allowed in capitalist corporate America and be the only parent for my two children. I was pleased to find the Creative Grief Studio in its earliest days. I now work with Cath and Kara to manage the program for the Creative Grief Support Practitioner Certification and I am a grief educator on the teaching team. I was the inaugural Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner and am the founder of Artful Living After Loss at TamaraBeachum.com
. I am located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where I host a support group for widows/widowers and explore my own creativity through pottery and photography.
Gail M. Syring (MA Min, RM)
I am a White, American, cisgender woman, and I carry both the strengths and weakness of my German and Irish heritage. I have identified as Bisexual since I came out in 1991, and am proud of that identity. If I were to come out in the present, however, I would likely do so as either Omnisexual or Pansexual, as I no longer believe that gender is binary.
As I work and teach in higher education, I deeply appreciate the opportunities that have made my bachelor’s and master’s degrees possible. These include loans, grants, scholarships, work study, and the gift of an inheritance that my former spouse received from her family and used to pay off my education debt.
When I was coupled, my former spouse’s income made it possible for me to own a house in West Hartford, Connecticut. Now single, I have a full-time job, two part-time jobs, and several per diem jobs to maintain that home and manage my chronic health conditions.
I received the gift of life in the form of a kidney transplant from a living donor in 2011. Without that heroic act, I would have died before the age of 40. In addition to the maintenance required of an organ recipient, I also manage polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Thanks to a team of professionals in Western medicine, Eastern medicine, integrative medicine, and mental health fields, I generally “pass” as able bodied, which gives me access in some cases, and shame and invisibility in others. Without excellent health insurance made possible by my full-time employment, I would not survive.
I was raised as a Roman Catholic, however my calling to ministry, my sexual orientation, my gender, and other social and political beliefs made this affiliation untenable in adulthood. I traveled through liberal Christianity, new age philosophy, and earth-based religions including Wicca, before concluding that my theology is on the same continuum as my sexuality. I am now a multi-faith minister who serves people of a variety of traditions, with particular care for people who are questioning or deliberately undefined.
At heart and in vocation, I am an educator, minister, facilitator, advocate, grief support professional, and spiritual guide. I am trained in non-violent communication, Reiki, SoulCollage, mediation, sexual assault survivor support, trauma informed investigation, bystander intervention, critical incident stress management, and sexuality education.
Yvonne M. Lucia (RN, MDiv.)
I am a multi-media artist whose practice interweaves expertise is the realms of healing, spirituality and expressive arts to companion others who journey with grief. In terms of my sociocultural location and context, I am White woman of Sicilian and Lithuanian heritage over the age of 60. I am a cisgender female married for 39 years to a cisgender male. We have raised four children together.
My upbringing was in a middle-class household in the 1950’s and 60’s, with a very patriarchal value system and worldview rooted in Roman Catholicism. From a very young age I rebelled against the norms of the Catholic church, stating that I wanted to be a priest. While I left Catholicism as a young adult, I did inherit a passion for social justice from the church’s teachings and I have been involved in social justice causes such as anti-militarism, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and eco-justice for most of my adult life.
In addition to religion, the other primary value in my formative years was the importance of education. Both of my parents elevated themselves out of poverty through the assistance of the post World War II G.I. Bill. As my parents were able to raise their socioeconomic status, I was taught that it was important to give back to the community so that others could also be lifted up. I began my professional life as a registered nurse, choosing this field because of the egalitarian nature of illness and death – no one escapes this world alive – although I have learned that the experiences of illness, death and grief are affected greatly by sociocultural and economic factors. My husband is a medical oncologist, which has afforded us a privileged economic status. Because of this reality, I offer my services on a very low-end sliding scale fee schedule, and I never turn anyone away for lack of financial resources. I work this way because it is in alignment with my personal value system. I describe myself as Interspiritual, meaning that I understand all faith traditions to be historically and culturally bound expressions of humanity’s search for meaning.
In addition to my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I have a Master of Divinity degree, and II am certified as an Expressive Arts facilitator, Creative Grief Support Practitioner, Grief Counselor, Interspiritual counselor, Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, and SMART Recovery facilitator. You can learn more about my work at www.YvonneLucia.com and www.SacredArtPortal.com.
