What Are the Stages of Grief?

The “Stages of Grief” that people refer to often are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. These stages, however, were never meant to describe the process of grief after a death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the psychiatrist who proposed those stages in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying” was studying the processes of terminally ill patientsContinue reading “What Are the Stages of Grief?”

Grieving What Never Was

Sometimes the intense grief we experience when someone dies is expected. You can’t imagine living without your devoted mother or your beloved son. Their presence in your life was enriching and comforting and special, so to lose that is obviously painful. But what happens when we lose someone with whom we had a bad relationship?Continue reading “Grieving What Never Was”

Grieving Someone in Active Addiction

“She’s still alive. I mean thank God for that. But I still feel like I’ve lost her, and no one understands my grief.” Several years ago, a therapy client came to me with this about her adult daughter.                 If you have ever had a friend or loved one in the throes of addiction, theContinue reading “Grieving Someone in Active Addiction”

It’s Not Your Fault (but now it’s your responsibility)

So many clients come to counseling to get help from a therapist for reactions that they no longer want to perpetuate. As adults, trying to navigate the world and especially relationships with others, they begin to see patterns and responses in ourselves that are at times unsavory. Perhaps they yell at their children, get insecureContinue reading “It’s Not Your Fault (but now it’s your responsibility)”

The Grief of a Breakup

To recognize the intense grief that a breakup can trigger, we can look at some of the things that may be lost when a marriage or relationship ends: A companion A housemate Help Sex In-laws Friends of theirs Social experiences A confidante Daily routines Traditions An ally Touch Inside jokes Financial support Your imagined futureContinue reading “The Grief of a Breakup”

Boundaries as Gates

I’m noticing a trend of concern when it comes to the concept of boundaries. It seems that the word “boundary” is being misunderstood as being synonymous with the word “rule,” and I worry that in many cases this misunderstanding leads to disconnection and alienation in relationships. In the literal sense, boundary means the designation ofContinue reading “Boundaries as Gates”