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

Healing

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.

“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. 

The Grief Fog

By Sheila Newton, Ph.D., LMFT

Like a thick veil slowly descending, blanketing itself over you and obscuring your vision, you can’t help but give in to the weight of its powerful effect. These are times when you cannot think, cannot feel, cannot see or eat or speak. The death of a spouse, child or anyone that you love dearly can leave you in this experience. No one wants to be in this place, especially not you.

Little Things Mean A Lot

“Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.”

You probably recognize those song lyrics from Sound Of Music. It is easy to dismiss that song as a bit of tuneful fluff with charming images. Another way of viewing it is as a gem of musical wisdom on how to survive the tough times of life.

Tend and Befriend with Mindful Self-Compassion

It’s raining outside.  I’m sitting inside listening to the rain and pondering the essence of Nature as I watch the raindrops and leaves falling. Nature is so beautiful… and restoring. The rain brings regrowth and soon the trees will be green again. How do we know that? Because we’ve seen it happen over and over, cycle after cycle.

Did I Really Just Say That – To Myself?

I recently wrote an article that dealt with insensitive remarks made by others. This time the camera of life will be a “selfie.” Note if any of these remarks resonate with your own self-talk.

First the common painful practice of “would of, could of, should of” comments that can really hurt. Here are a few examples:

Did You Really Just Say That?

You are grieving, upset, depressed, anxious, feeling alone and lost while finding yourself in a maze of people. Some of those people are family, good friends, co-workers, neighbors — the myriad of human beings who inhabit your world. You used to be able count on them to lift your spirits, trade a smile, give a caring word. Now you barely recognize your life and the people in it. Some are avoiding you as though you had a contagious disease. Even worse are those who speak in a language that cuts right to the bone of your despair. Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of these gems of insensitivity. Here are just a few that you may recognize:

We Were Estranged. Then She Died!

Are you grieving a parent you considered unloving, not present or abusive? You may wonder, “Why do I feel so grief-stricken?” You may not have felt loved nor feel like you loved your parent. You may not have experienced “unconditional love” and wonder, “ Why am I so sad? Why am I so anxious and confused? Do I really care?” Perhaps, more…

The Story Of A Bear

If you’re a current member of a HOPE group or an alum, do you remember your orientation at your first meeting? Many members, even a few weeks after that first meeting, can’t remember a thing that was said. They remember how they felt — the overwhelming emotions that virtually prevented them from speaking, and — also very important — the kindness and compassion of the therapists and mentor who explained the process to come. But what was said? No.