Tertiary qualifications

I have a Bachelor of Science Degree (University of Western Australia, 1990), a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Curtin University, 1994), a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology (Curtin University, 2009) and a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Curtin University, 2012). In terms of my PhD, I completed my doctoral research project in the field of bereavement. My research involved exploring how mothers had responded to the death of a child from cancer. After completing over 100 hours of interviews with bereaved parents, I was able to gain a greater understanding about some of the unique and complex ways that they had grieved their children’s deaths. In addition, when confronted with such a profound and devastating loss, I was able to identify some of the major ways that they had been able to restore and/or re-build meaning in their lives again, whilst continuing to live alongside their grief. These research findings, along the further research and clinical work in the field of bereavement, have become central to how I understand and work with grief reactions following all types of loss.

Grief-specific accreditations and training

I am currently completing training through the USA-based Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, leading to certification as a Meaning Reconstruction Therapist. I am also a Certified Bereavement Practitioner (CBP) with the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB). This certification is provided to practitioners who have undertaken specialised training in grief therapy. It provides a high level of assurance to the community, employers, clients and professional associates of the credentials and peer recognition of a bereavement practitioner. By certifying practitioners who meet high standards of professionalism and ethical conduct, the program assists in improving bereavement practice and clinical outcomes. Annual recertification has both continuing professional development and clinical supervision requirements.

In addition, I have completed the following training courses and presentations:

  • Dialogues with grief: Unlocking clients’ capacities for change – Dr Robert Neimeyer, March 2019
  • Complicated grief & the quest for meaning: New advances in research and practice – Dr Robert Neimeyer, March 2019
  • Grief and loss – Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, June 2016
  • Master class in grief therapy – Dr Robert Neimeyer, May 2016
  • Counselling clients with complicated grief – Dr Louis Gamino, May 2015
  • Presented a workshop on loss and grief – UWA Social Work Department, October 2013
  • Strategies of grief therapy – Dr Robert Neimeyer, October 2011
  • Grief, loss and the quest for meaning – Dr Robert Neimeyer, July 2010

Accreditations and professional memberships

  • Australian Psychological Society (APS)
  • APS College of Clinical Psychologists
  • Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA).
  • Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy (AACBT)
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB)
  • Institute of Clinical Psychologists (ICP)


Some of my published journal articles and workshop papers are listed below (Note: the journal articles can also be accessed directly from www.drnickgerrish.com.au):

Bailey, S. & Gerrish, N (2018) Loss and Optimal Adjustment to a Climate Changed World: A Role for Social Workers. Paper presented at Social Work Education and Social Development Conference Dublin 4th -7th July

Gerrish, N. J., & Bailey, S. (2018). Maternal grief: A qualitative investigation of mothers’ responses to the death of a child from cancer. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 1-45.
View the article

Bailey, S. & Gerrish, N. (2016) Loss and Optimal Adjustment to a Climate Changed World: A role for Community Gardens. Paper presented at Australian Grief and Bereavement Conference Bereavement in a Modern World: Global and Individual Perspectives. Melbourne, 11th–13th May

Gerrish, N. J., Neimeyer, R. A., & Bailey, S. (2014). Exploring maternal grief: A mixed-methods investigation of mothers’ responses to the death of a child from cancer. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 27(3), 151–173.
View the article

Gerrish, N. & Bailey, S. (2012). Using the biographical grid method to explore parental grief following the death of a child. Bereavement Care, 31(1), 11–17.
View the article

Gerrish, N. J. (2012). Using the loss characterization with bereaved parents. In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative practices for counselling the bereaved (pp. 169–171). New York: Routledge.
View the article

Gerrish, N. J., Steed, L. G., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2010). Meaning reconstruction in bereaved mothers: A pilot study using the biographical grid method. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 23(2), 118-142.
View the article

Gerrish, N. J., Dyck, M. J., & Marsh, A. (2009). Post-traumatic growth and bereavement. Mortality, 14(3), 226-244.
View the article