Lori Boyer (BA)
My life centers around Cleveland, Ohio, USA where I live with my loving husband, two kids, my in-laws, and beautiful friends. I’ve been acutely aware of loss most of my life. In our mid 20’s, my husband and I experienced our first of four pregnancy losses. Along with other side effects, grief dismantled my faith in God. It quickly became clear that I had been raised in a faith practice that no longer resonated with me. Retooling my spiritual life during that grief experience became the foundation of the emotional work I have done for the last 20 years. Today, my Spiritual belief system is strong and enhanced by prayer, yoga, Biblical and Buddhist teachings, and meditation.
Being White, American born, and college educated, I have not personally lived with much oppression. However, the last several years have done a lot to educate me around the privileges and access my family and I have. I’m working hard to deeply understand, listen, and dismantle outdated notions that I have unknowingly developed throughout my earlier years. I remain committed to allying in anyway that I can.
I am a Board Certified Music Therapist and Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner with over 20 years of clinical experience. The early years of my career were spent as a Children’s Bereavement Coordinator with various Hospice organizations. Today, through the use of creative exercises, and music, I help clients live meaningful lives after loss. I greatly value my work as part of the teaching team for the Creative Grief Studio, leading local support groups, and maintaining a clinical practice with an emphasis on mindful and empowered grieving. For more information about what I am offering, please see GinnysCircle.org
or find me on Facebook
Gail Darlington (MA)
I have been a psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. For 18 of those years, I had the opportunity to be part of the original staff at the nation’s first free-standing treatment facility exclusively for women with eating disorders. Along with a specialty in eating disorders, I have focused my work more recently on grief and loss with individuals, families and groups.
My college years were in art school where I majored in Painting and Art Education. Later, I received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. In 2015, I became a Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner and have since become a part of the teaching team. Along with the most current theories on grief, the Creative Grief Studio has provided me with a way to incorporate creativity into the healing process and rekindle my passion and dream of returning to art.
I am a woman of White privilege, raised in a Jewish household where education was highly valued. Now, in my 60s, I honor my Jewish heritage as well as a strong interest in Buddhist practices. At times I do experience feeling marginalized as a woman, a senior citizen, and in being Jewish.
Impacting my world of loss has been the deaths of my parents, my sister, two husbands and a rescue dog. Other losses include my youth as well as a measure of health due to cardiac issues. On a very bright note, my heart is healthy now and I am remarried to a wonderful guy and thanks to him, I have seven terrific grandkids.
Before I found my new husband, I rescued Isabel, or shall I say she rescued me? This 70 pound furry dog does not leave my side and provides gentle, relaxing grief support to my clients.
Carol Miller (LCSW)
I live in Tucson, Arizona, USA, which is across the country from where I grew up as a White cisgender woman in a predominantly White affluent area of upstate New York. My upbringing and White skin afforded me a good education and privilege, along with ways to move in a world in which many others experience struggle.
Moving to and living in the Washington, D.C. area for many years, I experienced two failed heterosexual marriages, gave birth to two sons, both of whom died shortly after their births, and a daughter. I came out as lesbian in my early 40s, which was daunting and overwhelming, yet I am aware that the cultural climate toward the LGBTQ+ community at that time was already shifting in a more open, accepting direction. My lesbian cisgender spouse and I have been married now for over 20 years.
The deaths of my two sons in 1986 and 1987 were watershed experiences and propelled me into the world of death, loss and grief. Their spirits continue to guide me through career and life choices. I quit a lucrative paralegal position and returned to complete my higher education and earn substantial loan debt that I’ll carry to the end of my life. I have worked in hospices, and organizations that serve those with HIV/AIDS, lesbians with cancer, and people who struggle with infertility. I also maintained a private practice in Northern Virginia.
Along with my spouse, I face ongoing, albeit as-yet-small, aging-body health issues. I also have a history of having had cancer treatment twice in my life. These health events and the work I do with bereaved people keep me ever aware of life’s fragility.
