A Powerful Clinical Connections Event: Family Survivors who have Lost a Loved One Due to Violent Death

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by Kalina Preston

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On Friday, February 27th a group of 30 students and alumni from Pepperdine and surrounding schools, gathered to hear Family Survivors Who Have Lost a Loved One Due to Violent Death a moving presentation by IGC adjunct faculty member George Nalbach, Ph.D and Connie Saindon, LMFT. Dr. Nalbach introduced a couple whose son was tragically murdered several years ago. The couple graciously agreed to join the presentation, and briefly shared their experience through their grief and loss.

Connie Saindon, LMFT, author of “Murder Survivor’s Handbook” and one of the few specialists in the field of violent death bereavement shared her extensive knowledge and experiences with individuals and families affected by murder. Connie shed light on the lack of resources for not only murder survivors but for therapists that may have client’s facing this tragic event.  Connie briefly summarized her Handbook, and shared clinical strategies to help client’s with their grieving process and different coping tools. Connie discussed and presented the Restorative Retelling Model.

As a listener, I was moved and impacted by the couple’s story and appreciative of their willingness to share their story and personal experience. While the content and discussion was heavy, saddening, and emotional, I felt most impacted and moved by the display of human resiliency and growth. It was inspiring to hear this couple’s journey through their grief and loss, what they have learned about the process, and what they have learned about themselves.

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