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Grief Support Groups Serving West Los Angeles, Encino and Agoura Hills

Education

A Moment’s Peace — Through Laughter Yoga

Using humor as a tool to cope with grief is closely associated with another movement: laughter yoga. A medical doctor from India, Dr. Madan Kataria, developed the practice of laugher yoga and it has spread across 100 countries. Adherents say that the scientifically proven benefits range from reducing blood pressure to strengthening the immune system. You can learn all about the techniques at the Laughter Yoga University.

“The Times They Are A Changin”

By Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.

Bob Dylan was right — there are all kinds of changes that come. Layers upon layers of change.  Among those layers are welcome changes: for example, a new baby in the family, a new son or daughter-in-law. These changes can allow for a smile and fond memories. Then there are changes that are not so welcome. The ones that cause great pain and grief — the primary losses: the death of a spouse, or a parent or anyone, near or far. Then there are secondary losses: the lack of physically getting together with friends and family, the change of everyday routines, such as going to the market, and feeling fearful if someone gets closer than six feet, and a list that grows. 

Four Tips For Healthy Healing

Max Izenberg, founder of the newsletter “Suddenly65,” focuses on how a healthy lifestyle impacts peoples’ health and well being.  She has written two books and various articles on health and wellness and her book “Who Took My Chocolate Cake?” is dedicated to helping seniors maintain their health and zest for life as they move through the years.  You may find even more…

Resources

Click on the Title of an article to download a PDF that you can print. The Colors of Grief April 2019 Enough Is Enough! Not Another Loss! March 2019 What’s Happening? Am I Going Crazy? February 2019 Can We Talk? January 2019 Please Don’t Take Away My Grief December 2018 The Empty Chair: Grief and the Holidays December 2018 I Recognize Your…

What’s Happening? Am I Going Crazy?

What’s happening? I’m so spacey. I put the ice cream in the cupboard and the car keys in the freezer! I missed an appointment today! I’ve never done that before. Am I going crazy? Maybe I have Alzheimer’s! Oh my! I’m just not me anymore. What’s happening?

No worries, It’s your grief. You’re experiencing “Grief Fog.” Yes, it is a real thing! A mental fog and confusion are actually neurochemistry symptoms of extreme stress and grief. It is normal to be preoccupied, trying to make sense of the loss. All of these factors contribute to the fog of grief.

Through Which Window Are You Viewing Your Life After Loss?

While driving a car, it’s important to see things from two different viewpoints — through the windshield and in the rearview mirror. The windshield is large and designed to protect you by showing a clear view of your present surroundings and a short distance down the road ahead. The rearview mirror is much smaller. You periodically glance into the rearview mirror to…

A “Goodbye” to HOPE Connection

Man’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell – Jean Paul Richter, writer, 1763-1825 At HOPE Connection, we encourage every group member to say goodbye to other group members and the group therapist when they move from one group to the next. There is a rationale behind this tradition, which you can read about here. Following this tradition, a group…

When Will “Closure” Come?

One person may say — “Closure? Will there ever be an end to this horrible pain of grief? When will I get the closure that I hear about? I’m done. I’m not going to grieve anymore!” And another person may say — “I don’t want closure. I never want to let go. How can I possibly say goodbye forever to my loved one? I’m so confused. Am…

Food For Thought: Solitude, Alone and Lonely

Appreciating solitude, being alone and feeling lonely are all related experiences that individuals who are grieving are familiar with. They are, figuratively speaking, places that you might visit frequently — or run away from because they’re so uncomfortable. “I’ll just stay busy. That way, I won’t have to feel alone or be lonely.” Unfortunately, that strategy just doesn’t work. Grief and the…

Living With Grief: What’s The DIF?

Evelyn Pechter is a HOPE therapist and Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Pechter has private practice offices in West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills, where she specializes in adult life changes including grief/loss.

“Wherever you are right now on your journey — whether your loved one died two weeks ago, two years ago, or even 20 years ago, it helps to understand the process from beginning to the not-so-clear end. As Glenda the Good Witch of the North told Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz before she set out for Emerald City, “It’s always best to start at the beginning.” So it is with most things; so it is with grief.”

— Ashley Davis Bush: Transcending Loss

It is best to start at the beginning, but what often happens is that people want to avoid the painful aspects of grief; it’s too terrifying. So, they rush right ahead, telling others — and themselves — that “Everything’s just fine. I’m okay. I’m adjusting just fine.” They attempt to skip to the end before they’ve gone through the process.