Pandemic Related Loss and the Incidence of Prolonged Grief Disorder: Are We Prepared?


Dr. Sonya Lott, PhD. | 1 CE hour

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant amount of death and non-death related loss and has also impacted the way in which we are able to grieve. As a result, some grief experts have predicted a significant increase in the incidence of disenfranchised, traumatic, and prolonged grief. Other grief experts suggest that despite the negative impact of the pandemic, the type of therapeutic intervention may also have a significant impact on offsetting this predicted increase in types of grief.

In this workshop, non-death, and death related loss because of the pandemic will be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own non-death losses. The ways in which Black and Indigenous People of Color and the aged have been disproportionately impacted by loss during the pandemic will be addressed.

Aspects of the pandemic that have complicated the grieving process and are expected to increase the risk for Prolonged Grief Disorder will also be a focus of the workshop. An overview of effective interventions based on theoretical models of grief will be offered.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. List three types of non-death pandemic related losses
  2. Analyze their own non-death pandemic related losses
  3. Describe at least three theoretical models of death-related grief.
  4. Explain the diagnostic criteria for Prolonged Grief Disorder
  5. Describe three ways in which aspects of the pandemic may increase the risk of Prolonged Grief Disorder
  6. Describe three effective clinical interventions for pandemic related grief.

Our Presenter

Sonya Lott, PHD

Sonya Lott has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. She has been licensed as a psychologist in PA since 1991. Since 2020, she has been licensed to provide telepsychology in more than 16 states through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board’s (ASPPB) PSYPACT program. With advanced training in Complicated Grief Therapy (CGT) from Columbia University, she maintains a private practice specializing in traumatic grief and prolonged grief disorder. She is also the founder of CEMPSYCH, LLC, which offers continuing education in multicultural psychology to mental health professionals. CEMPSYCH, LLC is approved as a sponsor by the APA to provide continuing education to psychologists.


Therapy Reimagined is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #132270). Therapy Reimagined maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We are working on additional provider approvals, but solely are able to provide CAMFT CEs at this time. Please check with your licensing body to ensure that they will accept this as an equivalent learning credit.