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Digital Recordings

Anticipatory Grief: Help Clients Face Impending Loss and Uncertain Futures

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Erica Sirrine, PhD, LCSW, FT
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Apr 29, 2021
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Digital Recordings - Also available: DVD


When a loved one faces a terminal illness many start grieving before they pass.  

This usually involves expecting death. Of knowing what’s coming. But since the pandemic began your clients are dealing with the unknown. They can’t predict who will contract COVID and what will happen if they do. And they’ve been unsure what will happen in many realms of their lives, leaving them feeling powerless to control what’s coming, but anticipating it with dread.  

Now more than ever, we need to be prepared to work with anticipatory grief so we can help our clients process and cope even in the most trying times.  

Join Dr. Erica Sirrine and get practical strategies for supporting clients and families facing illness or impending death of a loved one! 



This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Erica Sirrine, PhD, LCSW, FT's Profile

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Southeastern University

Dr. Erica Sirrine is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience in the field of death, dying, and bereavement. She earned a PhD in social work and has been awarded the distinction of Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Dr. Sirrine has conducted and published research on grief and bereavement, including a recent study on college student experiences of loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic that was featured in TIME magazine. She maintains a blog on grief and is the author of Sammy’s Story, an anticipatory grief counseling book for young children experiencing the serious illness of a parent.

Dr. Sirrine has extensive expertise providing individual and group therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families experiencing illness and loss. She has implemented numerous interventions and programs aimed at improving the emotional health of clients and currently serves as the Director of Social Work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Sirrine frequently presents seminars on bereavement and loss throughout the United States and is known for her interactive and engaging workshops. A former university dean and professor, she has been distinguished as “Professor of the Year” and the National Association of Social Workers Heartland, Florida Unit’s “Social Worker of the Year.”


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Erica Sirrine has employment relationships with Southeastern University and St. Jude Children's Hospital. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dr. Erica Sirrine is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Alliance for Grieving Children, the National Association of Social Workers, and Baccalaureate Program Directors.


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Program Information


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  1. Distinguish between anticipatory grief and conventional grief. 
  2. Analyze core characteristics and challenges related to anticipatory grief.  
  3. Investigate common anticipatory grief reactions. 
  4. Apply interventions to help clients cope when anticipating the loss of a terminally ill loved one.


  • The construct of anticipatory grief   
  • Common anticipatory grief reactions 
  • Facilitate conversations about illness, death, and loss to promote healthy coping 
  • Interventions for children, adolescents, adults, and families facing terminal illness 

Target Audience

  • Counselors 
  • Social Workers 
  • Marriage and Family Therapists 
  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Case Managers 
  • Addiction Counselors 
  • Nursing Home Administrators 
  • Pastoral Counselors 
  • Chaplains/Clergy 
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners 
  • Mental Health Nurses 
  • Thanatologists 


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