First Bite #138 – March 02, 2021

Grace and Grief: Strategies for SLPs in this Season of Life

(.1 ASHA and AOTA CEUs) For more info, click here.

Course Description

In this episode, Michelle is joined by Lisa Bjelland MSW and Psy D, who works as a trauma therapist and Monte Torkelsen, M Div, President of Abba’s Child Grief Camps for an hour dedicated to finding grace in grief.  Y’all let’s be honest, the caregivers of our little ones that we work with can struggle through the various stages of grief.  We, the licensed SLP on the interprofessional practice team, can also struggle with grief, especially when the little ones that we work with pass on.  What are we to do? How can we help our caregivers? How can we help ourselves? Maintaining our emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual health is critical.  But simply finding the time to engage in the acts of self-care can in itself be a challenge for the busy SLP.  Today, Michelle, Lisa, and Monte hold the crucial conversation to help you bring healing, comfort, and joy into your being, so you are better equipped to help others.


By the end of this PodCourse, participants will be able to identify and describe:

  • The stages of grief and strategies to handle them.
  • Strategies to engage caregivers and their stage of grief.
  • Strategies for self-care when caring for others.


Lisa Bjelland MSW and Psy D

Lisa has an MSW and Psy D, and works as a trauma therapist in her private practice. Dr. Lisa has been involved in helping people heal trauma for over three decades and is passionate about what she does. She has been involved in running grief camps for kids for over 10 summers. During this season Dr. Lisa is teaching in the Masters of Social Work Program at Walla Walla University. She is involved in the International Red Cross and has responded to multiple natural disasters. Dr. Lisa has gone on many mission trips and provided one on one support and training for orphanages in Mexico, a hospital in Ebey, Micronesia, and community centers and family homes in Riga, Latvia.


Monte Torkelsen, M Div

Monte Torkelsen, M Div, has spent his career working with kids of all ages. As a Youth Pastor and Camp Director for over 25 years he has discovered that there is a kid living inside each of us. He is also the President of Abba’s Child Grief Camps and loves linking up camps and counselors to make it possible for children and families who are in the midst of unexpected grief to receive support and understanding in an outdoor camp setting.