Facing Loss:

Reconstructing Meaning, Reconstructing the Self


A Continuing Professional Education Conference  featuring

Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer

 Thursday, Friday, & Saturday

February 1-3, 2007

Loss is a universal human experience, but relatively few health professionals have adequate training in understanding and working with loss. Loss occurs not only in natural disasters or and situations involving death, but when people go through divorce, retirement, moving, or other life transitions. In addition, the very threat or anticipation of possible loss can have a profound impact on individuals’ well-being and their sense of self and meaning.

This conference is aimed at psychologists, social workers, nurses, physicians, marriage and family therapists, chaplains, clergy and others involved in health care or helping professions. Participants will learn about types of loss, some of the effects of loss, and ways to help those facing loss.

To register by phone using Visa or MasterCard, call (812) 237-4011 or (800) 234-1639 Monday-Friday from 8:00 am—4:30 pm EST.


Conference Schedule


Thursday, February 1


Free Public Talk by Dr. Neimeyer:

Lessons of Loss:  Grief and the Quest for Meaning

7:00 pm, Room DeDe II, Hulman Memorial Student Union—ISU Campus


Friday, February 2


Continuing Professional Education Sessions

Landsbaum Center for Health Education


10:00 am: Death, Loss and the Quest for Meaning
Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer

12:00: Lunch

12:45 pm: Drawing on Spiritual Resources in Cancer Care

               Dr. Jean Kristeller

1:45 pm: Consequences of Loss Following Hurricane

              Katrina: Making Meaning in the Wake of Disaster

              Dr. Tom Johnson, Dr. Patrick Bennett

3:00 pm: From Behaviorism to Constructivism: The

               Impact of the Life and Works of Dr. Michael

               J. Mahoney

              Panel Discussion

4:30 pm: Wrap Up


Saturday, February 3

Full Day Continuing Professional Education Workshop

Landsbaum Center for Health Education

8:30 am — 4:30 pm

Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss

Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Psychotherapy in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has published 20 books, including Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss, and Lessons of Loss: A Guide to Coping, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of nearly 300 articles and book chapters, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process, both in his published work and through his frequent professional workshops for national and international audiences. 

 Neimeyer served as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on End-of-Life Issues, and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement.  In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, made a Fellow of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and given the Research Recognition Award by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. He is also an outstanding presenter and his workshops are always well received.

Friday Presenters

Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., HSPP

The following link is to Dr. Kristeller's Bio page: http://www.indstate.edu/psych/102.html

Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D., HSPP

 Dr. Johnson obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993 and did his Clinical Internship at the Indiana University Medical Center.  He is Professor of Psychology at Indiana State University and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality. His research on college student alcohol use has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In 2005, Dr. Johnson's was recognized by Indiana State University with the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award. Dr. Johnson is a licensed clinical psychologist and has done clinical work in Community Mental Health and Correctional Settings. He has been conducting workshops on Motivational Interviewing, End of Life Issues, Addiction Treatment, and other topics since 1993. At ISU he teaches courses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Theories of Addiction, Treatment of Addiction, and History and Systems of Psychology.

Patrick Bennett, Ph.D.

Degree: Social Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno

Research Interests/Specialties: Social Psychology; Psychology of Religion; Health

Dr. Bennett received his B.S. in psychology from George Fox University in 1996.  After a few years away from academia, he returned to school and earned his Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2005.  Dr. Bennett’s areas of interest include the social psychology of religion, social psychology of health, self and identity, statistics, and research methods.  His research focuses primarily on the interface between religion and health, with a particular emphasis on the impact of prayer about traumatic life experiences on physical and emotional health outcomes.  Dr. P. Bennett teaches undergraduate courses in statistics and research methods and he teaches a course on the psychology of religion.


Overview of Friday Workshops

Friday will begin with an introduction to the meaning reconstruction model by Dr. Neimeyer. Dr. Jean Kristeller will then describe an approach that medical staff can use in discussing spiritual concerns and resources with medical patients. This is approach is unique in that several studies have documented positive effects on patient well-being and patient-physician relationship. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Bennett will present data and offer clinical recommendations on religious and secular coping strategies that appear to reduce effects of hurricane related loss. Finally, a panel will discuss the work of the late Dr. Michael J. Mahoney, especially focusing on its implications for counseling and psychotherapy.

Overview of Saturday Workshop

A central process in grieving entails reconstruction of the bereaved person’s world of meaning.  Participants will explore this perspective through systematic presentation and "hands on" practice with meaning-making strategies.

Learning objectives

The learner will:

Educational outcomes

As a result of this workshop, the learner will be able to:


Limited seating available, so early registration is recommended.  Registrations will be accepted in the order received.  On site registration will be available if the conference is not full.

Public Talk Location

The Public Lecture on Feb. 1, will be held in Room DeDe II in the Hulman Memorial Student Union (HMSU) on the ISU Campus. HMSU is located at the corner of 5th and Chestnut.  For information on parking call (812) 237-3818.

Conference Location

The conference will be held at the Landsbaum Center at 1433 N. 6 1/2 St. in Terre Haute, IN, a new “state-of-the-art” facility.  A map and driving directions are available at: http://web.indstate.edu/thcme/Landsbaum/LandsbaumMap.pdf.

Registration Fee

Participants can register for one day (Friday or Saturday) for $40 or both days for $60.  The fee covers CE credits, continental breakfast and lunch. The conference is free to Indiana State University students, faculty, and staff, and to full time students enrolled at St Mary of the Woods, Ivy Tech (Terre Haute campus only) and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  Students enrolled at other colleges or universities receive a 50 % discount on the single day or two day rate. Proof of current enrollment is required. 

Continuing Education

Psychologists: The Indiana State University Department of Psychology is an approved provider recognized by the state of Indiana to provide Continuing Education to Indiana Licensed Psychologists. Six CE credits are available for Friday and 7 for Saturday.

Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists: We are attempting to arrange to offer Category I Continuing Education credits for LSWs, LCSWs, LMFTs, and LMHCs.

Materials have been submitted to offer CE’s to Chaplains.

We regret that we were not able to arrange to offer continuing education credits for physicians or nurses.  For clergy and other professions, we will provide a Certificate of Attendance. Keep checking this web-site for  updates. Participants must judge the program’s relevance to their professional practice. Attendance at the entire session and a completed evaluation form are necessary to receive the continuing education credit.

Getting to Terre Haute

Terre Haute is located off of I-70 at the Indiana-Illinois border.  Those traveling by air should fly into the Indianapolis airport.  Terre Haute is approximately one hour from Indianapolis. 

To register by phone using Visa or MasterCard, call (812) 237-4011 or (800) 234-1639 Monday-Friday from 8:00 am—4:30 pm EST.


Registration Form

Cost includes CE fee, lunch, and snacks. Cancellation policy — Cancellation must be received by January 20, 2007 or the fee cannot be refunded. To cancel call (800) 234-1639
registration form.