The Second Annual
 Symposium on Death and Bereavement Studies:
Positive and Negative Religious Coping

ONLINE - Sunday, January 30, 2022
9 am - 4:30 pm




In this unique online seminar, you'll work interactively
with some of today's most respected leaders in death and bereavement studies.
Join us for a day of unique content, experiential processes and interactive group exercises
covering critical issues not generally addressed in traditional counseling or support group settings.


Who Should Attend:

. Physicians, nurses and medical staff
. Counselors and psychologists and social workers
. Hospice professionals
. Spiritual seekers and mystics
. Bereaved individuals and caregivers
. Anyone working with death, dying and bereavement

Six CE credit hours for social workers, nurses,

psychologists, counselors and more!

The entire program will be recorded,
and registrants will receive a link to the recording.

 CE credits can only be given for live attendance.


Image: Death Listens by Hugo Simberg

Death Listens - Hugo Simberg

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022
9 am – 4:30 pm Pacific
11 am - 6:30 pm Central

12 pm - 7:30 pm Eastern

Six CE Credit Hours for Nurses, Social Workers, Counselors and More




CE credits can only be awarded for LIVE attendance

2022 Presenters

Terri black FULL


Spiritual But Not Religious: Alternatives to Traditional Practices
Terri Daniel, DMin, CT, CCTP

Dr. Daniel will discuss how our embedded theological assumptions impact the way we respond to  loss and grief. Based on Fowler’s research on Stages of Faith Development, this presentation will examine common Western psycho-spiritual beliefs and how the experience of loss -- and a resulting "crisis of faith" can lead to a shift in theological thinking that can be beneficial to the healing process.

Wyatt photo
Heart and hands

When God Doesn't Help
Brian Smith

If religion is supposed to offer solace to the bereaved, what happens when it does exactly the opposite?  Religious doctrines can not only contradict themselves, they can cause more pain and anxiety when the easy answers we were taught in Sunday school no longer suffice. How does a religious person cope with the idea that their non-believing loved ones are doomed to an eternity in hell? How does a parent who's lost a child reconcile the cognitive dissonance of a "loving god" who would take someone in the prime of their life?  

Spiritual Bypassing: Religion as Avoidance
Craig Cashwell, PhD

Spiritual bypass can be defined as a “defensive (usually unconscious) psychological posture cultivated by a tendency to privilege or exaggerate spiritual beliefs, emotions, or experiences over and against psychological needs, creating a means of avoiding or bypassing difficult emotions or experiences.” As such, grief and loss can be fertile ground for spiritual bypass which, at least for some, undermines the grief process and can have long-term negative psychological consequences. This presentation will focus on the phenomenon and manifestation of spiritual bypass, along with practical ideas about how to address bypass in support of those we serve. 


Toxic Theology at End of Life - An Islamic Perspective
Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, PhD

The normative sources of the Quran and the practice of the Prophet (Sunnah) render Islam a way of life that guides living and dying. However, toxic interpretations of Islamic sources and certain cultural practices can complicate the mourning process. The religious beliefs of the bereaved, the influence of family members and friends, a lack of social support, and under-developed Islamic spiritual care and competency skills can create conficts and challenges in caring for Muslim clients. The presentation will address the impact of Quranic interpretations and cultural practices of fatalism on end-of-life choices and practices.

When Hope is Harmful
Karen Wyatt MD

The interpretation of "hope" can exist on a spectrum, from miracle cure to peaceful death, and because it means different things to different people, it is not necessarily a helpful idea at end-of-life. Hospice physician Karen Wyatt will share her concerns -- and current academic research -- about why hope is such a controversial term, and how it is misused and misunderstood by doctors who resist referring patients to hospice, and patients who cling to false hopes and are not able to be in the present moment at end-of-life.



Panel Discussion with Presenters:
Creating a More Spacious Spirituality for End-of-Life Care

Join our presenters in a discussion about how caregivers and professionals can support clients who are struggling with religious conflicts at end-of-life and throughout the grief journey.

Six CE Credit Hours for Nurses, Social Workers, Counselors and More

​Stay informed about future workshops, classes and events!

Symposium Agenda
(Speakers and schedules are subject to change without notice)


Call 503-957-7419 or email

Learning Objectives for This Course
At the end of this program, you will be better able to:

. Explain the significance of spirituality in the grieving process
. Discuss multi-cultural, interreligious death and grief practices
. Demonstrate effective end-of-life conversations
. Analyze religious risk factors for complicated grief
. Assess case histories related to toxic theology


Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals

• CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

• The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

• LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

• SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain this document for 4 years after the course concludes.

SCA is an approved CE provider for National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (CEP Number 100196)

• For questions about enrolling in CE or receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Terri Daniel at

For other questions about CE contact David Lukoff, PhD at