grief & loss
Therapy for Grief & Loss
Man, it hurts.
But on the outside, you have to be solid while you groove in and out of each work day. Wearing a mask to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 was one thing, but wearing guarded armor to hide your emotions and protect your manhood, like what? That's exhausting.
Masking, hiding, and avoiding your emotions is fake, self-destructive, and relationally harmful. We avoid emotions because that's what many traditional ideals of masculinity have trained us to do - "Be a Man".
Usually, it's in times of isolation when you're alone - weekday mornings, weekday evenings, in the shower, on your way to bed, or over the weekend - that you may give yourself time to grieve briefly, but you suffer in silence.
You feel emotionally overwhelmed, but you don't say anything about it to anyone. And, if someone asks what's up, then you may say, "I don't want to talk about it".
Maybe you do want to talk about it, but the conversation doesn't go where it needs to go because other people can't tolerate the heavy weight of emotional grief, and so they say something that they think will be helpful - it's usually not helpful - and then rush to change the subject. A part of you might even feel relieved by that because you don't want to burden them.
We want you to feel, heal, and grow in a safe space, and we can understand why you'd rather just fix it or avoid it.
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, and so men put on their guarded armor and pretend to be OK in their everyday performance for other people, proving that they're "man enough" to handle it.
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. Men are especially trained to avoid, defend, and deny them.
Have you ever heard that men do no openly cry or express emotions (except for anger)? That's a stereotype. Men have emotions. It's a biological fact. It's a harmful message for men be told that they're weak for feeling vulnerable emotions and expressing them.
Here's another problem. The defense may help a little bit. But the truth is that being stoic and unemotional, drinking booze, smoking, getting high, sleeping it off, over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, having risky sex, depending on pornography and masturbation, and being tough - they're all examples of emotional avoidance and self-medication - unhealthy coping mechanisms - which, often, actually creates additional & unintended stress.
Unfortunately, emotional avoidance 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.
Grief is a natural, multifaceted, and multicultural experience regardless of the reasons for loss including death and non-death forms of grief - aging & life transitions, medical conditions, bereavement, child loss, perinatal loss, pet loss, divorce, separation, rejection, election loss, promotion loss, employment loss, financial loss, and everyday losses that happen to people.
There were big, small, and everything in between losses that many millions of people around the world suffered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all take the L at some point in time and in some way, shape, or form. One guarantee in life is that no one survives unscathed. We all experience grief & loss.
Experiences 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".
Working with a mindful therapist can give you the safe space, secure outlet, and professional 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 as you feel, heal, and grow.
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.