I am currently employed with Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson as the Bereavement Program Manager. With other professionals here in Tucson, we are working to create an organization that will help educate folks on how to support those who experience loss, grief and transition. I am also deeply embedded in Brené Brown’s shame and vulnerability work. You can connect with me at CarolSMillerLCSW.com
OUR GUEST FACULTY
Our guest faculty are all leaders in their fields, and we’re thrilled to have their pioneering work as part of our curriculum, as well as their voices contributing to the teaching through live or recorded lectures
Cath Duncan (MSW)
I live in Cape Town, South Africa, where I was born and raised. As a White South African, owing to the ongoing effects of colonialism, apartheid, and global systemic white supremacy, I experience the many benefits of significantly greater education, wealth, privilege, and power than most South Africans have. I have also lived in and traveled around the UK, Canada, and the USA, where my foreign status afforded me less privilege, power, and access.
My husband and I became adoptive parents in 2013. Our son is Black. Being a transracial family and learning what it means to parent, protect, and love our son in a racist world continues to open my eyes to White supremacy and my own socialisation in racism.
My home language is English, I can also speak Afrikaans (albeit rather poorly), and I’m learning isiXhosa, the language of most Black South Africans in the Western Cape. Learning a new language has showed me the important role of language in culture, identity, a sense of belonging, and social power and access.
I’m a cisgender heterosexual woman in a monogamous marriage since 1999, with a cisgender heterosexual man. Despite this, my husband and I both find heteronormativity problematic in many ways, and try to ally for non-binary definitions of sex, gender, and sexuality. I was raised in the Christian faith, but no longer identify as a Christian.
I’m a “healthy” chronically ill person, living with the life-long health challenges and triumphs of kidney failure, kidney transplant, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and the side effects of the medications I have to take every day. I am legally classified as blind, with currently only about 30% vision left in my right eye and about 10% vision left in my left eye, and the future of my eyesight uncertain. I also use a hearing aid for low-tone deafness. However, because I enjoy generally good health and fitness (aside from the genetic mutations that keep trying to disable or kill me!), and because my illness and disabilities are mostly invisible, I generally pass as healthy and abled. (This has both benefits and disadvantages!) My White privilege and access to good medical treatment and disability aids has also buffered me from many of the hardest effects of chronic illness and disability. However, living with chronic illness and disability is one of my “outside of the dominant norm” experiences that both instructs and motivates me to learn more about the roles of social identity, privilege, and power in how people make sense of and live with loss and trauma.
My experiences with ill health, disability, and adoption provide me with daily opportunities to expand my appreciation and understanding of the many different kinds of loss and grief. I am also a bereaved parent, a Registered Clinical Social Worker with a background in child protection, trauma debriefing, and counseling for grief, burnout, anxiety, and depression, and I’m the author of the Remembering For Good Grief Workbook.
Dr. Lorraine Hedtke (MSW, ACSW, PhD)
Dr. Hedtke teaches about bereavement throughout the U.S. and internationally. We are pleased to have her teaching her ground-breaking Re-membering Conversations work to our participants. Her unique ideas and practices are drawn from narrative therapy and represent a departure from the conventional models of grief psychology. She co-authored the prescribed reading we use for this class, The Crafting of Grief: Constructing Aesthetic Responses to Loss. She has also authored several other books and articles available through www.rememberingpractices.com.
The work Lorraine engages in involves the visibilization of the dead. It is a political as well as personal step that honors relationships above psychological and economic systems that give preferential treatment to only the individual. She comes to this work having experienced many deaths in her own life and wanting to find better ways to respond. This desire carried forward when she worked in hospice in Arizona and again in California, where she is currently located. Treating the dead as if they continue to live, in storied form, is a step away from the disintegration of relationship that systems of power (medical, legal, psychology, etc) has cornered people in to believing they must perform. Remembering, telling stories, upholding the dead as important in our lives, is a step towards relational, posthumous justice. It is this work Lorraine has been committed to for the past 25 years.
Dr. Harriet Lerner (PhD) is one of the world’s most respected voices in the psychology of women and family relationships. She has authored over 10 books published in 35 languages. Her latest book, Why Won’t You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts , was released in 2017. We’re very pleased that Dr. Lerner has contributed a recorded lecture on the topic of dealing with difficult but important relationships during grieving.
