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Digital Recording

Where Addiction Recovery Meets Grief Work: A Critical Intersection for Therapy

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David Kessler, MA, RN, FACHE
1 Hour 33 Minutes
Audio and Video
Oct 08, 2022
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Digital Recording
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All grief does not have trauma, but all trauma has grief.  Addiction work often needs to include both. In this session, David will cover the intersections of grief, trauma and addiction as a professional who has worked in the field of grief for decades as well as a bereaved father.



This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.



David Kessler, MA, RN, FACHE's Profile

David Kessler, MA, RN, FACHE Related seminars and products

David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even after life’s tragedies.

He is the author of six books, including his latest bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. He co-authored two books with Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Life Lessons and On Grief and Grieving, updating her 5 stages for grief. He also co-wrote, You Can Heal Your Heart with Louise Hay. He authored Visions Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die. His first book, The Needs of The Dying received praise from Saint (Mother) Teresa.

David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. However, despite his vast knowledge of grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.

David’s volunteer work includes being a founding member of Project Angel Food, a well-known and loved non-profit organization. He currently serves on the board of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation which provides cancer research, patient assistance, and prevention efforts. He also serves as Specialist Reserve for the Los Angeles Police as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team.

He has a new online model of grief support called Tender Hearts with over 25 groups each as well as one of the most respected Grief Certification programs. He is the founder of, which receives millions of visits yearly providing helpful resources to over 167 countries.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: David Kessler is the is the co-founder and President Emeritus of Project Angel Food. He is a published author and receives royalties. David Kessler receives a speaking honorarium and recording and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: David Kessler is a board member for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. He is a team member of the Health Care Executives of Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Red Cross.


  1. Demonstrate 5 techniques, tools and principles in the field of addiction to help cope with all types of loss.
  2. Propose 3 ways to use meaning to help create purpose.
  3. Propose 2 ways to resolve the internal struggle of related to asking “why?”.
  4. Utilize 2 ways that include new information on brain science to address guilt, shame and stigma associated with grief.


  • Meaning-making as a new tool for dealing with addiction
  • Techniques for strength-based grief counselling
  • Post traumatic growth vs Post traumatic stress
  • Seeing loss through the eyes of addiction
  • Witnessing vs “Fixing” Grief
  • The consequences of trying to find meaning too early
  • Loss by Addiction: Meaning-making for healing self-blame
  • Understand the roles they did and didn’t play in an addiction death
  • Help Clients Change Their Thinking Around Loss
  • Strategies to address addiction as an illness
  • Use positive psychology to increase the possibility of post-traumatic growth
  • How to decrease catastrophizing after loss
  • Learn ways to instil good memories instead of painful ones


Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professions


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