Dr Cathy McQuaid
Call 07428 551163

Training for Professionals

I run a range of training opportunities for professionals in the helping professions.

Starting in July 2021 I am running a weekly series of two-hour online sessions on 'Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings.' The workshops are being hosted by onlinevents. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite. See below for further information, workshop titles and links to book your place. 

Other workshops specifically for counsellors and psychotherapists can be found here.

Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings

A Series of Workshops for Professionals with Dr Cathy McQuaid

As a result of her research into the experiences of bereaved parents and siblings Cathy has developed a series of workshops for professionals.

Each of these two-hour online sessions will provide the participants with information, examples and findings from the research which may help them to have a greater understanding of, and be able to provide support to, this often-neglected client group.

There will be a separate series for bereaved parents and another for bereaved siblings.

  1. The ABC of Grief - Monday 5th July 2021 10am - 12 noon

During Cathy's research into the experiences of bereaved parents and siblings she noticed various processes that occurred for each of the participants that she has termed the ABC of Grief. 

A refers to the immediate Aftermath, some people may be in shock for a year or more. Others may appear to completely change. Many may get angry, blaming themselves or someone else. A few may want to give up, feel suicidal, turn to alcohol or drugs or other addictive activities to help them cope. Some may feel so alone and withdraw from friends, family, and the world in general. 

B is for Bonds that are initially ruptured, and over time may be repaired or new ones are formed. Relationships with others are brought into question, some are strengthened, and others may completely breakdown. 

C stands for Compassion. The bereaved person may struggle to feel compassion for themselves or others’, yet compassion is key to their health and wellbeing.

During this workshop participants will be introduced to the ABC of grief and examples will be shared from the research, along with ideas regarding what helped and hindered the participants in their grief. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving. Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite

  1. Living with Loss - Monday 12th July 2021 10am - 12 noon

When someone dies their loss can be felt by those who are grieving for the rest of their lives, they will never ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’. This is certainly the case for bereaved parents and siblings. The emptiness or void that many in the research felt was experienced as completely overwhelming, the future looked bleak, some even wondered if there was a future for them at all. How the bereaved can rebuild their life and find ways of living with their loss is central to this session.

This workshop will explore some of the basic building blocks necessary for living day to day. How these may need to be rebuilt after a death to enable someone to live with their loss.

During this workshop participants will be introduced to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, examples will be shared from the research, along with ideas regarding what helped and hindered the participants in their grief. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving. Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Managing Anniversaries - Monday 19th July 2021 10am - 12 noon

The anniversary of a loved one’s death, their birthday and other life events can trigger many bereaved people into re-experiencing the pain of their loss. For many of the research participants that Cathy interviewed it was the lead up to the anniversary or event that was the most problematic. The significance of these anniversaries and events and how they are managed, not only by the bereaved but by others too, needs careful, gentle and personal attention. There is no ‘one way’ to mark an anniversary, birthday or other event.

During this workshop examples will be shared from the research, along with ideas regarding what helped and hindered the participants in their grief. Participants will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving. Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work. They may bring their own experiences of dealing with anniversaries, birthdays or other life events to share if they wish to do so.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Meaning Making After Loss  - Monday 26th July 2021 10am - 12 noon

It is now generally acknowledged that to re-establish an attachment to a person who has died, a bereaved person needs to find meaning in their loved one’s life and death. Neimeyer referred to the central process of grieving as: ‘the attempt to reaffirm or reconstruct a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss.’* During this workshop participants will be introduced to Neimeyer’s work in terms of ‘processing the event story’ and ‘accessing the back story,’ using techniques such as restorative retelling of the event; directed journaling; behavioural activation; imagined dialogues and legacy work.

During this workshop the participants will be introduced to these ways of working. They will consider how they may apply these skills to the people with whom they currently work. Examples from Cathy’s research and previous work will be shared. Participants will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving. Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work.

*Neimeyer, R. A. (2016) Helping clients find meaning in grief and loss.  In M. Cooper & W. Dryden (Eds.), The handbook of pluralistic counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage. pp. 211-222.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Identifying Resilience, Grief and Grief Disorder  - Tuesday 14th September 2021 10am - 12 noon

Resilience has numerous definitions. In terms of grief there is often a steady and slow process whilst the bereaved re-orientate themselves to their new normal without their loved one. What is normal grief and when does this turn into ‘grief disorder?’

This workshop will cover the following:

Definitions of resilience

Measuring resilience

The physiological impact of grief

Normal grief or a disorder

The use of medication or therapy.

This workshop will offer various tools that the participants can use to measure their client’s resilience, areas for therapeutic work and to help identify when a referral on to other professionals may be needed.