Ade Adeniji (LLB, MSc, MCIPD, CDWF, FRSA)
I was born in London in the late 1960s to parents from Nigeria who had gone to the UK to study. For the first 6 years of my life, I lived with a White foster family in Hythe, Kent. I guess this was the birthplace of my questioning around identity and belonging. That questioning continued when I moved to Nigeria in the mid 1970s with my parents, and when I returned to the UK in my late teens. I consider myself British-Nigerian.
My grandparents were Muslim. My mother converted to Christianity in her late teens, my father was a lapsed Muslim. I was fascinated by different religions from an early age and have explored a few along the way. That exploration led me to One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, where I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor in 2004.
I am cisgender gay man, in a monogamous relationship with a cisgender White Dutch man. I divide my time between London and Amsterdam.
I am co-founder of The Quest for Gay Men, a UK-based social enterprise that delivers personal development programs aimed at transforming the relationships that gay men have with themselves, others and the world.
The Creative Grief Studio program includes a recorded lecture with me on understanding how social justice issues might influence grief, shame resilience, and meaning making after loss for marginalized groups. You can learn more about me at: TheQuestAwaitsYou.com, WalkWithYou.me and DaringEurope.com.
Dr. Kimberly Manning (MD) is an academic internist board certified in Internal Medicine. She is on the Emory University School of Medicine faculty, practicing at one of the largest public hospitals in the U.S., Grady Hospital. Through Reflections of a Grady Doctor she shares insights from her hospital work and life, telling stories of lessons she learns every day. We’re thrilled to have a recorded lecture with her on social justice, reflection and practices to sustain you in finding and maintaining purposeful work.
Dr. Darcy Harris (PhD, FT) is an Associate Professor and Thanatology Coordinator at King’s University College in Canada. She maintains a clinical practice specializing loss and transition and has published many articles, book chapters, and books including most recently the Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief . Her social justice approach to grieving is a wonderful compliment to exploring cultural and societal grief rules that may obstruct grieving or feel oppressive to grieving people.
Heather Plett (BA)
Heather is an international speaker, facilitator, and writer who specializes in the art of holding space. Participants of her Holding Space Coach/Facilitator Program have come from six continents to join her online and at in-person retreats where they learn to offer deep listening and compassionate support to others and to themselves. Her writing on the subject of holding space has appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review and Grist magazine and has been quoted in multiple books as well as curriculum for nurses, hospice care workers, yoga teachers, facilitators, and military chaplains. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her three daughters. Find out more at HeatherPlett.com.
Vanessa Gorman (BA Com) is the filmmaker and writer behind the documentary, Losing Layla, an intensely personal award-winning documentary about the death of her daughter and the grief afterward. Her book, Layla’s Story, is a companion to the documentary. Vanessa shares with us her experiences of grief and shame and our discussions with her offer a moving and thought-provoking look into the impact of shame in grieving. You can learn more at VanessaGorman.com.
I have a new appreciation for the heavy grief rules we may carry so to shine the light on shame makes the process much lighter. The experience is giving me more space to be with my clients and I now find myself dropping more into a place of curiosity with my clients and being a guide for them versus an expert
I considered myself to know a lot about grief coming into this course, but I leave with so much more to offer myself, my clients and anyone in my life. I found that the information provided so much in the way of theory and application, as well as new ways to look at grief and how it can look in our future. I feel this was an amazing value for the money.
WHAT’S NOT IN THE COURSE?
We do not teach any particular religious doctrine. Death and grief can be deeply spiritual experiences, so we welcome conversations about spirituality in this course. We expect all participants to respect the diverse spiritual and religious perspectives shared within our classroom.
Working with children
Our course is designed for and focused on work with adolescents and adults. If, however, you work with children, and understand child development, the grief theory we present is relevant. Further, you’ll learn creative activities easily adaptable to support grieving children.
The Law of Attraction
We reject the “Law of Attraction,” and other ideas that suggest our thoughts cause good or bad events in our lives. We believe these ideas are counterproductive and can contribute to pain experienced by those in grief.
Foundational helping skills
We select participants who already have helping skills, such as listening, empathy, and rapport-building. Creative Grief Studio builds upon and goes beyond those foundational skills, focusing on advanced grief-specific theory and creative heART-making.
Business development skills
Whether you wish to be self-employed or already work within an existing organization, business development is not the focus of this coursework. We will not cover topics such as marketing and business organization.
