1.5 CE credits earned with successful completion of the Post Webinar Quiz
Katherine Shear, M.D.
“An Introduction to Complicated Grief and its Treatment”
Title: Getting Grief Back on Track - An introduction to Complicated Grief and its Treatment
Presenter: Katherine Shear M.D., Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University School of Social Work, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the syndrome of complicated grief and methods for assessment.
2. Summarize the overall objectives and structure of complicated grief treatment.
3. Identify strategies and techniques for treatment of complicated grief.
Abstract: About 2.5 million people die every year in the United States alone, and 60 million worldwide. Estimating an average of three very close friends and relatives means at least 7.5 million people are bereaved yearly in the United States and 177 million people are bereaved every year around the world. The death of a loved one is a uniquely challenging life experience - one of the most difficult a person can face - yet most people find a way to come to terms with the loss, reshape their relationship with the person who died and restore a sense of meaning and purpose in their own lives. However, for an important subgroup mourning is derailed, leading to development of complicated grief (CG). CG can be reliably identified and is associated with substantial distress and impairment, including a high risk for suicidal ideation and behavior. Research suggests that people suffering in this way respond to a targeted treatment that addresses grief complications and also supports and revitalizes the natural healing process. The purpose of this webinar is to describe CG, discuss ICD11 and other criteria for the condition and to outline the development and testing of a targeted psychotherapy, along with some study results.
About the presenter: M. Katherine Shear, MD graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and attended Tufts University Medical School. After completing residencies in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and a research fellowship in psychosomatic medicine, she joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College. During her tenure at Payne Whitney Clinic she established the department’s first clinical research program in Anxiety Disorders. In 1992 Dr. Shear moved to the University of Pittsburgh where she served as Professor of Psychiatry until January, 2006. Her work focused on the development and implementation of funded research in anxiety disorders, depression, and grief, primarily in the area of psychotherapy studies. She has conducted studies and provided mentorship for research using a wide range of different psychotherapy methods including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, Rogerian reflective listening treatments for panic disorder, and IPT for depression with panic spectrum features.
Most recently, Dr. Shear has worked in the area of bereavement and grief. She recently developed a novel composite psychotherapy for the syndrome of complicated grief. Her work culminated in the publication of the first randomized controlled treatment study for complicated grief in June 2005. In September 2007, Dr. Shear received a $2.6 million five-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct the first clinical study to determine the effects of two different models of treatment for complicated grief in older adults. In August 2009, Dr. Shear received a $1.8 million five-year grant for a complicated grief multi-site treatment study examining the relative merits of antidepressant medication with and without complicated grief treatment.
Dr. Shear is currently the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is also the Director of the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia University School of Social Work.