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

Grief

Living Life In The Improv Zone

By Lynne Goldklang, MFT

Skim through any adult education bulletin and you will see every kind of subject imaginable with a couple exceptions. It is next to impossible to find a listing for a course in Improvisation. This is not a big surprise. Unless you are an actor, you probably would flee from a class where you are in the spotlight without a clue of what will be happening or how you are supposed to respond.

Smaller Footprints

By Channie Amato, M.A., MFT, AT

“The belongings she has collected during her lifetime are her footprints left behind.”

The thought of going through your loved one’s possessions, acquired over the course of their lifetime, can be daunting and emotionally overwhelming. The thought of letting go of these acquired belongings may feel like you are erasing their footprints. How does one stay connected, while also letting go?

A Moment’s Peace — Through Laughter Yoga

HOPE Connection

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.

Humor – A Tool For Coping With Grief

By Sheila Newton, Ph.D., LMFT

When dealing with grief, many of us experience three of the four basic human emotions: madness, sadness and fear. The fourth one, “joy,” is not very popular during mourning because it’s deemed inappropriate, in bad taste and unacceptable in the midst of grieving. Wanting to be culturally sensitive and socially correct, we tread lightly because oftentimes we don’t know what to say, and most of all, we don’t want to offend.

Just Another Day

By Lynne Goldklang, LMFT

The morning comes and you look for a reason to get out of bed. 
You want to linger for hours but force yourself to rise and take a mini step to join the day.
That is courage.

The toothbrush you hold feels like a heavy hammer but you manage to brush your teeth, wash your face, fix your hair.
That is determination.

Finding Your Voice Again

By Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Grief has a way of sapping confidence. With sapped confidence, you may not feel willing to speak what’s on your mind and in your heart. It’s too painful to speak.

Perhaps you are thinking you don’t want to burden anyone? Or that they won’t understand anyway so what’s the use. Then, without even realizing, little by little you give your voice to someone else. You let them speak for you and the way you feel. The confidence you once had seems so distant now.

Who Am I Now?

By Jo Christner, Psy.D.

Having a loved one die has so very many layers of grief and loss.

It’s so individual to you, who you are, how you think, what you believe, how and where you live, your network of support and so on. Grieving is a natural occurrence in our bodies and emotions. It’s also a complicated one that really requires that we give it our attention and allow it to heal. If you ignore it, it can sneak up on you when least expect it and feel like it knocks you down. “Why do I suddenly feel awful? What’s wrong with me.” The answer: nothing is wrong. It’s grief and all of its layers unfolding, whether you pay attention or not.

My Parent Died – What Do I Do Now?

A few questions and answers

by Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.

I didn’t have a good relationship with my mother. Now that she’s died, I’m confused — why do I feel the grief and guilt that I feel?

Relationships are often complicated, especially when there has been conflict. When a relationship is complicated, volatile, even abusive, there is a grief process that needs attention. Your grief is a way of expressing feelings that perhaps did not get that attention while your parent was alive. Perhaps the guilt you feel is a way of acknowledging that you would have liked a different relationship. In difficult relationships with parents, there is often a lot that was unsaid. In a grief group, you have the opportunity to process those unsaid words in a safe environment. You may find that you are not alone and more importantly you and your feelings find support.

Download a PDF of this article to share with someone you love

Grieving Alone

After the death of her daughter, Martha Whitmore Hickman wrote a wonderful book, Healing After Loss — daily meditations for working through grief. Many members of the HOPE community have talked about this powerful resource during group sessions. Hickman structures each meditation the same, with a quote, followed by her insight about it, ending with a simple summary. Today’s is especially timely. All…