As a former funeral director,
I was taught to handle my client’s grief in a very old school way that had been deemed “the way”. Through this course my eyes have been opened to a much more human approach to dealing with death, not only for myself, but my clients.
Cath and Kara have been very conscientious in offering a lot of relevant material that can work with the wide variety of backgrounds of the participants.I really appreciated the thoroughness of the foundations of what is being taught.
This is an online course, so you can call in and join us from anywhere in the world. Much of the course is set up so that you can engage with the material at any time of day that suits you, except for our calls that take place once a week throughout the course. We usually run three classes a year.
Please check your timezone, as you are expected to attend the calls!
Course starts 25 August 2020. Calls are from 11am to 12:30pm PACIFIC on most Tuesdays, 1 Sept to 10 Dec.
25 Aug (no live call)
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 September
6 (no live call), 13, 20, 27 (no live call) October
3, 10, 17, 24 November
1, 8, 10 December
Course starts 23 February 2021. Calls are from 11am to 12:30pm PACIFIC on most Tuesdays, from 2 March to 10 June 2021.
23 Feb (no live call – online classroom opens)
2, 9, 16, 23, 30 March
6 (no live call), 13, 20, 27 (no live call) April
4, 11, 18, 25 May
1, 8, 10 June
I initially had some hesitation signing up for this course because I have not experienced grief in the form of loss of a close loved one. But I saw so many parallels between grief due to bereavement and my own grieving over losses due to my depression and progressive illness. Something was drawing me to this course and I am so glad I listened.
The course’s “experiential learning” emphasis allowed deep exploration of my own personal (unique!) grief and loss journey naturally within the course’s three months. Witnessing/companioning fellow participants in their processes brought additional teaming opportunities, increasing understanding of a range of perspectives and responses and challenges that may arise.
- Course participation (content only, no certification): $2475 USD
- Certification assessment fee (if added on separately later): $975 USD
- Registration for both course participation + certification assessment at course start: $3300 USD ($150 USD discount off the $975 certification assessment fee. This discount does not apply to those awarded a scholarship because the scholarship covers 100% of the certification assessment fee.)
- Other possible discounts available: Please note that you may have other discounts available to you. If you pay your non-refundable deposit within 10 days of your acceptance letter, we’ll offer you another $200 off. If you have a code from an ad or from an in-service, then another $200 off is credited to you. And then see the details below for our interest-free payment plan options.
If your application is accepted, we will email you an acceptance letter and:
- Ask you to pay a NON-REFUNDABLE $500 (USD) deposit to secure your spot in the class. This will be credited towards the rest of your class fee. Your spot in the class is only secured once you’ve paid this non-refundable deposit. Also if you pay your non-refundable deposit within 10 days of receiving your acceptance letter, we’ll give you $200 off the course fee.
- Confirm your application for just the course participation, or the course plus certification assessment. You are welcome to register just for course participation, and decide about certification assessment any time after the course is finished, but there is a discount if you register for both up front.
- Ask if you’d like 1-pay, 3-pay, or 6-pay option to pay the course fee. You may pay the rest of the course fee as a single payment, or over three or six installments. There is no interest penalty for doing installment plans. We will invoice you according to your choices and discounts available.
NOTE: The live calls and content for both tracks are the same. So if you are unsure about whether you’d like to pursue certification, select the Content-Only Track and you will be able to decide later to join the Certification Prep call which prepares students for their certification assignments.
Example of possible discounts and payment plan options:
- Many applicants ask if they will be able to manage the course fee and if we can help them with discounts, scholarships, payment plans. We can and do offer all those options. Below are two possible examples of how it might look. Be in touch with us if you have questions. We are happy to work with you to make it happen!
First example – Content-Only Track with option to add Certification on later:
- Your full fee for Content-Only Track is $2475.
- When you pay your non-refundable deposit, that $500 is put toward this fee, so you’ll then have balance due of $1975.
- If you paid that deposit within 10 days of receiving your acceptance letter, you get a $200 discount on balance due so that brings it to $1775.
- If you choose the no-interest 6-Pay plan, your monthly payments will be $295.83.
