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CONTINUING BONDS: BUILDING ENDURING CONNECTIONS IN LOSS AND GRIEF - Applying Continuing Bonds Theory to promote compassionate and healthy grief

Event Details
Date: 27 March 2020
Venue: Sydney, NSW
CPD hrs: 7

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Organiser: The Professional Development People

The push to “let go”, to “get over your loss” and to “move on” have finally been accepted as unhelpful strategies when working through loss and grief. The Continuing Bonds Theory (Klass, Silverman & Nickman 1996) has paved new understandings for the importance of connecting with ones’ loss and developing a new relationship with the loss. Although physically absent, the loved one or what has significantly been changed, remains present and impactful in the life of the bereaved. With many decades of grief theory that focused on closure, acceptance, and moving on, it is no wonder that so many grievers feel awkward or judged about maintaining ties with their deceased loved one after a certain period of time. Many now believe that healthy grief involves finding a new and different relationship with the person who is lost. This one-day workshop will provide an opportunity to develop processes and new understandings when working with loss and grief in our client work. Drawing on the work of Robert Neimeyer (2018) the ‘Continuing Bonds Theory’ of loss and grief will be explored with opportunities to creatively experience the skills of connecting to loss. Participants can experience and incorporate many practical concepts with practice in the skills of building continuing bonds with the people that have been lost through death or with significant changes that have created loss in life. A ‘Continuing Bond’ does not mean that people live in the past but rather it supports people to find ways of connecting to their loss without minimising or being debilitated by the experience. This offers an opportunity to bring lessons of the loss into the present moment. This work invites people to work with the paradox of life and explores ways to make sense of the past, the present and the future. Losses create a tension of both an absence and a presence for the bereaved which cannot be ignored in the bereavement process. Participants will learn to appreciate, to practice and to incorporate this approach more consciously in grief support work.

Learning objectives

  • Learn about the effectiveness and evidence of the Continuing Bonds Theory and its impact on the grieving process.
  • Experience creative processes in the context of building continuing bonds in loss and grief.
  • Learn how to provide support to your clients who are looking to connect to their loss.
  • Experience and explore many practical ideas and practice the skills of building continuing bonds with the people that have been lost through death.
  • Reaffirm self-care practices for the grief support person/ bereavement counsellor.

Presenter details

Beate Steller brings over 35 years of experience in a variety of sectors and industries to her role as a principal Training and Development Consultant. Beate also currently works as a Spiritual Wellbeing Coordinator and Social Worker/ Counsellor in aged and palliative care. She has been an adult educator since 1992, for the Centre for Community Welfare Training, the Australian College of Applied Psychology and Lifeline Sydney. For over a decade Beate has specialized in grief and loss education/counselling and transition counselling and has been on the Board of NALAG (National Association for Loss and Grief) since 2009. She had her first book published in 2017 called Tech-connect –Staying Meaningfully Connected in Aged Care. She has both graduate and post graduate qualifications in Adult Education, Social Work and Nursing, holds a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. Beate completed in 2019 her second Master Degree in Ageing and Pastoral Studies and focused her research on Mindfulness Meditation Groups in Aged Care and its Relevance for Spiritual Growth and Wellbeing. Beate also holds professional membership with the AASW, the NSW Health Services Profession (as a Registered Nurse), and Spiritual Care Australia.

Location and date

UTS Short Course Rooms
Level 7, Building 10,
235 Jones Street,
Ultimo, NSW 2007

27 March 2020

9:15am - 4:30pm


Standard fee $298

This event is fully catered and all resources are provided.

Students and new graduates may apply to attend at a discount apply here.


Register online by clicking here

Ph: 1300 887 622 OR Inquire about this as inhouse training, wherever you are - we come to you.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers