AMHCA Home Studies

Home Study: Resolving Grief: Responding to Clients Navigating the Loss of a Pet 

11-03-2022 13:30

**Previously Recorded on 10/27/2022 - Not a Live Event**

Resolving Grief: Responding to Clients Navigating the Loss of a Pet

Pets play a significant role in the lives of their caregivers, taking on different roles depending on the needs of the individual. While COVID-19 has thrust society into facing death and loss at a rate that we haven't seen before, different losses in society remain stigmatized. Grieving the death of a pet continues to be disenfranchised and societal perceptions of judgment can lead individuals to grieve the loss without social support. This presentation will build upon research in the field of pet loss and human bereavement and discuss factors from the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted human-animal attachments. A goal of the presentation is to provide counselors with perspectives to consider in their practice when working with clients who have attachments to their companion animals and to acknowledge the therapeutic benefits of working through the grief process to resolution as a way to continue the bond with a deceased pet.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe and identify disenfranchised grief.
  2. Examine human-animal attachment literature.
  3. Review current practices to determine how the human-animal bond and culturally appropriate grief responses are assessed at intake.
  4. Support clients in their grief process after the loss of a companion animal.
  5. Reflect on their own biases and assumptions about the human-animal bond to be mindful of any countertransference.

Presented by Michelle Crossley, PhD, LMHC, NCC 

Dr. Crossley is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rhode Island College. She also volunteers and serves in leadership positions as both the President of RIMHCA and Vice-President at APLB (Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement).


AMHCA will provide 2.0 CEs for this all viewers who view the webinar and complete the accompanying quiz with a passing grade (80% or higher). American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has been approved to provide continuing education by the National Board for Certified Counselors and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. All sales are final - home study registrations are non-refundable.


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