Grief or Loss

Grief and loss are a part of the human condition. Grief is typically considered to be brought on by the death of a loved one, but can also be triggered by any significant life-altering loss (such as a divorce or the loss of a job). Grief is a natural response to loss, but that doesn’t make it easy to deal with.  Symptoms of grief may include sadness, loneliness, anger, denial, depression and a myriad of other thoughts and feelings.  There is no “normal” amount of time for grief to pass, but if you find that your grief is not improving over time or that it is interfering with your everyday life, you may want to consider seeking professional help. A qualified grief counselor can help you to cope with the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive responses to loss. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s grief experts today.

Meet the specialists


Grief and loss is, at it's core, a loss of connection. My work in this area focuses on creating an environment where you can mourn your loss, identify where connection has been ruptured, and begin to imagine what life will be like moving forward.

— Brittany Boney, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

Contrary to popular belief, grief does not happen in predictable or measurable stages. Each person’s response to grief is unique. It is big, unpredictable, and, like a wave, it keeps coming at us relentlessly. The emotions and physical impact that come with grief can be so intense that they can seem frightening, confusing, or overwhelming. At times, the grief we endure can seem unbearable and endless. Sadly, the world around us often tries to push away grief and sorrow. Asking us to “get over it” and return to normal, productive, happy lives. Yet, for those who are grieving, this often provides nothing but isolation in a world is forever changed. I offer a supportive and safe environment that provides connection, healing, and growth. A place where you can explore and navigate through your grief with someone who will help you not get lost or drown in it.

— Kimberley Mead, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

Grief and loss can come in many forms, due to many situations, both expected and unexpected. I work to help educate my clients around the different stages of grief and loss, and assist in identifying their own unique experiences, where they are at with coping, processing each emotion and feeling that is encountered, and find healing.

— Krystal Marcinkiewicz, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Beaverton, OR

I help my clients to better understand death and dying and the meanings of it all. After working with me, my clients are able to get through the stages of grief and continue on with their life toward happiness and fulfillment.

— Montrella Cowan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Washington, DC

We all experience loss in our lives whether it is the loss of an influential person, job or experience. We even experience loss and grief with \'good\' things happen, we move, have the birth or adoption of a child, get a new job, etc. We often need help and compassion to sort through the various feelings and process the steps to help us move into places of acceptance of our new situations. Comprehensive grief work can help us get through and around change with compassion for ourselves.

— Audrianna Gurr, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Loss of a loved person or pet, life dream or plan, relationship, or loss associated with health challenges

— Kelly Pemberton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA

Everyone has experience with grief and loss but coping from grief and loss differs from individual to individual. My responsibility as a therapist is to provide the space and support for my clients to experience the different stages of grief and loss.

— Pak Poon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in South Pasadena, CA

For many years I worked as a hospice volunteer providing patient companionship, caregiver respite and bereavement support. This led me to maintain a focus in my education specifically on death and dying issues including end-of-life care concerns.

— Brenda Benjamin, Counselor in Grandville, MI

I've brought thousands of people along the paths of their grief journeys, with over twelve years' experience facilitating bereavement support groups, as well as my private practice clients facing various losses and difficult transitions. As all of life is change, transition, and, yes, inevitably loss, yet the challenge is managing loss knowingly and gracefully. I'm honored to have been entrusted with this delicate stage of being that we are so unwillingly thrust into by life's unplanned surprises and what sometimes seem to be merciless cruelties. But mercifully, grief does resolve through "accommodation," a process of education, acceptance through patient processing, and support across time. Rather than advice, gentle caring is key to everyone's unique resolution.

— Carol Tyler, Psychologist in Bellingham, WA

Grief and loss show up in many forms including but not limited to life transitions, identity changes, job shifts, aging, injuries and illnesses, divorces and breakups, estrangements and death of loved ones both expected and unexpected (including suicide). These losses can bring up a range of complex feelings. In addition to the struggle with of the loss itself, loss can have an impact on other areas of life as well. I help guide people through their grief and find ways to live with what has happened and build their lives to be more of what they want for the present and future.

— Jami Howell, Psychologist in Portland, OR

Death is the only sure thing in life. And yet, surviving the death of others is one of the most challenging things humans experience. Grief is a layered phenomenon. There are layers of feelings about each individual loss and losses have a way of bringing up older losses. Over time, one becomes aware of new aspects and influences of each loss. Furthermore, each milestone that is missed by that person can be experienced as a new loss. These layers can be overwhelming, to say the least. However, when each of these layers is felt and honored, they can also represent the depth and richness of the relationship. It is through mourning losses that individuals create resilience and connection to those lost and to their own lives.

