June 1, 2024, is the deadline to apply for CFR’s Fall 2024 Postgraduate Certificate Program cohort in Marriage & Family Therapy, Sex Therapy, and Clergy track. Apply here.

Category » Grief and Loss

This image features a vivid purple flower, symbolizing remembrance, prominently displayed against a soft, dark background with light rays. The text "2024 HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY" appears at the top in elegant, white font. Below the flower, additional text credits Dr. Bea Hollander-Goldfein, LMFT, CCTP from the Council for Relationships. The overall mood is somber and reflective, appropriate for the commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024 – Yom HaShoah

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024 calls us to reflect deeply on the echoes of the past and the reverberations they cause in our present world. This year, the day takes on a poignant significance, juxtaposed against the October 7th attack, the largest on Jewish lives since World War II. This convergence of historical and recent events…

Read More
The image features a promotional graphic with the title "Closing the Gap in North Philly PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES". Below the title, there's a byline "By Sonja Spangler, LSW" indicating the authorship. The image displays the silhouette of a pregnant woman against a backdrop of a night sky filled with stars, symbolizing perhaps hope and contemplation. The silhouette merges into a graphic that appears to represent a city skyline, possibly alluding to the community context of the services discussed. The bottom of the image has the text "COUNCIL FOR RELATIONSHIPS", likely the organization responsible for the services or the article itself. The overall theme suggests a focus on addressing the needs for mental health support for mothers in North Philadelphia.

Closing the Gap: Perinatal Mental Health Services in North Philadelphia

April 3, 2024

Perinatal mental health services play a crucial role in supporting expecting and new mothers, offering hope and essential care in communities facing significant challenges. This blog explores the transformative impact of these services, detailing the journey of embedding a Council for Relationships (CFR) Therapist within the Stephen Klein Wellness Center in North Philadelphia and the…

Read More
An artistic blog feature image in grayscale with an abstract design representing growth. A stylized plant with broad leaves sprouts from a central path that meanders toward the viewer, bordered by swirling, smoke-like patterns. At the top, "SEED OF CHANGE" is written in large, bold letters, with the subtitle "Pathways to Personal and Spiritual Growth" just below in a smaller font. The author's name, "Rev. Dr. Dolores Littleton, LMFT," is positioned at the bottom, and the text "COUNCIL FOR RELATIONSHIPS" appears in the lower corner, suggesting a sponsoring organization. The monochrome palette gives the image a serene and contemplative mood.

Seed of Change: Pathways to Personal and Spiritual Growth

Embarking on a transformation journey begins with the “Seed of Change.” This blog explores how embracing shifts in our lives, inspired by faith and Jesus’ teachings, can lead to profound personal and spiritual growth, guiding us through darkness into the light of new beginnings. The Seed of Change: Understanding Personal Growth When I was a…

Read More
Artistic cover image for a blog titled 'Identity Shift in Motherhood – Navigating New Challenges & Rediscovering Yourself', by Sonja Spangler, LSW. The illustration features a woman's profile made of swirling, leafy patterns in a harmonious blend of purple and green hues, symbolizing growth and transformation. Butterflies and soft, floating elements signify change and rebirth. The bottom of the image includes the 'Council for Relationships' logo, emphasizing the theme of personal development within motherhood.

Identity Shift in Motherhood: Navigating New Challenges & Rediscovering Yourself

March 19, 2024

Embarking on the journey of motherhood introduces a profound “identity shift in motherhood” that many are unprepared for. This transformative phase brings various challenges, from the loss of personal identity to the struggle to find joy amidst the chaos of parenting. This blog delves into the heart of these experiences, offering insights and practical advice…

Read More

How To Let Go of Guilt

January 29, 2024

People feeling guilty about various situations frequently come to my small office. This includes a teenager dealing with their parent’s divorce and a client regretting not expressing themselves in their friendships. After sharing their stories, clients ask me one or both of the following questions (both of which relate to how to let go of…

Read More

Grieving During the Holidays: A Therapist’s Reflections

December 14, 2023

Grieving during the holidays, or for that matter, at any time of the year, is challenging to your mental health. When you feel pressured to act like you are not grieving around family and “friends,” it can harm your emotional well-being. Grieving, after all, is a nonlinear process…and it takes no breaks for family parties…

Read More

How to Talk to Someone Who is Suicidal

November 14, 2023

I recently attended the New Jersey Suicide Prevention Conference. This topic is never easy to discuss or listen to, but it is crucial. New Jersey has lower suicide rates compared to other states, but suicide rates are increasing across the country. The biggest takeaway from the conference is that the best way to prevent suicide…

Read More

Am I a Unicorn? A Therapist & Child of Holocaust Survivors On the Israel-Hamas War

On October 7, 2023, Hamas carried out a coordinated terrorist attack on innocent Israeli citizens and even took hostages. In response, Israel declared war on Hamas, and The Israel Defense Force vowed to “destroy Hamas.” Like everyone else, CFR Clinicians were horrified by Hamas’s brutality and have been processing the recent events like most people….

