Grief and Loss Articles

How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological Trauma

Friday, September 12th, 2014

How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological TraumaWhatever happens in our lives impacts our mind either consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes events — such as the unexpected death of a loved one, illness, fearful thoughts, near-death accidents or experiences — result in traumas. Psychological trauma causes damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event.

How Somatic Psychotherapy Helps

Somatic psychotherapy is one of the best ways to help patients suffering from psychological traumas cope, recover and live a normal life.

How You Can Find Gratitude When You’re Overwhelmed with Grief

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

gratitude

It’s pretty easy to feel grateful when good things happen. Win the lottery or fall in love? Easy. But what if you lose your spouse, or child, or even your job, how do we find gratitude then?

Scientifically, we know gratitude is strongly linked to well being. People just feel better when gratitude is part of the mix. It’s the feel-good fuel that urges us on to higher and higher ground when life is going well. But does it have even more benefit when used when healing from grief, or anytime life knocks you on your bum and you are having trouble getting back up?

What Joan Rivers Taught Us about Grief

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Wikimedia Commons / David Shankbone, 2010I was never a huge fan of Joan Rivers’ comedy routines — a little too coarse for my taste — but I always had a warm spot in my heart for the woman born Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She had the same glass-etching, Brooklyn accent as most of my mother’s family, with whom I shared summers in the Catskills. And, like Joan Rivers, my New York family’s idea of empathy was usually a heavenward eye-roll, followed by the expression, “Oh, please!”

Most fans of this indomitable woman know that she lost her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, to suicide in 1987 and that it took many years for her to work through her grief. The grief that follows bereavement — the death of a loved one — is among the deepest and most painful of human experiences.

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Remembering Loved Ones Affected by ALS

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

ice_cubes

I am impressed with the viral nature of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” but I’m wondering if people really understand its purpose above and beyond the fun of calling out their friends (and enemies).

This challenge is intended to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — but to me ALS means “my mom’s disease.” So, let me take you on a journey through ALS so you really know what it feels like in the hopes that you donate rather than, or in addition to, take the “icy way” out of the challenge. I challenge you to read this without crying — and then I call you out to raise awareness on what this craze is really all about.

Alive in My Dreams: Grieving During Sleep

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons/Devin SmithI dreamt I was walking out of a bar because I didn’t know anyone there and everyone appeared to be leaving. Outside I saw my friend Don speaking to someone. From the steps of the bar I dove into his arms and hugged him. He hugged me back and laughed. It sounded like him. It felt like him.

He turned to leave, and I took his hand. It felt like his hand. The sky was pink and purple like the sun was setting somewhere behind us. I said, “Wait, I have to tell you something before I wake up. I love you.”

“It’s so embarrassing,” he told me, like he didn’t want to talk about his suicide.

Suicide Is Not the Answer to Your Situation

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Suicide Is Not the Answer to Your SituationYou are at the end of your rope and you can’t take it any much longer. You are in pain and you are suffering and you feel there is no hope. The first thing that you need to do is to seek the services of a professional counselor.

As a published author of a managing fear book and as a Layman, here are five reasons why suicide is not an option to your problems.

Why the Death of Robin Williams Is So Hard to Accept

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Global PanoramaSadly, it’s nothing new — a celebrity either directly or indirectly ends their own life. It was Philip Seymour Hoffman, most recently; Heath Ledger, previously; and the list continues.

Now, Robin Williams is gone. Removed from the world directly by his own hand.

As much as I was moved by deaths of other celebrities who hold a place within me, there is something noticeably more difficult to accept with Robin Williams’ suicide.

Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Hopeful Lessons from Robin Williams and Kurt CobainI’m old enough to remember Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, and what a major cultural and news event it was.

Although there have been other celebrity deaths in the years since, it’s only now with Robin Williams that a suicide has had as much attention and social magnitude.

The differences over time are striking. Social media has changed the nature of news as well as the conversation about news, and blogs make it easy for anyone to publish online what once might have been op-eds and letters to the editor in paper newspapers and magazines. Retweets and faves on @unsuicide reached an all-time high this week, with more people interested in both learning about and sharing information on suicide prevention. Mashable noticed a powerful and far-reaching positive change in the dialogue about suicide.

Answering Children’s Questions about Foster Care

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Answering Children's Questions about Foster CareRecently, a colleague came to me for advice on addressing a very tough question from a child: Why don’t I live with mommy anymore? With roughly 400,000 children in out-of-home placements in the United States, this is a question that gets asked by hundreds of thousands of children every year.

If you’re a foster parent, you’ve probably answered this question many times. However, if you’re a relative taking custody of a child, this question may not be one you’ve prepared for. Instead of anxiously awaiting the child’s question, I recommend being proactive and facilitating a meaningful discussion with the child about the move.

Psychology Around the Net: August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

suicide-prevention-lifeline

This week’s Psychology Around the Net explores suicide and depression, happiness, and finding your life’s purpose.

Robin Williams Death Spotlights The Growing Risk Of Suicides Among Baby Boomers: Not only has Robin Williams’ suicide shined a spotlight on depression and how it can take hold of even those who make us happy, but also it highlights statistics not may are familiar with, such as the suicide rates among middle-aged Americans has climbed 30% in the last decade.

15 Myths About Suicide and Depression: Even though it’s more prevalent than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined, many people just don’t understand depression and the suicide risk.

Some Things We Might Learn from Robin Williams’ Death

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Plato Bust“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

As shock waves resulting from Robin Williams’ suicide begin to settle, we might reflect upon what we might learn from this tragic event.

Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author of the classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, reminds us that we may sink into despair and depression unless we find meaning in tragic circumstances. What meanings and wisdom might we gather as we mourn the loss of one of our great actors and humorists — and by all accounts, a kind and generous human being?

Building Empowerment After Sexual Assault

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Building Empowerment After Sexual AssaultHealing from sexual assault is a process, and recovery is different for everyone. When working with clients who have been sexually assaulted, I attempt to provide some general guidelines that may prove useful in their individual journeys.

The healing process is multifaceted. It involves:

1. Asserting boundaries related to disclosure.
2. Assigning accountability to the perpetrator.
3. Managing self-blame.
4. Realizing that many people lack education or experience related to dealing with survivors.

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