Acknowledging Losses: Supporting Healthy Grieving in Addiction and Recovery

Dr. Catherine Hajnal

Date: September 7th 11:00 am Studio 417


Consider that addiction and recovery have losses. We grieve because we have lost someone, something, or some state of being that mattered to us. Maybe there are no beginnings without endings. What if naming our losses is an important part of grieving? And what if grieving itself is an important part of recovery and healing? In order to better support those in recovery, it is essential to understand what healthy grieving is and as part of that, what constitutes a loss.

In this workshop we’ll explore what healthy grieving is and we’ll deepen our understanding of loss from the three perspectives of pre-addiction losses, losses associated with the addiction, and losses associated with entering treatment. This will include consideration of chronic sorrow or infinite loss associated with ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and chronic conditions – not uncommon in the realm of addiction.

Learning Objectives:

1) Define the profile of healthy grieving
2) Identify typical losses in the context of addiction and recovery
3) Define chronic sorrow and chronic loss in the context of Adverse Childhood Experiences


As a Grief Educator, Speaker, and Consultant, Dr. Catherine Hajnal fosters an understanding of loss, supports the process of grieving for individuals and organizations, and invites stepping into the transformative potential of grief. She has been engaged with health and well-being since her doctoral work in Human Factors Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Catherine draws on an array of approaches from Organization Development, Business Process Reengineering, Project management, Quality Management, Human Factors Engineering, Experiential Learning, Improvisational Theater, Non-violent Communication, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Life Skills, Hospice and Palliative Care, and Grief Models. More information about Catherine and her work can be found at:

Recovery Capital Conference of Canada
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