Grief Support

There is no wrong way to grieve.

There is no timeline in grief.

What is grief?

Grief is normal. Grief is complicated. Grief can be lonely, confusing, and disorienting. Initially, we may feel like we’re in a fog. Later, as we come out of the fog, we may feel profound sadness that can feel very physical. We may suffer from insomnia, low energy, lack of appetite (or an over-active appetite), anger, depression, anxiety… The list of potential side-effects of grief is long, and no two people grieve in the same way. There is no wrong way to grieve. Grief has no timeline. Grief is normal.

Is what I’m feeling normal?

People are often surprised to learn that the fatigue, insomnia, or headaches they are experiencing are a normal part of the grief process. I can reassure you that much of what you may be experiencing, while difficult, is very normal.

Why talk to someone?

Talking with a therapist can provide you with a safe, supportive space in which to talk, cry, and mourn the person who has died. Often, well-intentioned support people in our lives minimize or avoid grief and loss, making it difficult to experience our grief in a real, authentic and healing way. Mainstream American culture is not comfortable discussing death, dying, and grief so the people in our lives often don’t know how to support us during this difficult time. Often, our loved ones will say something with the intention of helping us “feel better”, and it ends up being the opposite of what we need. Other times, people avoid talking about our loved one for fear of upsetting us or bringing up a painful topic. What they’re not taking into consideration is that we are thinking of the person anyway. Discussing the person who died is a way for us to keep memories of the person alive.

Why Jessica?

I will never rush you through this process, and I will never ask that you “move on” or “get over” a death.
I was trained by Michelle Post in the models of Dr. Alan Wolfelt and Dr. J. William Worden. These models both have a philosophy of “phases” of grief instead of the traditional “stages” of grief that are more rigid. Because of my training, I believe there is no wrong way to grieve, and that no two people will mourn a loss in the same way. The important thing in grief therapy is to feel supported and heard by your therapist. I pride myself in providing that environment for my clients. I am non-judgmental, and I have much experience working with people who are grieving. I will never rush you through this process, and I will never ask that you “move on” or “get over” a death. The people we love become a part of who we are, and because of that it is unrealistic to believe we will ever “get over” it. Instead, I will encourage my clients to walk through their grief, to move through it (but not “move on”) and find a “new normal”. Your new normal will never be the same as your old normal, but the hope is that the grief will feel less sharp and severe, and will become a more normal dull sadness that you feel off and on (sometimes more on than off). In addition to providing education about grief and loss, I provide an environment free of judgment in which to safely explore all the feelings and emotions that arise when we grieve. I have experience working with families, individuals, teens, children, and couples. I provide grief support for parents whose children have died, children whose parents have died, adults who have lost a partner, and people who have experienced the death of anyone close to them. I also work with people who have experienced the death of a pet or companion animal, and I understand the unique significance of this kind of loss. I have experience working with grief-related trauma, complicated grief, and organ/tissue donation.

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