Support for children and families who are grieving

December 2023

New webinar discounts now available for students

We are pleased to announce as of January 2024 we are implementing a $15 student discount for Dougy Center webinars. If you are a student and would like to apply for the discount, please email with proof of current enrollment (e.g., a student ID with year, class schedule with dates, unofficial transcript with dates etc.) and we’ll be happy to get you registered with your discount.

Grief education is an important component of Dougy Center's mission, reaching more than 10,000 people each year from the United States and around the world. Our education and training opportunities are available to anyone supporting children and families who are grieving. Find more here.

Join us for these upcoming webinars

Becoming Grief-Informed: Foundations of Grief Education

January 18, 2024

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., PST

presented by Monique B. Mitchell, PhD, FT

Being grief-informed sets the foundation for understanding and responding to the needs of people who are grieving the death of someone in their lives. Misassumptions lead to misunderstanding and mistreatment. Tune in for more information on this important topic, including the ten core principles of grief-informed practice.

Flawed Foundations, Deconstructing Three Contemporary Grief Constructs

February 8, 2024

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., PST

presented by Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT

Cost: $65/person

Registration closes 10 a.m., PST, February 7, 2024

Many practitioners in the field of thanatology have moved to embrace the American Psychiatric Association’s pathologizing of human experience through the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders addition of “Prolonged Grief Disorder.” The history of the movement to pathologize grief includes numerous examples of social constructs built on flawed foundations. This workshop will deconstruct three current social constructs (i.e., Inventory of Complicated Grief, Dysfunctional Pandemic Grief Scale, Grief as “Addiction”) and expose the cracks in their assumptions.

It's Complicated: Death, Grief, and Estranged Relationships

March 7, 2024

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., PST

presented by Jana DeCristofaro, L.C.S.W.

When someone dies, it is not uncommon for people to assume that our relationship with the person (or people) was a positive one. Navigating grief after the death of someone in our lives can be inherently complex, because relationships are complex. Just like grief, there can be complicating factors that make a loss even more challenging – especially mental health issues, abuse, substance use, unresolved conflict, or estrangement were involved. Join us in this webinar where we will discuss the challenges people face when grieving the death of someone with whom they had a complex and complicated relationship.

Learn more about these webinars and register
Webinars are $65 per person with discounted pricing when you register for three at the same time. Registration closes at 10 a.m. Pacific the day prior to the webinar.

Take advantage of group discounts for the introductory grief course Supporting Children, Teens, and Young Adults Who are Grieving

Is your team or organization interested in a group discount for our introductory course, Supporting Children, Teens, and Young Adults Who are Grieving? We offer a 10 percent discount for groups of five or more people who would like to register for our online grief education courses! For more information, contact us at and include “Group Discount” in the subject line.

Learn more about this course here

Register soon for the 2024 Virtual Professional Seminar

Join Dougy Center’s knowledgeable staff for an opportunity to explore the fundamentals of grief education across the lifespan. While the majority of helping professionals do not have formal grief education, the 2024 Virtual Professional Seminar, January 29 to February 2, will provide the tools and information to become grief-informed. Learn with colleagues from around the United States and beyond who support, or plan to support, children and families who are grieving. Space is limited to 20 participants.

Learn more and register

Dougy Center Trainings & Publications

National Presentations

Dr. Donna Schuurman and Cristina Chipriano presented a customized training on how to support students who are grieving for Kings Canyon Unified School District in Reedley, California on November 1, 2023. 

Pictured left to right: Dougy Center’s Cristina Chipriano, LCSW, Director of Equity & Community Outreach, Bernadette Sanchez, MSW, PPSC, District School Social Worker of Kings Canyon Unified School District, and Dr. Donna Schuurman, Sr. Director of Advocacy & Education.

Training Highlights

We love to hear from you!

Here is some recent feedback on Dr. Donna Schuurman’s presentation Flawed Foundations: Deconstructing Three Contemporary Grief Constructs for the National Alliance for Children’s Grief (NACG) on June 14, 2023:


“I will never miss an opportunity to hear Donna speak! I learn so much every time and use the information gained throughout the year with our programming, volunteers, and community.”

“This was an excellent presentation. The presenter was frank and open, and very knowledgeable. Eye-opening!”

If you have any comments or feedback on a Dougy Center training, please send them to


Mitchell, M. B. (2023, September 25). ‘To be ripped away from your family’ The impact of loss, grief, and relational connection for youth in foster care. The Imprint: Youth & Family News.

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