Mourning: Loss and Grief Treatment

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

 At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”
CS Lewis—A Grief Observed

What is Grief and Mourning?

In a way, the issues surrounding loss and grief fall into a unique category. Loss and grief can overlap with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma, or one can be in a profound state of grief without these overlapping clinical symptoms. Loss and grief are part of the mourning process; a process that is an organic part of a life well lived.

Loss or grief may be triggered by current events that tap into childhood issues or from a previous unresolved relationship. Loss and grief may emerge as a slow drip or it may come with a tidal force that knocks you off your feet. Different experiences in people’s lives bring on mourning. It may be the loss of a job, the separation from a partner or spouse, a parent who prepares their child for college, the realization of time passing or the expected or unanticipated death of a loved one. It is important to have or know how to find psychological and social support during this time.

I provide a sacred and safe space to feel, to silently sit, to find the unspoken, undigested words not yet found but needed for you to stumble your way back to yourself, to a more solid footing, and to a newly felt sense of meaning. I will help you to process through some of the complicated aspects of grief that can make it difficult to function day-to-day.

Please feel free to Contact Me for a complementary 10-minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.

What Determines How We Handle Loss and Grief?

Theorists and researchers illuminate how our earliest experiences (womb and first two years) influence how we develop emotionally and physically. This is a sensitive time for the development our social brain. We learn how to manage our feelings, which include how we feel about ourselves. We internalize from our caretakers. We develop our ability to trust and to develop resources. These models of caretaking during these pivotal periods become the template for future relationships and our reaction to our losses (separation, divorce, death). In our later development this foundation can be further complicated or healed by changes in our parent-child, family-child, mentor-child relationships.

All of these factors, in turn, affect how we react to stress and sets the foundation for our physical health. If grief is inhibited by early traumatic experiences then rebuilding our sense of meaning and life structure becomes more difficult and can lead to what is called “traumatic bereavement.” The good news is that these past experiences can be healed. How our brains are wired can be re-wired due to its neuroplasticity and our inherited human ability transform.

Grief and Bereavement Therapy Due To Separation and Loss

It is important to realize that grieving is something in which we must actively engage. It is not a series of stages that happen in step-wise fashion to you.   Grief work is a dynamic process that is both personal and social. The personal work entails making meaning out of the loss that can be fostered by creating a narrative. Grief is social. How our families and communities respond affect our ability to re-engage and re-connected to aspects of ourselves and to others.

Healing from loss and grief can only occur in the context of relationship(s), including a therapeutic relationship.

What You Can Expect from Therapy?

 I provide a safe, warm, non-judgmental and contained atmosphere for you to process your experiences, beliefs and emotions that may be contributing to the way your are mourning. I offer, in collaboration with you, feedback, recommendations and a treatment plan so that we may pursue the proper course of therapy and to re-evaluate them as the treatment progresses.

I work collaboratively with you and with any outside professionals whom we feel should be a member of your treatment team (psychiatrists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, and naturopathic doctors).

I am actively engaged in your therapy and an attentive listener, respectful of the space you wish or need to create. I provide an variety of therapeutic skills based on my 25 plus years of education, training, teaching and practice.

 In general, the goals of any good therapy is symptom reduction, gaining therapeutic techniques that you can apply outside of this office, and changing one’s internal landscape in order for growth, stabilization and self-regulation to occur.

Please feel free to Contact Me for a complementary 10-minute phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving