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At the 2012 Grief, Loss and Life Transitions Summer Institute: Transition and Transformation in late July, 35 professionals from various sectors attended sessions on healing from grief, resilience, and other topics. Craig Windham of NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" gave the keynote address on "Counseling in the Social Media Age: Swimming with the Current—and Against."
This is the 7th such institute and is a collaborative effort between GSEHD’s Counseling and Human Development department and the Health Sciences Department of Clinical Research and Leadership in GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The four-day event held at GW’s Marvin Center featured sixteen invited faculty from across GW and the region. For example, Dr. Clemmont VonTress, author and GW Professor Emeritus, spoke about Post-Traumatic Growth.
"Every summer for the past 7 years, we have developed a curriculum that focuses on some aspects of grief, loss and trauma - topics that are sometimes sad, challenging and often strike a personal chord,” says Paul Tschudi (MA, Counseling), the founding director of the End-of-Life Care Programs in Health Sciences at GW and a member of GSEHD’s Counseling and Human Development faculty.
“The format of the institute always creates a safe space where learning, sharing, and support merge to form a community of learners who gain an understanding of what it means to be human and the resilience that lives in us all,” Tschudi says.
The institute attracted 35 attendees, including graduate students from various programs at GW, as well as nurses, professional counselors, social workers, and clergy from the DC area. Additional sessions included "Grief and Loss: Theory and Practice," "Little People, Big Feelings - Children, Loss and Resilience," "The Healing Power of Sharing your Truth," "The Physiology of Grief and the Mind's Power to Heal," "The Transformative Power of Faith," and "Ritual and Meditation as Tools for Transformation," among others.
Sponsors included GW Hospital Women's Board, Hospice Foundation of America, and the Washington Area Geriatric Education Consortium (WAGEC).