AAS/AFSP Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program

Overview    Sessions & Registration   Trainer
Education Units (updated 9/22/2016)

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The suicide of a loved one can have a profound and sometimes devastating impact on those left behind (often referred to as "suicide survivors"). Bereavement after suicide may entail high levels of guilt, regret, anger, and even trauma. Survivors sometimes also find their relationships with other people changed, as they struggle with social stigma and the altered family relationships that have been affected by the feelings of guilt, blame, and responsibility that suicide may engender. Survivors may also be at risk for elevated rates of complicated grief and future suicidality themselves. All of this makes surviving the suicide of a loved one a potentially life-transforming experience that requires a level of support that often goes beyond traditional grief counseling.

Yet one of the most difficult problems faced by survivors of suicide loss is finding mental health professionals whose education, training, and professional experience has equipped them to work effectively with survivors. Very few mental health training programs devote any time to educating clinicians about the challenging work of helping survivors cope with this tragic loss.

Program Description
Developed jointly by the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and John R. Jordan, PhD, one of the world's leading experts in this area, the Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program is a one-day workshop that provides a focused overview of the impact of suicide on survivors, and the clinical and support responses that are needed.


Topics to be Covered:

  • The psychological impact of suicide on survivors and common themes in the bereavement of survivors
  • The impact of suicide on family functioning
  • What research with survivors tells us is needed
  • The tasks of loss integration and recovery for survivors
  • Principles of longer term clinical work with survivors
  • Examples of specific clinical techniques for use in grief therapy with survivors


Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least five common themes in the impact of suicide on survivors
  • List tasks of psychological re-integration after suicide
  • Describe several options for intervention with survivors
  • Describe three categories of clinical technique with survivors


Sessions & Registration

We are hosting two sessions of this training. These sessions are identical, and only one sessions should be attended. Please understand that although this training is open to anyone, it is specifically intended to instruct clinicians such as (psychologists, LMFT, MFT, LCSW, etc.) on how to best assist those struggling with grief following a suicide loss. This is not intended to be directly therapeutic for attendees. Those encouraged to attend include but are not limited to: survivors of suicide loss, professionals and paraprofessionals that support clinicians, school counselors, clergy and chaplains, and anyone interested in learning more about grief after suicide loss.

Session 1 - Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Eventbrite - AAS/AFSP Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program

Session 2 - Date: Thursday, June 30, 2016

Eventbrite - AAS/AFSP Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program


Location for both sessions

Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino - Salt Grass Conference Center

17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore, CA 93245 (map)


Schedule for both sessions

Morning Registration Sign-in: 8:00 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.

Morning Session: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Mid-morning break: 15 minutes

Lunch Break: 11:30 to 12:30 a.m.

Afternoon Session: 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mid-afternoon Break: 15 minutes

Training Concludes: 4:30 p.m.



John (Jack) Jordan is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he has specialized in work with survivors of suicide and other traumatic losses for more than 35 years. He is the Clinical Consultant for Grief Support Services of the Samaritans in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Professional Advisor to the Survivor Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He is Co-Chair of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. This Task force has recently released postvention guidelines for the United States, titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines (bit.ly/respondingsuicide). For over 30 years, Jack has provided training nationally and internationally for professional caregivers, and has helped to lead many healing workshops for suicide survivors. Jack has published over 50 clinical and research articles, chapters, and full books in the areas of bereavement after suicide, support group models, the integration of research and practice in thanatology, and loss in family and larger social systems. He is the co-author of four books: “After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief – 2nd Edition” (2015 – self-published); “Grief After Suicide: Coping with the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors” (Routledge, 2011), “Devastating Losses: How Parents Cope With the Death of a Child to Suicide or Drugs” (Springer, 2012); and the newly published “Attachment Informed Grief Therapy” (Routledge, 2015).

Learn more about Dr. Jordan by visiting his website: click here


Education Units


This training is intended for clinical professionals seeking to bolster their knowledge and understanding of -- and empathic regard for -- people bereaved by suicide. Clinical professions for which 6.5 hours of CE credits are available if desired include: physicians/psychiatric nurses, psychologists, certified counselors, social workers, and California-licensed marriage and family therapists. While designed for clinical professionals, the training is also open to clergy, pastoral counselors, school personnel, and interested others. The workshop will include didactic and video presentations, group discussion, and case examples.

This program is sponsored by the American Association of Suicidology.  The American Association of Suicidology is an organization approved by the American Psychological Association to offer 13 Continuing Education Units for psychologists.  The American Association of Suicidology maintains responsibility for this program.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of Michigan State University and American Association of Suicidology. Michigan State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Michigan State University designates this live activity for a maximum of 13 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (provider #886455354).

American Association of Suicidology has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5607. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AAS is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Mandatory CEU Forms

American Psychological Association     California Board of Behavioral Sciences     National Board of Certified Counselors

If no CE's are needed, a Certificate of Attendance is available.

These forms should be completed and emailed (click here), or faxed to (559) 733-6044, or mailed to:

Tulare & Kings Counties Suicide Prevention Task Force
Attn: Noah Whitaker
5957 S. Mooney Blvd.
Visalia, CA 93277