Restorative Retelling: Accommodating Bereavement After the Violent Death of a Loved One


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Wednesday, 15 October 2014



Restorative Retelling is a therapeutic group treatment approach to working with people who have lost loved ones to violent deaths. This model was designed to moderate internalized trauma and separation distress by focusing on three distinct processes within the group:  restoring resilience, retelling and commemorating the living memory of the deceased and self, and “exposing” and retelling the death story. In this webinar, we will explore how this model is applicable and relevant for torture survivors and how it can enhance the effectiveness of traditional therapy that addresses PTSD, anxiety, and depression in torture survivors.
The Restorative Retelling Model manual, “Accommodation to Violent Dying” is available for download from the Violent Death Bereavement Society. Click here to find the manual. Please review the manual prior to the webinar; the presenter will be prepared to answer questions related to how this model fits within the torture treatment context


After participating in this webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Describe how Restorative Retelling focuses on decreasing both the trauma symptoms and grief experience after a violent death of a loved one.
2. Understand the significance of the ‘retelling’ dynamic for torture survivors after a violent death.
3. Recognize how and when to use this model with torture survivors, taking into consideration the barriers survivors face when moving through the grief process.
4. Understand the characteristics needed of a group facilitator working with survivors in this context.
5. Learn how the Restorative Retelling model was applied with Iraqi and Syrian torture survivors in Jordan. 

Presenter: Laura Takacs, MSW, MPH 

Laura Takacs received her MSW and MPH from University of Washington in 2004. For the past 10 years, she has worked both in the United States and abroad with populations who have experienced trauma related to war, displacement, poverty and torture.  For 5 years she worked with combat veterans with the Veterans Administration.  She has also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria as a mental health consultant and with UNHCR in Kenya as the Senior Regional Staff Welfare Officer.  Ms. Takacs worked for the Center for Victims of Torture as a therapist and trainer in Amman, Jordan, providing direct therapy to Iraqi and Syrian torture survivors as well as staff training and development.  In 2011 and 2012, Ms. Takacs presented the Restorative Retelling model at peace conferences held in Amman, Jordan.  Currently, she works in Denver, Colorado at a refugee resettlement agency providing therapy to trauma survivors.


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  • Victims to Victory, Inc. | Contact: Katherine Lawson, Ed.D | Email:
  • Victim Intervention Program, Inc. | Contact: Margaret McAbee | Email:
  • Survivors of Violent Loss Network | Contact: Connie Saindon, MFT | Website:



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I am one of the Homicide co -

I am one of the Homicide co - victim from South Africa. I met with Connie Saindon whilst I was doing a research about murder support group, she allowed me to relate my story to her. After that she assisted me with her book, The Journey, of which I received it warmly.. I am still promoting this book in my country.

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