Workshop participants will be introduced to findings from Cathy’s research, they will explore the different tools being offered and the benefit they may be in their work with anyone who is grieving.  Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Building Resilience - Tuesday 21st September 2021 10am - 12 noon

Resilience is essential for both those who are grieving and the professionals, family and friends who are supporting them. After a death many people are shaken, and their resilience can take a significant knock, they may need help to find ways of building and strengthening their resilience. This workshop will explore the following:

Various factors that influence resilience

Strategies for developing resilience through self-care

Cathy’s new CIRCLE of Compassion*

Reconnecting with our true, authentic self

Acceptance

Throughout the workshop participants will be encouraged to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work. Participants will be introduced to various tools and techniques and motivated to consider how they may apply them to their current or future work.

Whilst considering the ideas in the workshop professionals may also wish to consider what they can do to build and strengthen their own resilience.

*McQuaid, C. (2021) Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings: A Handbook for Professionals, Family, and Friends. Abingdon. Routledge. p.265-7

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Creative ways of Processing Loss - Tuesday 28th September 2021 10am - 12 noon

Whilst talking about their loss can be incredibly useful for those who are grieving, sometimes their experience is beyond words. This can be for various reasons, perhaps their loss is so devastating they have no words, they feel ‘struck dumb.’ Others may simply not want to talk because they cannot face seeing the expressions of shock, horror, or distress from others. A few may prefer to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves until they’ve had a chance to begin processing their experiences.

All of these are valid and as professionals it’s useful to know of various techniques that can be used to help those who are bereaved.

This workshop will introduce participants to:

The ATTEND Model

Sand Tray Work

Journaling

Salt Bottles

Letter Writing

Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work. Examples from Cathy’s research and previous work will be shared. Participants will be introduced to various tools and techniques and motivated to consider how they may apply them to their current or future work. They will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Professional Self Care - Tuesday 5th October 2021 10am - 12 noon

Working with bereaved parents or siblings can feel like heart-breaking, if rewarding, work at times. Without sufficient self-care the impact on the professional may lead to vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout. Participants will be encouraged to consider their caseload, reflect on the stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and explore how/whether they are working in a way that reflects their own beliefs, values, and attitudes.

During this workshop participants will be introduced to a range of activities to help them identify their own self-care strategy. They will have tools to help them identify their risk of compassion fatigue and sense of compassion satisfaction levels. By using clear aims and SMART objectives participants will be able to have a bespoke plan that is unique to them and with achievable ways of helping them to maintain their self-care.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Protection and Self Knowledge - Tuesday 12th October 2021 10am - 12 noon

Boundaries are key in working with those who are bereaved. Too tight and they can stifle creativity, too loose and both professional and client can feel traumatized and unsafe in the work. During this workshop participants will be introduced to various tools that will be useful in their work with bereaved parents and siblings.

The first is a new concept created by Cathy called the Awareness ARENA.* This is a way of thinking about how professionals can respond to their clients with greater authenticity, autonomy and assertiveness, thereby achieving and maintaining respect for themselves and others. Roles and responsibilities are discussed as a list of rights that the participants can explore, adapt, and add to depending upon their personal preferences.

Finally, there will be a short discussion on attachment styles and how these influence the way each person interacts with others.

Throughout the workshop participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work.

*McQuaid, C. (2021) Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings: A Handbook for Professionals, Family, and Friends. Abingdon. Routledge. p.248-50

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

  1. Transformational Loss - Tuesday 19th October 2021 10am - 12 noon

Someone who is bereaved is forever changed, transformed by their loss, this is particularly so if the loss if of a child, of any age. The bereaved's experience of loss also changes and transforms over time as they adjust to their new normal and then learn to life without their son or daughter. 

As a result of her research exploring the experience of bereaved parents and siblings, Cathy has applied Mezirow’s phases of Transformational Learning* to grief. During this workshop participants will be introduced to these ten phases and will consider how they can apply them to any past or current clients.  They will be encouraged to explore how this knowledge may influence their work particularly when working with others who are grieving.

Throughout the workshop examples from Cathy’s research and previous work will be shared. Participants will be invited to bring their own case examples so they can get the maximum benefit for their existing work. Participants may also bring their own experiences of loss and see how the Transformational Learning phases apply, or not, to their own process if they wish to do so.

By applying these phases the participants will be able to identify which stage(s) their clients may be at and to consider what sources of help and support would be most appropriate for them at that time. Participants will also be introduced to the ‘Snake and Arrows of Transformational Loss,’ a diagram created by Cathy that depicts the interaction of the different phases with each other and how someone moves from one phase to another in what could be quite an erratic manner.**


*Mezirow, J. (1991) Transformative dimensions in Adult learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. pp.168-9.

**McQuaid, C. (2021) Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings: A Handbook for Professionals, Family, and Friends. Abingdon. Routledge. p.210.

Click here to book your place via Eventbrite.

 

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