Online: Partnering to Help People through Animal Loss

A Primer for Veterinary Teams and Mental Health Professionals

2.5 hours of NC Continuing Veterinary Medical Education Credit and RACE-approved
Endorsed by NASW-NC for 2.5 hours Social Work Continuing Education 

Veterinary professionals facilitate the death of patients – and confront the grief of their clients – with great frequency, but sparse training in how to work with death and dying.  Mental health professionals are also increasingly asked to counsel clients through animal crises and loss, despite a deficiency of formal education on the human-animal bond.

This online course will close the gap by providing veterinary practitioners and mental health professionals with a shared understanding of how animal loss affects the people we work with — and how we can collaborate to support them.  Current research on the human-animal bond and loss will be reviewed, and methods for working with animal death – both in the veterinary clinic and in the counselor’s office – will be presented through case examples.  Special attention will be paid to working with people whose animal loss is accompanied by complicated relationships and/or circumstances.  Finally, emerging standards and recommendations around pet loss practice will be presented in order that attendees walk away with real-time tools to better meet the needs of their clients and more effectively partner within their communities.

Presenter:  Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the stage, phase, and task models of grief as they relate to animal loss;
  • Effectively respond to the wide range of human reactions to animal loss and accurately assess situations requiring additional support/intervention;
  • Employ resilience-based methods of facilitating client grief, whether in the veterinary clinic, the therapist’s office, or a community service setting; and
  • Identify, and effectively partner with, community resources related to the human-animal bond and animal loss.

Section 1 & 2

  • “But this feels different…:” The human-animal bond and grief
  • The “HAB,” the life course, and family process
  • Understanding grief
    • Attachment
    • Stages, phases, and tasks
  • Animal loss and grief:  What the research tells us

Section 3

  • Supporting people through the loss of an animal:  tips and tactics
  • What people need:  information, preparation, closure, and ritual
    • Anticipatory grief and the end of life
    • The dying process
    • Client aftercare
  • Promoting resilience
    • Storytelling:  Making it real
    • Validation:  Making it legitimate
    • Meaning:  Making it matter

Section 4

  • Special issues and special populations in animal loss
    • Service animals
    • Working teams
    • Behavioral euthanasia
    • Chronic mental illness
    • Traumatic death

Section 5

  • Resources and final recommendations
    • When – and how – to make an effective referral
    • Emerging practice standards
    • Supporting the clinician:  training, supervision and case consultation

Presenter:  Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW

Partnering to Help People through Animal Loss
$50 for one month access

Upon completion of the lectures and post-test, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Please keep this certificate for your records.

Register Here