Grief and Mourning: The Lessons and Gifts
(c) Sherrill Valdes, LCSW

New Workshop Offered  by New Trainer on:
November 21st, 2014 – 8AM to 3:30PM – 6 CEUS

No one is immune from loss. Everyone has experienced loss in their lives and most are aware of how it affected their feelings and behaviors as well as their sense of safety and security. They may wonder who they are after the loss. Some losses such as divorce, loss of a child or parent or suicide may never be discussed by the mourner and may be missed by professionals. Today there are more unpredictable violent and sudden deaths such as mass murder, combat experience and natural disasters.

Clinicians may have people who present in the grieving process and need help moving on. People often seek physical and mental health care without recognizing that there may be a grief issue underneath. The grief response occurs whether or not we understand the perceptions, rules, values and norms that support or prohibit it. The lack of support from loved ones and community or stigmatization about the loss can be unbearable and challenging for the mourner.  The mourner often copes with loss alone. When grieving does not happen, it can turn to complicated grief, pathological mourning and impact physical wellbeing and mental health. The economic and social cost of complicated grief and mourning extends to into the family and social network, work place and society.

This workshop focuses on increasing awareness in our personal and professional lives of the phenomenon of both uncomplicated and complicated grief and mourning in order to help those who mourn resolve their grief in a healthy way. Assessments, approaches to treatment, treatment modalities and DSM5 information are discussed. A combat experience of complicated grief and PTSD is used to understand the mourner’s needs after suffering loss from unpredictable violent and sudden death.  Their needs are explored in the therapeutic relationship. In this relationship, the journey turns to mending the heart and soul. The importance of this relationship tone is revealed and expanded.

Read more about the workshop and/or register here:
ead about Sherrill Valdes here:


© Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW

September 11, 2014

While preparing to provide the new Renewal Florida Laws & Rules course I found approximately 15 law changes since 2010.  I focus on those changes when providing the course.  But, I believe that I am going to have to change that process.  It may be necessary to go further back to ensure that participants really know what the laws and rules say to guide us now, in 2014.

When was the last time you read the laws and rules that make up our practice act?  I recently had an experience that challenged my memory.  I remembered a law one way and misread the current law “seeing” what I thought was unchanged.  I reported that inaccurate information to graduate class this summer.  Thank goodness a couple students came to me to clarify my statement.  As soon as I could check I found the change to which they referred, reread the section and committed the main points to memory.  But, isn’t that part of our problem?

Having a good Memory is something in which most of us feel some pride.  However, our memories can be so helpful and so wrong! What we remember about various statutes and rules governing our professions and practices may very well have changed dramatically over the years since we became licensed.  Since 2013 I have been informally gathering pre-test information about the laws and rules associated with Registered Interns and supervision from participants in my Qualified Supervisor course.  Not one participant (of 28 questionnaires reviewed for this article) was able to answer all of the questions correctly at the beginning of the workshop.  For example, they do not know how many hours of supervision are required or how many clinical contact hours the supervisee will need to complete during the internship.  Other examples include their uncertainty about procedures for changing supervisors, reporting hours completed and whether or not a registered intern can have a private practice.  We spend a significant portion of the program reviewing relevant statutes and rules so that they know what to discuss with their future Registered Intern supervisees before and during supervision.

Interestingly, training participants nearly always state that they are concerned about their liability and possible malpractice suits related to their practices and, especially, in regards to supervision.  However, one positive risk management procedure for all of us is to read and know the laws and rules.  When was the last time you read the laws and rules?  We are not required to have the Renewal Laws and Rules course until 2019, but, is it prudent for you to wait?

– Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Barry University.  She is a continuing education provider in the state of Florida providing courses on professional ethics, laws and rules, supervision, mental health error prevention:  You can contact her at this link:

The educational commentaries provided by Dr. Waltz do not constitute a legal opinion.  If legal advice is needed, it is recommended that contact be made with an attorney qualified in the jurisdiction in which you practice or is applicable to your case.  We recommend that you use your knowledge of the law and your code of ethics in conjunction with this information (and any other) when deciding upon a course of action.


8-hour versus 3-hour Florida Laws and Rules Courses

August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014 Are you confused about the different Laws and Rules courses?  3-Hours versus 8-Hours?  Online versus Live? This commentary is intended to help clarify the current expectations associated with the relevant rules. Rule 64B4-3.0035 requires that applicants for licensure must demonstrate knowledge of the laws and rules for licensure by attending an eight […]

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What teaching means to me despite trials and tribulations. . .

June 23, 2014

I love teaching. I love the sharing of knowledge and challenges between the students and me. One of my strongest values which underlies all that I do is to promote a positive image for the profession and help new social workers develop professionally. Teaching social work courses is my newest way of doing that. Classroom […]

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Registered Intern’s Professional Identity and Compliance – A new twist!

May 13, 2014

Really! There is no legal acronym for registered interns use.  I swear it is true. Last month I wrote about the increasing use of an illegal acronym by registered interns which I had noticed in a group on LinkedIn.  Within two days of that article being published in a variety of settings I received a […]

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There is no such thing as RCSWI, RMHCI, RMFTI !

April 28, 2014

There is no legal acronym for Registered Interns under F. S. 491 in the State of Florida. Registered Interns must spell out their registration status as noted in our Rules Chapter 64B4 – 5.005(j) Failure of a registered intern to use the words “registered intern” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and […]

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President Obama Signs the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014

April 3, 2014

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. This new law prevents a scheduled payment reduction for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking effect on April 1, 2014. This new law maintains the 0.5 percent update for such services that applied from January 1, 2014 through March […]

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New CE Requirement for Renewal Laws & Rules course – deadline March 15, 2019

April 2, 2014

I just learned that the correct deadline date for the Renewal Laws & Rules course we licensed mental health professionals are required to take is March 15. 2019.  I apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused my training participants. New CE Requirement for Licensure Renewals Within the 30 required renewal CE’s, you must […]

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MHCounselor National Exam Debate – Retake the exam? Really?

December 24, 2013

I heard in one of my workshops recently that there is talk online that Florida LMHCs will be required to re-take (or take) the national NCMHCE exam.  After the workshop, I began to inquire about the rumor. I learned of no requirement from the State of Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family […]

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Legal Self Defense for Mental Health Practitioners

October 11, 2013

Legal Self Defense for Mental Health Practitioners Robert Henley Woody, PhD, JD Published by Springer in 2012 ISBN: 978-0-8261-9565-4 eBook ISBN: 978-0-8261-9565-1 This book has been a great resource for me and my continuing education program attendees.  So, I thought that I would share a review and description of its key features for all of you […]

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