Coping with the News of a Mass Shooting: Fighting Fear with Love

October 3, 2017

Waking up in the aftermath of a tragedy is jarring. This morning, I reached for my phone alarm, but before I could press snooze, I was startled by the number of texts from my friends and family. A CNN alert proclaimed a mass shooting. I sat up immediately, shaken from my sleepy fog. Again? Las…

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The Journey of Grief: From Intruder to Companion

June 10, 2015

Sheryl Sandberg’s essay on her first 30 days of widowhood threw me back and forth for a while: back into that long ago day when I was flattened by the overwhelming shock of grief, forward again into the present when I am no longer shocked, although sometimes overtaken, by a loss one never forgets. Ms….

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When Holidays Are Blue

December 16, 2014

It has been a privilege for me to accompany people on their evolving journeys with grief and, despite what department store and elevator music is telling us, this is not always the ‘happ-happiest’ time of the year for everyone. All of us have experienced some kind of loss in our lives. If we have lost…

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Tips for Talking to Kids About Tragedy

August 27, 2014

Ferguson. Newtown. Earthquakes. Robin Williams.  It’s hard to know what to say, how to say it and when to say it, especially when trying to explain difficult topics to little minds. Here are some things to be mindful of when trying to make sense of a complex situation: Keep calm and understand: Get down to…

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Back-to-School Blues

August 19, 2014

Jeff Beers, LMFT is a former Staff Therapist at Council for Relationships. He now serves as Staff Therapist and Manager of Operations and Program Development at Menergy, an intervention, treatment, training and education program working to stop harmful behavior and intimate partner violence. Fall brings many changes to the lives of children and adolescents, and…

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Farewell To Robin Williams

August 18, 2014

Once again we are faced with another celebrity’s untimely tragic death. Robin Williams’ suicide at the age of 63 last weekend reminds us of the tragic consequences of the double difficulty between depression and substance abuse. Mr. Williams’ long history of addiction is well chronicled; he had 20 years of sobriety from alcohol and cocaine…

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The Art of Grief

Lately we have heard of the tragic deaths of hundreds of people from all over the world. Many of their bodies will never be found or returned to their loved ones for a proper burial and memorial. Grieving families may never really know what actually happened to the jet planes on which their loved ones…

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Getting Unstuck with EMDR

August 20, 2012

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, has helped millions of people find relief from distress and misery over the last 20+ years, but I’m still amazed that it is often unknown and misunderstood. In my clinical practice, I’ve found it to be the most effective therapeutic modality that I use to help clients, whether I’m…

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Grief and Loss

In her 2005 memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” recounting both joyful and painful memories of love and loss in her family, the writer and author Joan Didion counsels readers that “grief when it comes, is nothing we expect it to be.” We ask ourselves what is “normal” for us to feel when faced with…

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Helping Children Grieve: Expressing Emotions, Affirming the Universal

June 14, 2010

It is a Tuesday evening in January, 2010. The room is abuzz with the energy of 12 children, ages 7-9, who show up in this large room most weeks from 6-8 pm to play and talk and have a snack. These children have something in common that does not meet the eye. Their young lives…

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