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Current Ideas on Grief: Learning How to Guide Patients through the Grief Process

May 21, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm



Grief is an experience that is both universal and unique to each person and each loss.  We all have losses if we live long enough.  Although our society does not necessarily equip us to well to deal with loss most people find a way to restore a sense of meaning and purpose in life and to see possibilities for joy and satisfaction.  Bereavement typically triggers acute grief and is also a major life stressor.  As such it can trigger any of a range of mental disorders, including depression.  Because grief and depression share some common symptoms,  some physicians are unclear about whether and how to identify a grieving patient as having major depression.  Recent changes in the DSM5 enable physicians to diagnose both grief and depression.  Patients may also seek help navigating grief.  Some patients will adapt to loss on their own without much need for assistance, whereas others may go on to develop major depression, and some may experience protracted acute grief. Our workshop will discuss current concepts in grief, and will include a discussion of bereavement-related depression as well as a targeted treatment for  complicated grief designed to  resolve complications and help patients adapt to loss.


  • Identify myths associated with grief in our culture
  • Analyze ways to differentiate normal grief from major depression
  • Explain the implications of the DSM5 changes regarding bereavement
  • Explain how to recognize “complicated grief”
  • Describe an evidence-based treatment for complicated grief



Chair: Sidney Zisook, M.D.

Presenter: Katherine Shear, M.D.

Presenter: Merry Noel Miller