TOTAL for Content-Only in first example: $2275
- Optional Add-On: If you decided after taking the Content-Only that you want to add on the Certification piece after all, you can do that for an additional $975 certification assessment fee (no discount available when added-on) which will be due on whatever date you wish to submit your Certification packet for assessment. If you pay this way your final out-of-pocket total in this example ends up being $3250 so it’s better to sign up for the Certification Track at the beginning if you think you may want it eventually.
Second example – Certification Track:
- If you register up front for both the Content AND the Certification, then your full fee includes a $150 discount off the $975 assessment fee portion, making your total $3300.
- When you pay your non-refundable deposit, that $500 is put toward this fee, so you’ll then have balance due of $2800.
- If you paid that non-refundable deposit within 10 days of receiving your acceptance letter, you get a $200 discount on balance due so that brings it to $2600.
- If you choose the no-interest 6-Pay plan, your monthly payments will be $433.33.
TOTAL for full Certification in second example: $3100
I feel like being immersed here in CGS…was like having a safely net and a guide book and a soft spiritual whisper from the universal bonding of mom’s who have lost a child…you can keep living and you can keep loving…you can talk about your child and honor them and continue to bring meaning to their time here and their death.
This course has not only provided me with a wealth of knowledge and insight on the subject of loss and grief, but in addition to that it has also helped me to reflect on, and sometimes challenge, consolidate and integrate everything I have learnt as a coach thus far. I knew from the outset that it would be rigorous, challenging and time consuming, and indeed it has been all three, but it has been incredibly worthwhile. Worth all the hours (and there have been many) invested in the course and well worth every penny.
Course Application deadlines for the sessions are 26 FEB 2020 and 27 AUG 2020.
Partial Scholarships deadlines are 15 JAN 2020 and 15 JULY 2020.
We make 2 partial scholarships available for each class that we run, to help make the course affordable for those with limited financial resources who’d like to take the program. Our scholarships cover part of the fee, and you remain responsible for the $500 (USD) non-refundable deposit to secure your spot and uncovered portion of the course fees. You can find full details about our scholarship application process here.
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FILL OUT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
I did a lot of reading and research, even before my loss, and I am still amazed at how much I learned in this course both personally and on an educational level. In particular, the shame work has been informative. I’ve read Brene Brown’s work but this seemed to sink in differently for me; it was a new context.
The depth of the material and how it is shared is what I have enjoyed the most. The emphasis on community and holding space has been helpful and freeing for me. The relevance of this course in my personal life and to my career has made it feel like water in a desert.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are your entrance requirements so demanding?
Our application process and entrance criteria might mean that we sell fewer spots in the course, but with a limit of 20 in each class, the course experience is an intimate one. And we want to ensure that the course is a good fit for everyone’s needs and experience levels. If you would like to take this training but are concerned about whether your experience levels meet our requirements, apply anyway. We’ll may also invite you for an interview, and we’ll make a decision taking account of your unique experience and character.
What sort of international accreditation will this certification get me?
Currently this certification is independent and will not get you automatic accreditation with any international coaching or counselling organization. The certification will simply confirm to your clients that you have undertaken this training with us and that we can confirm that you have an acceptable level of understanding and skill to use this knowledge. You will be able to call yourself “Certified in Creative Grief Support” or a “Certified Creative Grief Coach”, but you will not be able to call yourself a “grief counselor” (or any other professional title, such as Social Worker, Psychologist, Doctor, Art Therapist, etc) unless you meet the registration requirements for that professional title within your own country/ state, through other training and licensing you’ve undertaken.
Is your course relevant to other kinds of losses, and not just the death of a loved one?
One of our foundational beliefs is that grieving is unique from person to person and one loss to the next loss, so we teach creative and flexible ways of working that can be adapted to a variety of different kinds of losses. Also, there is opportunity during the live calls, coaching buddy meetups, and online discussions to ask questions and get help with applying the ideas to your specific niche.
Is your course relevant to supporting people with all types of grief or just people grieving the death of a loved one?
As we’ve explained, our course is grounded in a recognition that grieving is a very individual experience, so the tools we teach you are all very flexible and offer lots of space for your clients to share their unique story, perspectives and needs. Only one of the tools that we teach (re-membering conversations) is more suited to working with people who are grieving the death of a loved one. All of the other tools are adaptable to a wide range of different kinds of losses. Class participants who’ve joined us from a variety of different niches and specialties have confirmed that the tools and theory is widely applicable to niches and issues such as adult children, divorce, eating disorders, the death of a pet, job-loss and many other kinds of losses.
