Dr. Servaty-Seib to focus on ‘Listening for the Stories’ at ninth annual Grief Seminar

Event: Ninth Annual Grief Seminar: “Narratives of Grief: Listening for the Stories”
Date and time: Friday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Church-Chapel Fellowship Rooms
Cost: $60 for professionals, $25 for students and seniors
Registration deadline: Sept. 26
Sponsored by: Goshen College Social Work Program in partnership with Ryan’s Place
For more information or to register: call (574) 535-7400 or e-mail margemb@goshen.edu.
Web site: www.goshen.edu/sowk/

GOSHEN, Ind. – The ninth annual Goshen College and Ryan’s Place grief seminar, titled “Narratives of Grief: Listening for the Stories,” will be held on Friday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Goshen College Church-Chapel Fellowship Rooms. The registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 26.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Heather Servaty-Seib, associate professor of educational studies at Purdue University and a licensed psychologist. She will present “Narratives of Grief: Listening for the Stories.” Servaty-Seib has published books in the area of death and dying, particularly dealing with adolescents. She maintains a small private practice counseling children, adolescents and adults who are struggling with loss issues. She is also the first vice president for the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the leading international organization of death and dying professionals.

During her keynote address, Servaty-Seib will focus on describing the narrative approach to understanding grief, the idea of meaning-making and how storytelling helps in this process and how a person can be truly present and listen to the stories of grieving individuals.

The seminar, especially recommended for social workers, educators, counselors, therapists, nurses, clergy and other human service professionals, is co-sponsored by Goshen College and Ryan’s Place, and will offer several breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon featuring qualified local therapists and practitioners. A panel discussion about pertinent issues raised throughout the day will conclude the event.

The seminar schedule includes: “Activities, Activities, Activities” by W. Rex Gleim, “The Power of Art in the Grieving Process” by David Labrum, “Children’s Stories of Grief” by Jennifer Miller, “Intercultural Thoughts on Grief: Reflections on the Latino Immigrant Experience” by Gilberto Perez Jr., “Ethics in Grief Counseling” by Rachel Schertz, “When Teenagers Experience the Death of a Friend” by Heather Servaty-Seib and “Transforming the Story: Therapeutic Work with Grief” by Crystal Whitlow.

The objectives for the seminar are for attendees to learn how to work with families who are experiencing loss and grief for a variety of reasons, learn about resource materials, establish a network of personal connections and provide hope in time of loss.

Seminar schedule
8 a.m. – Registration
8:30-8:45 a.m. – Welcome
8:45-9:30 a.m. – Opening session
9:30-9:45 a.m. – Break
9:45-10:55 a.m. – First morning session
11 a.m.-12:20 p.m. – Second morning session
12:15-1:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:15-2:25 p.m. – First afternoon session
2:30-2:45 p.m. – Break
2:45-4 p.m. – Panel discussion
4-4:30 p.m. – Completion of evaluation and awarding of CEUs

The cost of the seminar is $60 for the general public and anyone who wishes to receive CEUs and $25 for students and seniors. The registration fee includes lunch, snacks, a resource notebook and a continuing education certificate (six CEUs are available). This year, teachers may use the agenda as documentation of Professional Growth Points for license renewal.

For further seminar information, or to register, contact the Goshen College Social Work Department at (574) 535-7400 or e-mail margemb@goshen.edu.

– By Alysha Landis

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, ” Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.