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Professional Development

Event Details - Grief, loss, transition and change: Creative ways of working with children, adolescents and adults to promote mental health

Title: Grief, loss, transition and change: Creative ways of working with children, adolescents and adults to promote mental health
Type of Activity: Workshops & Seminars
Objective of Course / Workshop:

This two-day workshop invites you to experience for yourself a range of creative techniques for working with loss. Anthony has been delivering this popular workshop for 30 years (with updates).  He has facilitated over 80 of these workshops internationally, primarily in the UK.  

The number of participants is limited to facilitate an intensive learning experience.  

This course is designed for clinicians and has been highly evaluated by participants, including psychologists, clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, counsellors and psychotherapists.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course participants will have:

·   Reviewed and developed their skills in working with children, adolescents and adults who are bereaved or experiencing loss resulting from transition or change

·   Gained confidence in using a range of creative ways for working with young people and adults including art, writing, salt sculptures, story telling and other experiential approaches

·   Explored how these techniques can be used in individual, family and group contexts

·   Developed skills in assessing when normal grief reactions become disorder and choosing appropriately from a spectrum of interventions

·   Considered approaches to working on loss from a number of treatment perspectives including Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness

·   Identified social, cultural, psychological, spiritual and biological factors in grief and loss work

·   Explored how the theory of grief and loss can inform their work in practical ways

·   Considered risk and protective factors (including attachment style), resilience and the evidence of effectiveness for interventions

·   Increased their awareness of the possible impact of this work on themselves as workers and developed strategies for coping with this.

Course / Workshop Outline:

Day One

Introductions and building safety

Principles of good practice

Holistic assessment and a developmental perspective

Differentiating normal and complex grief

Matching the level of assistance offered to the client's need


Reactions to loss and coping strategies - experiential learning exercise

Creative ways of working with children and families on grief, loss, transition and change

Day Two

Experiencing creative ways of working on grief, loss, transition and change

  • Drawing/art

  • Stories

  • Writing about a loss

  • Salt sculptures

Theory and research

Cultural and diversity issues

Interventions, including Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Impact on the worker and support

OPD points: 10
Course / Workshop content:

Learning methods

A significant portion of the course comprises experiential learning. Participants are invited to experience creative therapeutic techniques, including stories, art and salt sculptures (a craft activity), utilising real material from their own lives. This will take place individually with the option of reflecting on the process in pairs and small groups.

Experiential learning in this context has the dual purpose of:

1)    giving clinicians direct experience of the potential power and subtleties of these techniques to inform their work with clients;

2)    increasing awareness of ways in which the clinician’s own experience of loss may influence them when working professionally on issues of loss and transition, eg in terms of countertransference and self-care.

The course briefly reviews the latest available research, combining this with practical skill development through interactive learning experiences and comprehensive course handouts.  A range of learning methods are utilised including: didactic presentations, experiential exercises, small group activities, video and self-reflection. 

NB Participants will derive maximum benefit from the course if they are willing to reflect on their own feelings, attitudes and beliefs.

Feedback from Australian participants

Anthony will take you on a journey where others fear to tread – be prepared to be trained in a safe, caring yet informative workshop that will be different to anything you have ever experienced. There was so much in this course that I loved.  Anthony did any extraordinary job and I feel very privileged to have been part of this.

Diane Manns, Manager, Sutherland Shire Family Services

"This was an amazing workshop presented beautifully by Anthony. The interactive activities evoked some deep emotions which helped me to understand how powerful this kind of work can be."

Robyn Zelvis, School Psychologist, NSW Department of Education

"It was one of the most valuable courses I have been on." 

Alyson Officer, School Counsellor, Illawarra Christian School

“I appreciated the theoretical perspectives on grief and loss in combination with practical strategies for working with individuals whether it be children, adolescents or case workers/employees.  In addition the well sequenced experiential aspect of the training helped participants to connect in a very personal, yet safe way, to the core concepts of loss. Networking with the mix of participants led to helpful exchanges of knowledge, issues, skills."

Kath Jones, Social Worker/Manager Sutherland Shire Family Services

"A complex topic handled with knowledge, sensitivity and poised presenting skills".

Kaveri Rutherford, District School Psychologist, NSW Department of Education

"The most useful aspect of the workshop for me has been the amazing info ..., especially when dealing with other cultures!

Personally I derived great delight and healing from doing the projective work and getting other ideas e.g. quilts. Also didn’t realise til then that I was holding on to some unresolved issues that are now dealt with."

Jude Calland-Green, School Psychologist, NSW Department of Education

"Spending two days with such a lovely group of people and such an experienced, authentic and relaxed presenter, it would be impossible not to have made personal and professional growth".

Althea Phillips, School Psychologist, NSW Department of Education

"As a trainer of 10 years, I know how difficult it is to create a safe and sharing environment, especially so quickly.  I am intrigued how it came about as it worked really, really, really well. I loved the workshop and couldn’t recommend any changes at all! The combination of theory, stories and practice were well balanced and Anthony crafted the days brilliantly. He made everyone feel comfortable, valued and safe so that the group as a whole was supportive.  I have recommended this workshop to many people."

Margaret Shaw, Trainer and Behavior Support Practitioner, TAFE and Department of Ageing, Disability and Homecare

"An insightful and practical course to improve my understanding of my own and others experiences of grief and loss. Highly recommended."

Erin Zammit, School Psychologist, NSW Department of Education

"An excellent workshop which was skill based to provide practical ways to work with young people experiencing grief. Highly Recommended."

Peter Aldrick, District Guidance Officer, NSW Department of Education

Start/End Date: 13/12/2018 to 14/12/2018
Time: 09:00:00 - 16:30:00
Presenter / Provider: Anthony Hillin B Soc Stud (SW), M Adol MH
Contact Name: Colin Bisset or Anthony Hillin
Contact Phone: (02) 9523 3567
Contact Email:
Qualifications: Certified IPT Trainer, Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute

About the trainer

Anthony Hillin, B Soc Stud (SW), M Adol MH, has over 30 years’ experience as a clinician, trainer, writer and consultant in child, adolescent and adult mental health and emotional and social wellbeing. While based at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry for 12 years, Anthony co-developed Australia’s most comprehensive interagency training program in adolescent mental health for the NSW School-Link and Queensland Ed-LinQ initiatives. Anthony delivered this suite of five two-day workshops in depression, anxiety and related disorders to over 4,000 mental health clinicians, including school and TAFE psychologists. Anthony also co-developed and delivered the NSW Aboriginal Grief and Loss Training Program.

Anthony grew up in Sydney.  He worked in the UK for 17 years, initially as a social worker and senior youth worker. Anthony helped to establish some of the UK’s first organisations dealing with HIV and LGBTI issues. He then worked for 10 years as a freelance trainer and consultant. After relocating to Australia, Anthony was employed as a counsellor with the Family Court of Australia and manager of a child and adolescent mental health service. 

Anthony has conducted 15 teaching tours of the UK focused on grief and loss, mental health, team building and organisational change. His training and consultancy has been commissioned by over 100 agencies in Europe, USA, India and New Zealand. Anthony is a certified trainer in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) with the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute and in addition to providing training in IPT in Australia and the USA he provides clinical supervision for therapists.

Address: Sydney
Address 2: Croydon Park Club, 55 Seymour St
Suburb: Croydon Park
State: NSW
Postcode: 2133
Parking: Free
Is there disability parking and entry? Yes
Are meals included with this event? Yes
If yes, what meals? Morning / Afternoon Tea & Lunch
Registration URL:
Cost ($): $590 early bird (before 15 November), or $660 full fee
Registration Instruction (if applicable):

Member Associations

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