Read More

Disenfranchised Grief: How the Passing of My Cat Made Me a Better Therapist

October 18, 2023

We all grieve at some point in our lives. Some of us have had too many opportunities to grieve while others may have experienced grief once or twice. The sources of our grief are as varied as the personalities of humans and how we grieve varies just as much. Sometimes, however, we experience disenfranchised grief when…

Read More

Therapy That Can Teach You Forgiveness

September 25, 2023

We all know that the ability to forgive someone is a valued human trait. But dang is it hard to do. If you’re a human, then you’ve experienced a situation where you’ve been wronged by someone else (and vice versa). Most people want to be known as “forgiving,” but there are few manuals on how…

Read More

Racial Justice Through Tragic Optimism 

June 12, 2023

The time between the conclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month) and the celebration of Juneteenth is a great opportunity to reflect on the complexities of racial justice. CFR Staff Psychiatrist Dr. Maura Dunfey shares how her experience raising biracial children, having a grandfather who fought the Japanese in World…

Read More
Christian crucifix wrapped in a purple cloth,

Lent and Mental Health

Lent is a springtime season in the Christian Church that begins a 40-day discipline of prayer, fasting, and contemplation. Lent also forces us to grapple with our own mortality. This can be triggering for many, but, with meditation and reflection, Lent can be a wonderful season for our mental health. Read on to learn more…

Read More

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year – Unless, of Course, It’s Not

December 16, 2021

The holiday season often injects pressure into our world. Sometimes the holiday season forces family time on us when we may not want or be ready for those interactions. Other times, the holiday season necessitates increased financial strain. What often feels hard throughout the holidays is the lack of space to talk about how difficult…

Read More

“My Name is Tiger”: Navigating the Road to Recovery After Acute Injury

Tiger Woods’ road to recovery is just beginning. For many people who have experienced devastating injuries, the stabilization and mitigation of acute injuries is just the beginning. A car accident like the one that Tiger Woods experienced can have long-standing ramifications, some of which could even be lifelong. Although it’s not possible to speculate on…

Read More

5 Ways to Say Goodbye to 2020

December 24, 2020

When Twitter recently asked folks to describe 2020 in one word, the responses flooded in. Here are some of the words that stood out to me: Restless. Pain. Sourdough. Masks. Ouch. Skip. Tired. Damaged. Delete. While I was scrolling through the responses, I could feel the collective sigh over the pain folks have experienced this…

Read More

Shifting Perspectives: Confusion as The New Norm Part I – Tragic Optimism, Post-Traumatic Growth, and Grief

In conversations with clients, friends, and colleagues, and in the materials I have read from numerous mental health sources, the word “surreal” is often used to describe the feeling of this time when we are living through the COVID-19 pandemic. At times, it feels as if we are living someone else’s life – in someone…

Read More

Grieving a Loss from COVID-19

Grieving a loss from COVID-19 requires courage and an openness to converse about one’s emotions. The unique ability of the virus to level everyone and create an international community is helpful to the grieving process. COVID-19 can affect anyone, it is spreading at a rapid rate, and there is currently no cure. In dealing with…

Read More

Loss, Acceptance and Action During COVID-19

March 31, 2020

As I’ve been talking with patients, family and friends online over the past 2 weeks, I’ve come to realize we are all experiencing loss of some kind, both individually and collectively.  We have a shared experience that as of March 2020, our world has changed.  This looks different for everyone: canceled vacation and travel plans, what a…

Read More

Understanding Post-Partum Depression

July 30, 2019

Dr. Jane Summers is the Medical Director at Council for Relationships, and founding Director of Women’s Psychological Health Services. Having specialized in women’s behavioral health throughout her career, Dr. Summers’ approach prioritizes understanding the unique issues that effect the emotional health of women such as reproductive health and hormonal changes over the lifespan and challenges…

Read More

Saying Goodbye to Game of Thrones: Dealing with Disappointment and Endings

Michele Southworth, JD, LMFT is a senior staff therapist at Council for Relationships University City.  Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO Sunday night, after eight seasons and 73 episodes, we said our goodbyes to the surviving Stark siblings and other survivors of the Battle of Kings Landing, along with what remained of the armies of the…

Read More

My Message to Women: You do not have to suffer in silence

Elyse Stein Batoff, Psychologist, LMFT has years of experience working in the area of Women’s Psychological Health Services. She has offered the emotional support that has been needed by many women as they go through physical changes and issues ranging from infertility, pregnancy, postpartum depression, sexual concerns, and menopause. Collaboration with physicians such as OB/GYN’s…

Read More