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Dealing with Grief, significant loss, identity confusion, mourning, traumatic loss, sudden Loss, support, understanding and acceptance

he loss of a significant person can be one of the most tumultuous, confusing experiences. Self doubt, loss of faith, hope, emotional and physical exhaustion accompany the death of a loved one. Navigating the bereavement process involves a delicate balance between grieving and moving forward to reconstruct a new life. Therapy provides support and structure to sort through the myriad of emotional reactions and the realignment of your priorities. Clients often want help with practical concerns, as well, such as communication with family and friends, explaining death to a young child, dealing with the aftermath of an illness and financial concerns.

Grief/Loss Services


Pregnancy Loss:
The loss of a pregnancy is devastating; encompassing the family in grief, sadness and confusion. The mother often blames herself, experiencing guilt that perhaps she did not want the baby enough; that her body betrayed her. She may fear that she will not be able to bear a healthy child. Her inherent sense of self as a woman can be a stake. She may feel as though she has failed her loved ones and her relationship with the father is at risk. The premise that life follows an orderly sequence is disrupted. Sometimes this creates a crisis in previously held belief systems; leaving the family without direction. The intensity of the loss experienced by different family members can be complicated by the longevity of the pregnancy, the amount of attachment to the baby, past histories of miscarriages, a decision to terminate a pregnancy due to medical reasons, and religious sanctions. The mother may feel she bears the brunt of the responsibility for the failed pregnancy. The father may feel he cannot communicate with the mother. He sees her as inconsolable and that his grief is not warranted. Whatever are the circumstances, those involved need outlets by which to grieve and determine how to move forward. Involvement in therapy incorporates: recognition of the loss of the child, alleviating feelings of shame and guilt, reaching out to others, and giving your-self time to heal and determine whether and when to pursue another pregnancy.

Motherless Daughters Therapy: The relationship between a mother and daughter creates a bond unlike any other between the two. Mothers provide their daughters with inexplicable nurturing, support and love. They pass along the legacies from one generation of women to the next. The mother's role in her daughter's life is complex and invaluable ranging from advocate, teacher, confidant, and friend. Daughters in return supply their mothers with ample joy, satisfaction, opportunities for growth and personal meaning. The relationship can be fraught with conflict as well, each providing lessons for the other. Under ideal circumstances mothers and their daughters have sufficient time with one another to work through the relationship and become two separate interconnected adults both arriving at a compassionate understanding of the other. Often, this type of resolution does not occur either due to a mother's premature death, emotional/physical limitations and wounds. In this instance, the daughter feels as thought she is out on a limb without an internal or external compass to guide her.

Via either group or individual therapy the surviving daughter can develop a framework for defining her experience that will help her move beyond the loss and at the same time promote a healthy legacy gleaned from her experience of her mother and conscious choice. Motherless daughters therapy entails the following:

  • Grief and Mourning - the ongoing process

  • Change and Impact on Relationships - too much to feel

  • Identity Confusion - who am I? my mother/myself

  • Mothering Yourself - creating a legacy

  • Turning Loss into Gold - creativity, wisdom, serenity

Motherless Daughters Therapy Groups run twelve weeks in duration with a half hour free consultation prior to entering a group. The women benefit from having the support, understanding, and encouragement of other women who have also lost their mothers. Individual therapy is also available in conjunction with group therapy or independently of group participation.

Sudden/Traumatic Loss: The unanticipated death of a significant person due to extenuating medical circumstances, an accident, violence or suicide leaves the mourner without any preparation for the loss resulting in intense feelings of anger, injustice, and denial of the finality of the loss. Therapy within these circumstances helps the client arrive at his/her own understanding and acceptance of the loss and events surrounding the death. Associated guilt, sense of helplessness, and the breakdown of old cognitive systems regarding the natural progression of life are common themes the client tackles in therapy.