Grief and Loss Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

The Compass of Now

November 6th, 2014
Many books on the healing power of meditation belabor the importance of breathing and focused practice. In her new book, DDnard — the popular name of a spiritual guru in Thailand — concentrates instead on Buddhist parables. As DDnard explains in The Compass of Now: How One Woman Became Financially Free, Healed Wounds, and Inspired Millions of ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building Trust

Affair Recovery: Jealousy, Forgiveness and Building TrustWhat warrants a permanent breakup? What set of rules has to be breached and how badly, for two people, formerly attached to each other, to decide to part for good? The answer is different for every couple, but the only other emotional ...

Helping Women Cope with Infertility

Helping Women Cope with InfertilityI use various techniques when counseling women and couples during infertility. I begin by gathering information about the history and current status of infertility and treatment. I also gather personal and family history, and talk about the marriage and sex life of the ...

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially Hard

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially HardWhen we’re going through something difficult or stressful at home, it often spills into our workplace. This can get especially tricky when your work is being a therapist, an already-demanding job emotionally and mentally. In this month’s “Therapists Spill” ...

The Stop-Drop-Roll Method of Managing Infidelity

bandaid-for-marriage-in-crisisOften, the most seemingly unrelated day-to-day events give us opportunities to learn from our mistakes and help keep us from repeating them. Our local fire station recently conducted their annual fire safety lesson for my son’s third-grade class, complete with the shiny red pumper truck and fun ...

Depression Kills

Depressed manLast month, I was sitting on my sofa with my laptop when I saw the headline “Robin Williams Found Dead.” I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news and the loss. It seemed like such a conundrum as to why someone with his persona ...

Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

Flickr Creative Commons / francois karmA shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

Book Review: The Matchmaker

BOOK REVIEW.
The Matchmaker, Elin Hilderbrand’s new summer novel, brings readers back to the place where the sand is hot but the ground is healing — Nantucket. This beautifully written and thought-provoking story illustrates the power of love and emphasizes the notion that we have one life to live -- how can we make it ...

The Fog of Paranoia: A Sister’s Journey through Her Brother’s Schizophrenia

BOOK REVIEW.
When a loved one develops a mental illness, we sift through the sands of memory looking for clues. Running our hand through the fine grains, we examine past events, vague memories, comments made in passing. As we home in on a recollection, we ask ourselves: Was this the moment we knew something was wrong? Or ...

Emotional Wellness: The Other Half of Treating Cancer

BOOK REVIEW.
Your friend was diagnosed with cancer this morning. She is scared and you are scared. Distraught, you make a beeline to a bookstore, seeking guidance. As you browse through various books, you come across one that you think might help your friend because it provides practical, immediate tips to short-circuit fearful and anxious thoughts. Emotional ...

Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy

BOOK REVIEW.
What should we do when life hands us lemons? According to cognitive psychologist Raeleen Mautner, the answer isn’t to make lemonade, but limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur that, with its added kick, reminds us to motivate ourselves to make our lives better after loss. But while Mautner’s book dives into the topic of resilience with the ...

Substance Abuse: The Power of Acceptance

The Power of AcceptanceAccepting reality enables us to live in reality. What does this mean? When life pleases us and flows in accordance with our needs and desires, we don’t think about acceptance. But when our will is frustrated or we’re hurt in some way, our displeasure ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

The Trauma of Everyday Life

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times have you heard someone say, That was the straw that broke the camel’s back? We can try to rally to face big obstacles, but sometimes the day-to-day “little things” add up until, finally, one of those small things overcomes us. Then, it turns out, they were not such “little things” after all. In ...

Phantom Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis): The Mind-Body Connection

Phantom Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis): The Mind-Body ConnectionPregnancy is an exciting time for expectant mothers. It’s a high point in women’s lives and one that will bring great changes. It brings many physical and emotional symptoms. A woman may feel complete and fulfilled when she knows that she ...

The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss & Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
You never forget your first patient who dies. When I entered medical school, I knew death would be part of my education, that not every patient could be saved. I was in my third year of medical school and had recently come back from talking with a patient, assessing him for a possible surgery, when the ...

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas BluesThe stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or ...

How I Learned To Smile From the Inside

BOOK REVIEW.
“Hope is the only emotion that will keep us going even when all other lights have gone out, even when there is no end in sight, and the world is ending. Hope is what keeps us going each and every day. Never forget that hope is just as powerful as love. … [W]ith love and ...

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?Feelings of loss and anxiety about change when the last child leaves home are normal. But it often has been pathologized in popular culture as a disorder, disease or condition that needs treatment. Usually it’s not and it doesn’t. In fact, ...

Book Review: Leave of Absence

BOOK REVIEW.
“It’s okay to feel frustrated for having to deal with this illness, but don’t hate yourself because of it. This illness is only a tiny part of you.” Self-hatred is the central battle for characters Oliver and Penelope in Tanya J. Peterson’s heart-wrenching novel Leave of Absence. Peterson gives readers an inside perspective on mental illness and ...

Book Review: Gone: A Novel

BOOK REVIEW.
Cathi Hanauer’s Gone explores life’s pitfalls, changes and second chances, leaving the reader beautifully satisfied and content with the pages before them. The narrative alternates between the protagonists' contrasting viewpoints. Eve Adams must cope with the dawning realization that one night she’s wining and dining with her husband, Eric, and the next day she discovers that ...

Depression Commonly Strikes Seniors & Other Vital Facts About Depressed Seniors

Depression Commonly Strikes Seniors & Other Vital Facts About Depressed SeniorsThere’s a common belief that depression is a normal part of aging. It’s not. But unfortunately, it is prevalent among the elderly. A 2000 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry ...