Online Course: Working with Grief: Supporting children, teenagers, and families with grief and loss

The day will include a mix of theory and experiential work aimed at increasing participant’s understanding of the stages of grief, the functions of grief and how grief manifests and is experienced at different ages and developmental stages. Traumatic bereavements and the additional considerations necessary to address the trauma and complexity that can coexist with grief.

The day is designed to equip participants with tools to better support children and teenagers who have experienced grief. Creative tools and supportive activities to facilitate processing for children and teens who have experienced traumatic, or complex grief will be explored and practiced. We will also explore creative ways to support children and whole families through the grieving process.

Participants will gain an understanding of the effect of bereavement at different developmental stages. The stages and functions of grief will be identified and we will consider how additional factors can impact the grieving process. The day will also highlight how to differentiate between natural grieving process and traumatic grief.  Practical therapeutic techniques to help the child with the grieving and remembering process will be demonstrated.  We will also explore strategies for members of the the family system to support the child while also managing their own level of distress and grief.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding grief and traumatic grief
  • Learn how experiences of bereavement at different developmental stages differ
  • Learn practical techniques for all age groups to express grief, remember loved ones and communicate with family members


Emer McDonagh

Emer holds an MA in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy and Play Therapy and a BA (HONS) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. She has extensive experience working with children who have experienced domestic violence and also with non residential parents and their children, maintaining and promoting quality contact. Emer has been involved in the Daphne III programme Responding to Child Parent Violence action research project, training in Non Violent Resistance and the Break 4 Change programme targeting services to families affected by Child Parent Violence. Emer has also completed Intensive Filial Therapy Training, and mindfulness training. Emer also provides a family support role with families affected by meningitis. She has developed a number of workshops to support adults such as “You, Your Thoughts & Your ACTions”, addressing stress and anxiety, “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!, parenting children affected by Meningitis”. She has also developed and facilitated workshops to support whole families including “Reconnecting after Meningitis” and the sibling support workshop “Me Too!”. Emer has worked with the Brothers of Charity services and been involved in a number of Humanitarian aid projects in both Ethiopia and Peru. Currently Emer is in private practice at Acorns 2 Oaks Therapy Services and also provides trainings for professionals working with vulnerable children. Emer facilitates our Level 6 Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate in Galway and also works as a CTC supervisor.

Cancellations: In the event of any cancellation a booking fee of €50 will be retained. Full fee is non-refundable in the event of cancellations within 2 weeks of the event, You may nominate another eligible person to take your place – simply notify us and provide us with their contact details.

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Today we had great fun playing “Covid Busters!” I normally facilitate some ghostbuster play around Halloween, but this year I decided to change it up and turn it into Covid busting play instead! ... See more

3 weeks ago

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4 weeks ago

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4 weeks ago

We had an action packed day here today. So much fun with sensory Hallowe’en themed play. I hope some of the ideas will be helpful to others. You can see all that we got up to in my Instagram ... See more