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Grief & Loss

Regain Control to Move Forward

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” Old English Proverb.

Have you experienced a loss & felt:

  • Your life will never be "normal" again
  • You are struggling with making sense of this loss
  • Don't know what the "new normal" is & want the old one back anyway
  • Feel paralyzed, depressed, relieved, guilty perhaps all at the same time
  • In a fog & unable to think let alone make decisions

According to the dictionary, grief is "the anguish experienced after a difficult loss, usually the death of a beloved person." Yet experiencing grief & loss is not just about the death of a loved one. There are so many types of loss that we all experience throughout our lifetime. The loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of our health, loss of the plans we had, loss of the life we expected, loss of fertility, loss of a pet, just to name a few.

Therapy is an effective way to identify, & then learn to cope with, your grieving process. Everyone experiences this process differently, depending on who we are, what we have prevously experienced, & what type of loss we have. Recent loss is different than past loss but both can be paralyzing. Both can affect your day-to-day, your work, your relationships, you. And you know this, which is why you want change. You want to take back control. And you can. 

Stay connected to what was lost but regain control of your life

You don't want to move forward. You don't want to find that "new normal." You don't want to let go. You also know life will never be the same & need help understanding, moving forward & taking control of what you can control.

  • What would it be like if you could think of your loved one, or loss, & smile instead of cry?
  • What if you could integrate new meaning into the relationship with positive feelings & memories?
  • Do you think you could move forward knowing the door is not closed, but that the relationship is & always will be an important part of you?

With work, & time, this can be. You can control the what's next for you.

I help those grieving to identify what they are feeling, make sense of the process as best they can, & begin to heal. You will never stop missing your loved one but we will look at ways to heal & also remain connected to what has been lost through memory, reflection, ritual, & expression.

One method I use is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) to help you with the significant pain you are feeling. It helps you move through the grieving process by integrating the grief into the narrative of your life so that you are not as triggered & are able to move forward in a productive way. But EMDR is not the only method I use.

Therapy for grief can help you...

  • Express your grief
  • Let go of the irrational responsibility for the loss or what you did or did not do, or said or did not say
  • Shift the relationship you had without losing the memory of it
  • Understand you do not have to close the door to that relationship, but can move forward with that relationship as a part of you
  • Take control of your life moving forward

"Death ends a life not a relationship" - Mitch Albom

Q: What's the difference between grief & mourning?

A: These words are often used interchangeably. Mourning is the outward, physical showing, or expression, of grief. Grief is the internal pain that one feels.

Q: I'm sure I will never get over this loss, what do I do?

A: Take it easy on yourself. It's not about "getting over" a loss. It's about finding & learning to live with a "new normal." You will always think about & remember your loved one. You will always have some sadness in these thoughts. The goal is to also be able to smile in these thoughts. Maybe not all the time, but at least some of the time.

Q: My loved one hasn't died yet, why do I feel like I'm grieving?

A: This is called "anticipatory grief." This often happens when someone you love has a terminal illness, has been put in hospice, or has a disease like Alzheimer's. Very normal to feel this. Your mind is grappling with this change & trying to help you adjust.

Q: The person I lost was a horrible person & we had a terrible relationship. Why am I sad about this loss?

A: Everyone experiences loss, at some time. The person we lose, the situation that ends, is not always a good, happy one. But you are still affected by the loss. You are also lossing what you wanted the relationship to be, but it wasn't. The goal is to regain control in an uncontrollable situation. To understand the good, bad, and ugly of the loss & move forward with a better understanding & acceptance.


EMDR for Grief

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly successful technique used to treat grief & other challenges. EMDR is a type of psychotherapy technique that is proven to help people recover from the trauma of loss by helping the brain "reprocess" the memories that are causing pain & to be stuck. Often memories of loss are seen in "frames," each frame seen as separate from the others. EMDR helps bring those frames together to decrease the trauma of each individually to improve your emotional health. It does not alleviate the memories or even the pain, just alters how you experience them. 

Walk & Talk Therapy

Often getting out into nature helps us understand & process many things, including a loss & the grief.

Walking helps release endorphins, chemicals in your brain that act as natural mood lifters. Walking in nature helps boost mood & restore mental focus, which is very helpful when grieving.

By getting closer to nature, you can begin to feel closer to your lost loved one. This form of therapy can be very helpful for your mood, thinking, connection.

Let's connect and get started!