Below you'll find descriptions of several different classes, workshops and presentations. Any of these can be customized for a variety of different formats, from a 30-minute lecture to a full-day or weekend workshop, either online or in-person.
These presentations address a wide range of topics related to death, dying and bereavement, from conscious dying in clinical settings and interfaith spiritual support to progressive bereavement therapies, religious trauma recovery, and mystical practices for personal healing. Workshops are hands-on, experiential and interactive, and can include a variety of different practices, including guided meditations, family dynamic mapping, art therapy, sacred ceremonies, role play and group work.
CE credit hours are available for many of our workshops.
Click HERE to learn more about our CE credits.
Making Peace with End-of-Life
As elders, we are constantly bombarded with advertising messages and social cues that prompt us to be active, look younger, and stay healthy and vibrant. What cultural messaging neglects to tell us is how to navigate the journey through end-of-life.
In this unique workshop you will learn how to create a more positive relationship with death and grief as you face the loss of loved ones and the reality of your own eventual death. In an interactive, experiential group setting, we will explore these topics and more:
- Multi-cultural perspectives on death and grief
- How death is addressed in our modern medical system
- What is hospice, and how does it differ from palliative care?
- Family dynamics in end-of-life and bereavement
- Creative rituals and ceremonies for death, dying and grieving
with the Dying and the Bereaved
As care professionals or family caregivers, we may at times be invited into conversations with patients or family members that addresses religious views on death and the afterlife. Meeting people "where they are" in terms of belief systems is a delicate art that requires patience, wisdom and skill. How do we offer compassionate listening and support for beliefs that may not resonate with our own? How can we honor the other person's reality fully and lovingly, without imposing our own views and biases?
This presentation teaches skills for supporting clients, patients or loved ones who are struggling with spiritual questions about illness, and suffering and death, referencing diverse set of theological and cosmological constructs related to loss and grief.
The Stubborn Persistence
of Grief Stage Theories
Bereavement professionals who keep up with current research have wisely discarded the “five stages of grief” theory in favor of more contemporary, more functional models. But the stage theory has stubbornly persisted, despite a steady stream of criticism in academia and countless commentaries on the dangers of using it in bereavement counseling.
Public support and pockets of professional endorsement for the stages continues to exist, undeterred by the knowledge that there is very little, if any, evidence to support its usefulness. Because the general public tends to embrace ideas popularized in mainstream media, the stage theory clings tenaciously to public acceptance.
Read Dr. Daniel's article on grief stage theory in
The Omega Journal of Death and Dying
Bereavement and Bad Theology:
A Toxic Cocktail
In many religious traditions, God is believed to be responsive to the needs of believers, and in difficult times, believers turn to their religious beliefs for comfort, security and guidance.
When God is viewed as a protective parent that shields us from harm if we are pious or devoted enough, what happens to faith -- and healing – when this god fails to provide that protection? How can we help those who experience cognitive dissonance when their religious beliefs – whether inherited or chosen – do not match up with their lived experience?
This presentation explores therapeutic tools and practices to help someone in spiritual crisis consider new images of the divine that are more supportive and inclusive that those found in traditional religious structures. Read Dr. Daniel's article on toxic theology in
The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling.
Creative Personal Ritual
as a Therapeutic Tool
for Loss, Trauma and Transition
Incorporating fresh new rituals into one’s spiritual and emotional life provides actions one can take to cope with a specific problem, while also shifting one’s perception of the problem, creating a new narrative, and providing inspiration for a new vision of the future. This presentation explores the ways in which we can create meaningful personal rituals that aid in healing while pushing the boundaries of classical religious roles and traditions.
- How rituals and ceremonies can help with acceptance of loss
- Implications for counseling and psychotherapy.
- Rituals that are inclusive for all clients and communities, whether religious or secular.
- Personal rituals for life milestones and transitions that are not traditionally recognized.
Grief as a Mystical Journey:
Turning Loss into Light
If you are mourning the death of a loved one or a loss of any kind (including divorce, job loss, pet loss or any major life transition), this unique experiential learning environment that provides unique healing tools not found in traditional counseling or support group settings.
The Grief as a Mystical Journey workshop helps participants move toward internal transformation rather than focusing on external events. Our educational and therapeutic processes include guided meditation, art & music therapy, family dynamic mapping, interactive group work and sacred ceremony for moving the “stuck” energy of grief out of our bodies and into a more spacious, more ventilated emotional landscape. MORE INFO...
Mystical Experiences of the Dying: Dreams, Visions and Visitations
Mystical experiences -- such as deathbed visions, out-of-body journeys and communication with the departed – have been recorded since the beginning of human history. These accounts appear in sacred texts across cultures and religions, but did not enter the realm of contemporary academic research until the 1970s, when Dr. Raymond Moody and Dr. Melvin Morse published their findings on near-death experience. Since then, the topic has been widely studied and reports from resuscitated patients have entered the medical mainstream.
- Historical/inter-religious accounts and cultural influences
- Communion with the divine or psychotic episode?
- Current and classic research on NDEs and OBEs
- The intersection of spirituality and psychology
Bereavement Sensitivity Training
for Employees and Executives
Medical and mental health professionals who work with death and grief every day are specifically trained for communicating compassionately with bereaved individuals. But few people in the corporate world possess these skills. This is particularly important for the financial services industry, where we are often called upon to manage complex decisions and emotional responses related to the death of a client.
This presentation includes interactive, experiential processes for practicing new skills, including:
- Effective language for expressing condolences
- Knowledge of traditional and contemporary in grief theory
- Awareness of diverse spiritual perspectives
- Identifying complicated vs. normal grieving
SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS BY DR. TERRI DANIEL
The Stubborn Persistence of Grief Stage Theory
Tibet House U.S.
Bereavement and Bad Theology
Conference on Religious Trauma
Rituals for Processing Loss and Grief
Tibet House U.S.
Spiritual But Not Religious (audio)
Symposium on Death and Bereavement Studies
Dr. Terri Daniel is an inter-spiritual hospice chaplain, end-of-life educator, and grief counselor certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling and in trauma support by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. She conducts workshops throughout the U.S. and is an adjunct instructor in thanatology and chaplaincy at Marian University, the University of Maryland and the Graduate Theological Union. She is also the founder of The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief, and the Ask Doctor Death podcast.
Over the years Terri has helped thousands of people learn to live, die and grieve more consciously. Her work is acclaimed by hospice professionals, spiritual seekers, counselors, theologians, and academics worldwide. She is also the author of four books on death, grief and the afterlife.
Terri has a BA in Religious Studies from Marylhurst University, an MA in Pastoral Care from Fordham University, and a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.