JOY R. SAMUELS, D.MIN., LPC-MHSP, NCC, has over 25 years’ experience as a licensed professional counselor, Fellow in Thanatology, chaplain, and ordained minister. She teaches in the graduate clinical mental health psychology department at Lipscomb University and at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in the United Methodist Church Course of Studies. She maintains a private counseling practice and supervises those seeking licensure as a LPC-MHSP.
Dr. Samuels holds D. MIN. and MDIV. degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. Additionally, she holds an M.S. degree in counseling psychology from California State University, Northridge, CA, and a counseling certificate in substance abuse from the Northern Virginia Community College, Annadale, VA. Among her areas of expertise are individual, couples and family counseling, trauma and bereavement, and post-masters supervision.
Financial: Joy Samuels is in private practice. She is an adjunct faculty at Lipscomb University. Dr. Samuels receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Joy Samuels is a Fellow in Thanatology.
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- Differentiate relevant theories and models describing the physical and psychosocial effects of loss, grief, and mourning on the individual and family system and their clinical implications.
- Determine how to plan and implement appropriate assessments, interventions and strategies to help individuals and families cope with loss and grief to improve treatment outcomes.
- Perform a clinical assessment to inform the clinician’s choice of best treatment interventions for the reduction of symptoms of complicated grief, disenfranchised grief, or Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder.
- Differentiate potential loss events occurring throughout the lifespan, including non-death situations, to inform the clinician’s choice of treatment interventions.
- Analyze the ethnic, gender, and cultural factors that affect individual responses to loss-related situations as it relates to case conceptualization.
- Evaluate factors that influence normal and complicated reactions to dying and grief in clients.
- Determine one’s own cognitive, affective, and behavioral reactions to death, dying, and bereavement, as it relates to professional practice with clients experiencing grief and loss.
- Differentiate theories and models of individual, cultural, couple, family, and community resilience in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
- Analyze the efficacy of various treatment interventions for complicated grief to improve clinical outcomes.
- Determine the ethical and legal issues in end-of-life decisions, such as suffering, dying, and choice, and their clinical implications.
- Utilize clinical strategies to assist grieving clients in the move from flight or fight to social engagement in session.
- Utilize the co-regulating pathways of the social engagement system in session as an approach to managing symptoms of complicated grief.
Types of Grief & Their Implications for Treatment
- Disenfranchised grief
- Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder
- Traumatic bereavement
- Complicated Grief
- Common trajectories for grief
- Recognize complicated grief
- Risk factors for complicated grief
- Treatment Interventions
- Types of Loss & Their Impact on Grieving
- Parental loss
- Child loss
- Non-death losses
Assessment: Intake Considerations for Grieving Clients
- Current conceptualization models
- Recognize different expressions of grief
- Factors impacting the grief experience
- Assess for depression and suicide ideation
- Differentiate between depression, grief, & PTSD
- Use of Adjustment Disorder diagnosis with grief clients
- Determine how the client understands their grief narrative
- Persistent complex bereavement disorder
- DSM-5® changes to Major Depressive Disorder
- Take home assessment tools
Cultural Considerations for Grief Treatment
- Cultural factors affecting expression of grief
- Impact on mourning practices
- Culture’s impact on death anxiety & meaning of life
- Determine where the identity emphasis lies
- Cultural values regarding emotional expression and disclosure
- The impact of society on grief
Grief Treatment: Interventions & Strategies to Improve Clinical Outcomes
- Assist clients with expressing their pain
- Integrate a new inner image of the deceased
- Client self-assessment strategies for coping
- Foster client relaxation skills
- Let the client lead: Starting point, story, & stopping point
- Cultivate acceptance
- Elicit emotional availability in clients
- Give clients “permission” to not share stories
- Focus on planning – not positivity
- Develop healthy grief rituals
- Target guilt due to stopping grief rituals
- Build a bridge between memories, current behaviours, & underlying values
- Help clients accept the finality of the death
- Navigate the treatment of multiple losses
In-Session Activities: On-the-Spot Interventions to Facilitate Healing
- The client “influence of loss” chart
- Use loving kindness meditation to build self-compassion in clients
- ”Who am I?” exercise
- Utilize client letters to self
Grief Across the Lifespan: Help Your Clients Heal at Any Developmental Stage
- Developmental considerations & milestones related to loss reactions for:
- Early adulthood
- Middle adulthood
- Later adulthood
Grief & the Family: Guide Families Through Healthy Grieving
- Family systems theory: Family influences on individual grief
- Variables that complicate family adaptation
- Strategies to guide family adaptation to loss
- Develop respect for different grieving styles
- The role of gender norms
- ”Family coat of arms” activity
Professional Issues: Ethical Considerations for Working with Grieving Clients, Their Families, & the Terminally Ill
- Ethical dilemmas that confront the terminally ill
- Ethical principles of end-of-life decisions
- The clinician’s role in addressing psychological suffering & needs of the terminally ill
- Impact of cause of death on social isolation
- Identify the core values and principles of professional ethical behaviour
- Boundaries of professional competence
- Addiction Counselors
- Social Workers
- Pastoral Counselors
- Funeral Directors
- Nursing Home Administrators
- Case Managers
- Marriage & Family Therapists
- Mental Health Nurses
- Other Mental Health Professionals
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