grief & loss
Therapy for Grief & Loss
You feel like you're responsible in some way.
Everyday, you try to stop worrying but you can't help but ruminate over questions like "Why?" and "What if...?".
You've lost someone before, but not like this.
Losing someone feels intense because it is.
You're still alive, and maybe even that alone makes you feel guilty - especially if you're a survivor of suicide loss.
Grief is a natural and multicultural experience regardless of the reasons for loss - aging & life transitions, medical conditions, bereavement, divorce, separation, rejection, competition, elections, job loss, everyday losses, and even the range of losses - big, small, and everything in between - that were suffered by millions of people around the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experiences of grief may vary although it's common to experience "The Five Stages of Grief" like Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. "The Sixth Stage of Grief" - Finding Meaning - "can transform grief into a more peaceful and hopeful experience".
On the outside, you're steady while you groove in and out of each day. Wearing a mask to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 is one thing, but wearing the mask you live in to hide your emotions?
Being forced to mask, hide, and avoid your emotions is exhausting, self-destructive, and socially injurious.
We avoid emotions because that's what many traditional ideals of patriarchal masculinity have trained us to do.
You know that you often feel emotionally overwhelmed, but you don't say anything to anyone. And, if someone asks what's up, then you say "I don't want to talk about it".
We want to help, and we can understand why you'd rather avoid it. Slow down a second. Breathe deeply.
Men are more likely to experience anger, stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem when their gender status (i.e., “manhood”) is called into question.
Inhibitory emotions like shame, guilt, and anxiety get in the way and get tangled up with our core emotions like anger, fear, sadness, disgust, joy, excitement, and sexual excitement. These are all natural, human emotions.
Frequently, we try to defend our Self somehow (e.g. depression) from all of the big, overwhelming emotions.
But, here's the problem - being stoic and unemotional, drinking booze, smoking, getting high, sleeping it off, over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, and being tough - they're all examples of emotional avoidance, which actually creates additional & unintended stress.
Unfortunately, avoidance of emotions is a common factor that contributes to internalized attacks against the Self (e.g., anxiety, depression, shame, negative self-image, etc.) and also externalized attacks toward other people (physical, sexual, and verbal aggression).
We can help you slow down, tune in, and sort things out.
Working with a mindful and inclusive therapist can give you the safe space, outlet & sounding board, and therapeutic support that you need to untangle all of your thoughts, emotions, and defense behaviors while we unburden the parts of you that need time and space to be seen, heard, and understood without judgment.
what to expect:
FIRST: Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation. This is the first opportunity for you and the therapist to ask each other questions. We discuss reasons why you're getting started in therapy, your needs and your therapeutic goals, and schedule availability. Mostly, we want to figure out if you and the therapist could be a good fit to work together. If so, then we schedule an intake appointment and you receive a Welcome Email to the Client Portal, where you can complete the required consent forms and book future appointments online.
SECOND: The Initial Intake Appointment. This is the next best opportunity for you to share as much about you and your life story as you can in order to help the therapist better understand you and what you need moving forward. Assessment & Evaluation of your mental health will guide discussion that is also focused on recent and remote history of many parts of you and your life like family, education, employment, self-care, and social relationships. We discuss a lot in this first appointment while we also make sure that the pace of our process helps you feel seen, heard, and understood. Finally, we identify specific therapeutic goals, discuss your treatment options, and create your personalized plan for therapy.
THIRD: First Follow Up Appointment. Assessment & Evaluation, Treatment Planning, and Discharge Planning will continue to show up as frequent topics of discussion throughout the course of treatment - they're not just discussed once in the first session and then never again mentioned. Now that you have had a chance to create a personalized plan for your therapy, we start working it into action. Mostly, we keep building rapport because the therapeutic relationship drives the work.
GOING FORWARD: Follow Up Appointments. Therapeutic process moves at your pace. Safely guiding clients through their own personalized treatment plan tops the agenda for each and every therapy session. Feedback Loops will help us monitor and modify how we work with each other in order to ensure that you get the return on your investment in therapy that you need because that is what matters to us most. Eventually, therapy will end and you will continue to build a life worth living.