524 – Grief and Addiction

Dealing with the “if only’s”
David Kessler

As a result of the opioid epidemic, the United States saw its largest recorded increase in overdose deaths last year, which is now officially the leading cause of death among adults under 50. What do we need to do differently for clients grieving for a loved one who overdosed? And how do therapists themselves deal with the loss of an addicted client? Full of strategies for healing after the trauma of loss, this workshop will help you explore:

  • Why addiction grief is often weighted in self-blame and guilt
  • How to help loved ones sort through the shame, isolation, and the roles they played in an addiction death
  • Particular tools for helping clients deal with addiction grief and the “if only’s” that accompany it, such as responsibility clarification and separating out the loved one’s voice from the addiction


David Kessler, MA, RN, is an expert on healing from grief and a contributing writer for Oprah.com, Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.com, Anderson Cooper 360, and The Huffington Post. He’s the founder of grief.com and the author of five books, including two with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace after Breakup and Divorce or Death with Louise Hay.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: David Kessler is president of David Kessler, Inc. He is an author for Simon & Schuster – New York and receives royalties. Mr. Kessler receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: David Kessler has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

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