What technology do I need in order to be able to participate in this online course?
You will need either a telephone or a computer with Skype installed and an internet connection so that you can call into our live calls. It’s advisable that you use a headset so that you can have your hands free to write or draw during the call and because a headset improves the quality of the call for everyone by cancelling our background noise. We use a USA number for the live calls, with a few international alternative offered. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with Skype but want to save on the cost of international calls, then purchase a cheap calling card for making international calls from your country to the USA if your country is not one of the alternative offered.For everything else (the classroom, downloading the manuals, etc), you just need a computer with a decent internet connection (128 Kbit/s minimum). If you want to double-check speed, use this site. You will also need a program that allows you to read PDFs (Adobe Reader is free).
Will I have to buy a bunch of expensive art equipment to participate?
No! We do use art-making at times during the course, but we also teach conversational creativity where no art-making is required. Where we do offer art-making demos, we’ll tell you what supplies we use, but also do our best to give you alternative ideas to encourage you to use whatever you have on hand, to upcycle materials, and to think outside the “art store” box. Also, since it’s about the process of creativity rather than the product, the supplies matter less than just the process of playing and exploring with whatever supplies you have.
How do I pay?
This course is by application only. If you’re accepted into the course, we’ll ask you:
- to pay non-refundable deposit of $500 (USD) to secure spot (this goes towards your course fee),
- whether you’d like to pursue certification,
- and whether you’d like to choose a one-pay or three-pay payment plan, and then we’ll send you an invoice(s) which you can pay online, using your credit card or PayPal account.
Then we’ll send you an invoice(s) which you can pay online, using your credit card or PayPal account.
What happens if I fail the certification assessment?
During our last live call, we’ll prepare you for your certification submissions and share with you our detailed criteria of what we’re looking for you to demonstrate in your assessment submissions. In addition, we will also take account of your interactions in the live calls and forums – we expect our students to uphold the course values and handle discussions of difference with respect. If we feel that your assessment submissions aren’t demonstrating enough of the skills and values we’re looking for, then we’ll give you detailed feedback on the areas that were lacking and you may submit again and no extra cost. If your second submission is still not up to scratch then you can submit again, but you will need to pay $975 USD for each subsequent certification submission after that.
What’s your money-back policy?
We’re really proud of the course we’ve put together and we know you won’t be disappointed with the quality or delivery of the content. We’ve also worked really hard to convey the values of this course so that anyone who applies will be a good fit with our course’s core values. (Download our live call and check out our prescribed reading if you’re wondering about the values that underpin this course). For these reasons, after the first live call has taken place, the course and certification fee become non-refundable.
I feel stronger in my own understanding of grief and loss, and how I can contribute to supporting others in their journey with an open, non-judgmental, curious and compassionate head. I was able, through the material and calls, to touch my own wisdom and begin to believe in my own knowledge and experience. It was a very empowering, light-filled course.
When I felt a calling to help others who were going through grief, I discovered in the Creative Grief Studio not only amazing information and tools, but also a team of experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable people who worked and walked with me all the way through my certification. Going through grief, I observed a lack of information and resources here in Ecuador. Thanks to the CGS program, I was taught so much about grief and loss, and most importantly, I learned how to help others using coaching and creative tools and techniques.
If you’d like to discuss whether this course is a good fit for you, feel free to get in touch with Program Administrator, Tamara Beachum, at [email protected] She’ll be very happy to answer your questions by email or phone.
The creative grief certification program was just what I needed to round out my toolkit and prepared me for working with clients. I came to the program with foundational skills in facilitating and one-on-one coaching but I felt I needed tools specifically designed to help clients through the grieving experience. This program offers just that. I came away with not only myriad pretested tools but in addition I learned how to effectively design my own tools. As a result, I can tailor the experience I offer to client’s needs.
After taking this course, sensitivity towards me is emerging; a softness that I seemed to lack towards my tender spots; a greater understanding around the creative force that is linked to our pain, grief and vulnerability.