• Grief Counseling

    I offer individual grief counseling for women whose hearts feel broken.

    Unexpected endings can be one of the hardest things we have to bear, as humans. Losing someone we love, either by death, a relationship ending, or in some other way, is one of the highest ranking items on the “life stressors” scale, ranking just behind the loss of a child. However, we’ll often put off grief counseling because it can just feel So. Damn. Painful. We worry that if we open those floodgates, we might not ever be able to turn them off again, and we fear that we might be riddled forever with the depression and anxiety that can come from an unexpected loss. Counseling for grief and loss can truly help us to rethink our place in the world and to honor the person we’ve lost. By allowing time and space to process this change in our lives, grief and loss counseling can be a critical step toward healing. But let’s face it – grief is grief is grief.

    Another source of grief can be the loss of identity as we’ve known it or the onset of an identity crisis. Even though you may have wanted to get married, you may grieve the loss of your identity as a single person. Even though you may have wanted a baby, you may grieve the loss of your couplehood. Even though you’re thrilled to watch your kids growing up, you may grieve the loss of your active role as a parent to a little one. Even though you were so excited to be a stay-at-home mom, you may grieve the loss of your professional identity.

    Grief can look like:

    • Irritability and hostility with others’

    • Moments of unanticipated rage

    • Feelings of hopelessness and despair

    • Numbness

    • Physical pain in the body

    • Daydreaming about an alternate reality in which your life has not changed

    • Unexpected crying, tearful jags

    Healing from grief can look like:

    • A renewed sense of hope for the future

    • Peace of mind in daily life

    • Clarity of a vision for the future

    • Processing surrounding the loss of the person or relationship

    • Motivation to support others in their healing process after a loss

    Grief counseling often includes:

    • Narrative therapy, re-authoring the story we tell ourselves about the loss and about what life can look like in the future

    • Creating rituals and traditions that honor the memory of the person or relationship

    Sometimes people seek grief counseling for things other than death, such as:

    Dealing with Divorce.

    Though we all know that divorce is common, many of us believe it would never happen to us. Whether married or not, the end of a relationship is extremely painful. Grief counseling to get through a divorce can be a first step in rebuilding when you never thought you would need to do so. Healing from divorce may be painful, but it’s possible, and I’m with you every step of the way.

    Surviving Sexual Violence.

    Any kind of sexual violence or sexual assault can lead one to experience grief. Often, when a woman has gone through a sexual assault or experienced sexual violence, she can feel extreme grief over the loss of a feeling of safety and security – in her surroundings, in her judgment, and in her own body. Counseling for grief after a sexual assault can be very important in reconciling and processing what happened, and can put you on the path to healing.

    Loss of Identity.

    Losing one’s job, becoming a mother, or just going through that mid or quarter-life FOOP feeling can bring up feelings of grief or regret. We may reflect on our lives and wish we had made different choices or done things differently. We may grieve friendships that have fizzled as our lives have changed. All these things tap into grief. If this sounds familiar, let’s talk.

    Resources for Grief in Franklin County, PA

    Groups:

    Based in Shippensburg, PA, local non-profit organization, The Drew Michael Taylor Foundation, runs support groups for kids, teens, and adults. Some are even crafty!

    Books:

    It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand, by Megan Levine

    Available on amazon.com or at Target