Park University’s Center to Advance the Study of Loss to Present Two-Part Series on Grief

Friday, January 17, 2014

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Dr. Laurel HillikerJan. 17, 2014 — The Center to Advance the Study of Loss at Park University will present a two-part series on grief, including providing mechanisms for coping with bereavement, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. Laurel Hilliker, Ph.D., executive director of CASL and assistant professor of sociology at Park University, will present the two sessions, which are free and open to the public.

Part one of the series, presented on Feb. 11, is titled, “Surviving Loss in the 21st Century Landscape.” This session will examine the common misconceptions related to grieving a significant loss, including the progression of the grief process and its unpredictability. In addition, Hilliker will present the current model of coping with bereavement, known as the “Dual Process Model,” by Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schut from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Hilliker will explore the challenges of grief in current society. Along with the grief process and coping mechanisms, strategies for survival will also be discussed.

Part two of the series on Feb. 25 is titled, “Challenges When Someone You Love Dies.” This session continues the discussion of experiencing the trials and tribulations of the grief process in a society that urges quick fixes to pain and suffering. Hilliker will explore how the challenges of grief are mitigated individually and collectively using a sociological approach. In addition, she will demonstrate healthy grieving patterns, along with recommendations for individuals struggling to find a hopeful future.

Hilliker’s research focuses on the sociology of dying, death and bereavement, and has authored a number of well-received articles in her field, most notably, “Social Psychological Perspectives on Altruism in Care Giving: The Schiavo Case and Beyond.” Hilliker is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

Reservations are not needed to attend the sessions. For more information regarding the series, or Park’s Center to Advance the Study of Loss, contact Hilliker at or (816) 584-6808.