Over 100 attend grief therapy conference

JACKSON, Tenn. — Over 100 West Tennessee counseling professionals got a chance to learn techniques to handle situations that everyone will eventually face.

“Things that he had asked early on was that we keep on smiling. So that has been one of the mantras for us is to keep on smiling and to keep living,” said Brandi Wilson, a member of the Positive Living Group Mental Health Advisory Board.

It was a two day event that focused on handling the tough topic of grief.

Social workers, counselors, and psychologists from across the area came to learn techniques to handle those situations.

Twana Miller, with Positive Living Group, says grief can enter anyone’s life at anytime.┬áTheir job is to be prepared for it.

“We have Dr. Robert Neimeyer here, renowned grief expert. He is going to be training over 150 people today and certify them in grief therapy,” Miller said.

Miller says grief looks different for everyone, and this training will cover a wide variety of situations.

“Attachment, trauma, grief, and loss. They will be undergoing various skills and techniques today so that they can learn how to work with people directly who have been impacted by grief,” Miller said.

Wilson lost her husband to brain cancer three years ago. She says without the help of those trained professionals, her and her two children wouldn’t be where they are today.

“Having trained professionals in our community that could help walk us all through what we were dealing with because it wasn’t just that I lost my husband or that they lost their dad, it was that we all lost someone that was a huge part of our lives,” Wilson said.

And now as a member of the Positive Living Group Board, she wanted to use her story to hopefully help others in the future.

“Take an opportunity to take what we have been through and what we have dealt with, learned, and try to make a difference in the lives of others. They are preparing to help us and that is what this is about today, is people coming to be educated, to learn how to help other people in the community to survive the unthinkable,” Wilson said.

The Grief Therapy Workshop will continue on Friday with more certification training.

The conference was held on the Union University campus.

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