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Seven Stages of Grief

Seven Stages of Grief
1. Shock and Denial
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
2. Pain and Guilt
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with suffering from unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it,...

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Group Endings

In the groups that I lead, people often make deep connections by the end of the series. It is important to recognize that people come into the group for all different reasons: some people need support, some are having such raw emotions they need a place to go, some people need to hear that other people are going through similar things, some are looking for long term support, and others are opening the chapter for the first time about getting some therapy. When we’re expressing our...

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Understanding the Emotional Impact of Separation

Members in my divorce support group have discussed what bad habits they get into in their long-term relationships. I’ve often heard folks say that their long term relationships have changed them. They stopped doing things that made them feel happy and started experiencing less joy in their life in general. Group members question why they were with their partners and where things started falling apart in their relationships. Did they give up on their own lives? Was it possible to find...

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How to Get Through a Difficult Day

Chop Wood Carry Water

This article will explain in more detail a Buddhist suggestion of what to do when going through a hard time.
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“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
Swami Sivananda
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Work. What does the word mean to you? Is it something to be avoided? Is it a means to an end? Is it the only appropriate focus of your attention and energy?...

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An Example of Triggers in the Support Group

One of the members in my divorce support group, Sarah was so triggered by another, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would be able to connect. Mary, had been left by her partner. Sarah, had been the one to leave. Being face to face with each other brought up feelings of guilt, anger, and hurt that really originated in the relationships each had lost.

As it turned out these members got past the triggers by moving deeper into their pain and owning the parts of themselves that felt...

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Is Divorce the Right Decision for You

A while back, I was interviewed about my methods when helping people contemplating Divorce. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Many people who are considering divorce or separation have trouble making the decision. Maybe this is something you are going through right now. You may feel unhappy in your marriage, but afraid of the unknown – deciding to divorce can be scary. Perhaps the same questions keep going around and around in your head, and answers seem out of your reach. How can...

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Understand the emotional impact of separation

What bad habits did you get into in your long-term relationship? Often times I’ve heard folks say that their long term relationship changed them. They stopped doing things that made them feel happy and they experience less joy. In long term relationships we sometimes question why we were together and where things fell apart. Did we give up on our own lives? Was it impossible to find happiness with our mate, or was it both? Often times the habits of not communicating, losing interest in...

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Date of Divorce

In our group we often talk about the date of their divorce. People are often full of anxiety when they reveal that they have received the date which their divorce process has been finalized. Typically, in the state of California, it takes 6 months and 1 day. However, it often takes people a lot longer to get the paper work done and make all the adjustments when actually filing for divorce. Some people file and never do anything else — they just separate physically. It’s really...

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