— Rebecca Goettsche, Psychologist in Berkeley, CA

As well as my training in gerontology, I also have training in helping others cope with loss, bereavement and forgiveness. Grief is not an exact science, but is usually experienced as a personal series of "stages" that can be fluid, with no exact beginning or end to each stage. Sometimes a certain stage is repeated. It all unfolds as a personal process. It helps to have someone knowledgeable and experienced to support you and remind you at times of the light at the other end of the tunnel. I might also add that I have great interest in helping people through the death or other loss of a pet. Many friends can't understand why you aren't over it yet, it was just an animal. They have no idea what kind of deep relationship you had with that member of your family. They have no idea of the sense of loss, loneliness, pain, and sometimes misplaced guilt, that you are experiencing. You need someone that knows how deep the love of and for an animal of another species can be.

— Susan Rooney, Counselor in Portland, OR

I have worked extensively with women who have lost pregnancies and neonates, and have also worked with individuals grieving the loss of other immediate family members. I incorporate elements of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) as well as supportive-expressive interventions in the service of understanding grief and its reverberations.

— Lisa Valentine, Psychiatrist in Bellaire, TX

Losing someone you love deeply is one of the most challenging and painful experiences in life. It should not be done alone! Bereavement therapy can help you feel like you don't have to carry the heavy burden of loss all by yourself. Together we will make space for your loss and also put together a tool box of skills and techniques to help you navigate the treacherous waters of grief and loss.

— Jennifer Wohl, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Grief and loss hit people differently, and you may be feeling lonely and isolated. It's important to know it's normal for feelings of grief to come in waves — one moment you may be fine, then the next moment you feel devastated. Sad isn't bad. The love you had for the person or the dream you lost is equal the grief you feel. And it does get better, one day at a time.

— Rachel Moore, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I worked for a prominent cancer organization in nyc for 10 years, helping people of all ages to cope with illness, caregiving and loss. I have had extensive training in mindfulness, CBT and the psychology of grief/los, illness and death. It is my firm belief that Grief manifests itself throughout our lives whenever we face any type of current or past change or transition; motherhood, marriage/relationship shifts, career shifts, identity changes, etc...and if we allow ourselves to feel these losses, then process them, we can be freer to find joy and peace in the present moment. I find that when my clients are able to sit with the things that cause them pain, they are better equipped to fashion a life for themselves that feels congruent with who they really are.

— Erin Robbins, Counselor in Montclair, NJ

For many years I worked as a hospice volunteer providing patient companionship, caregiver respite and bereavement support. This led me to maintain a focus in my education specifically on death and dying issues including end-of-life care concerns.

— Brenda Benjamin, Counselor in Grandville, MI

I specialize in helping clients get through the stages of grief and better understand the meaning of death and life. Clients learn how to continuing living their own life towards self fulfillment and happiness.

— Montrella Cowan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Washington, DC

You may be feeling overwhelmed with grief, knowing that a disability or difference you don't accept is life-long. You may not want this concern to define you and are worried that you'll never be able to get past it. Let's work together to find solutions to your feelings of inadequacy and your sadness and anxiety.

— Patrick Tully, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Unresolved grief can drain our energy, it can close down our hearts, and it can cause us to isolate ourselves from our family and friends. Grief recovery is an educational, emotional, and powerful experience, where you will learn effective tools for coping with grief. I am a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and I am here to provide you with the support and tools to move through your grief, the time for healing is now.

— Sara Collins, Counselor in Salt Lake City, UT

When you lose someone you love, your life is forever changed. My training and knowledge provide me with the capacity to support you in your own transformation as your journey through these experiences.

— Sarah Bower Ho, MA, Counselor in Portland, OR

I took electives in graduate school around grief and loss and how to best approach and treat them as a mental health clinician. I then began working in palliative care and then Hospice (where I still work occasionally) where I had the distinct honor of working with patients, families, and caregivers around end of life issues and anticipatory grief. This work became a major passion for me and remains so at this time.

— Rachel Stapleton, Clinical Social Worker in Kirkland, WA

Grief is complicated and can be very hard to work through on our own. I provide a safe and comfortable, non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts and emotions surrounding the loss. We will work at your own pace and begin to learn how to resolve the overwhelming emotions and start on the path to healing.

— Tara Farley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon City, OR

Grief and loss has been the most influential teacher in my life. Losing a best friend to suicide, seeing my vitality shrink due to chronic illness, and thriving from past interpersonal traumas have all set me on a path to work passionately with people who are learning to say goodbye. I've worked with hospice clients during their final moments and with the bereaved (including grief workers themselves) as their loved ones are transitioning. These connections have been made in art studios, in grief circles out in nature and as intimately as bedside. Grief effects every single part of our identity, so our work will be to survive and thrive through it. My being a competent grief counselor means we will try out the Dual Processing Model, make space for your personal/cultural/spiritual/religious rituals, and use Narrative Therapy tenets to help find meaning and strength beyond grief, loss and death.

— Evan Honerkamp, Art Therapist in Denver, CO

Loss of a loved person or pet, life dream or plan, relationship, or loss associated with health challenges, traumatic loss

— Kelly Pemberton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA