Medicine for the Mind

Welcome to the rx for the soul blog.

Exploring the Pilgrim Archetype

Exploring the Pilgrim Archetype

This is part one of a four-series dive into the grief archetypes. I created the grief archetype quiz as a tool to help my grieving clientele take their first tenuous steps into what I call the wilderness of grief.  Grief is a vast and enormous landscape - a looming wood that despite whatever trepidation we may hold will demand our entrance after loss has pushed its way into our world. The one important thing to remember about this wilderness is that it's ancient. And it's one that every culture, every generation, indeed every creature capable of love and connection has entered before us....

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The Other Pandemic

The Other Pandemic

Grief therapy has always been my clinical niche and it has delivered a very predictable clientele to my therapy practice through the years. For more than 25 years, grieving widows, bereaved parents, and many varieties of others who have lost someone to death have regularly made their way through my office doorway seeking solace. Yet in the last six months, as the year 2020 has unleashed its fury on the masses, the demographic of those I serve has changed markedly. No longer is my waiting room exclusively for the widowed and the “typically” bereaved – although there are exceedingly high...

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Welcome to my House of Truth

Welcome to my House of Truth

For many years I have been teaching my clients how to build a House of Truth, a sort of psycho-spiritual fortress in which to live their lives after loss and grief have taken a wrecking ball to the world they once knew. Death Has a Room at the Inn In the House of Truth I have been constructing in my own life, death has always had a room at the inn, so to speak. This might be because I grew up on a ranch where the complexities (or is it the simplicities?) of life are a part of everyday life. This, combined with the fact that I was an introspective and deeply observant child, made ranch life...

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New Eyes

New Eyes

"Often finding meaning is not about doing thing differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways." Rachel Naomi Remen This quote came to mind after a news alert about toxic algae caught my eye. It was a story about a certain type of brightly colored algae that grows in warm water lakes and looks colorful and lovely, but in fact is a deadly toxin. As this news story that my hubby and I were watching ended, our eyes turned from our TV set to a beautiful water feature we have in our backyard. Some months back, bright orange and green fingers of moss began to stretch across the five...

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Live Your Life

Live Your Life

I am a death and dying educator and a grief therapist. For the last 25 years, I have spent my days walking through the fields of loss and grief in the same way my grandfather used to comb through the alfalfa fields on the ranch where I grew up. Every morning, in his overalls and felt hat, he would walk and look, surveying each nuance of the landscape, pulling up a weed here and nurturing a bud there.  His intuitive sense of coaxing life from that which had worth, while pruning away that which did not, was the thing that helped him turn a plot of alkali-filled dirt that no one else wanted...

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There Are No Tips & Tricks for the Grieving — But There is a Tool Kit

There Are No Tips & Tricks for the Grieving — But There is a Tool Kit

I wrote recently about the reviewer who lamented that my new book, Soul Messengers: A True Story about a Mystic, a Guardian, and a Businessman, lacked any “stand-alone tips or tricks for the grieving.” And the reviewer is right. It most certainly is lacking in that regard. As I went on to explain, I actually don’t have any, because there are no tips or tricks for grieving. But there is a tool kit. Challenging the Idea of Grief Therapy As a clinician who has spent the last twenty-five years working with the dying and the grieving, I have found that the term “grief therapy” is really a...

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Feeding the Soil

Feeding the Soil

Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit. — Unknown This quote came to mind after reading a recent review of my new book, Soul Messengers: A True Story about a Mystic, a Guardian, and a Businessman. The reviewer lamented that although the book contained many "thought-provoking stories," there were no "stand-alone tips or tricks for the grieving." Spoiler: There are No Tips or Tricks Don’t tell that reviewer, but not only does my most recent book not contain any tips and tricks for the grieving – as a therapist who has been working with...

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Everyone has a Grief Archetype: Here is why you need to know yours

Everyone has a Grief Archetype: Here is why you need to know yours

Imagine being lost in the woods on a dark night. You are wandering aimlessly with no inkling whatsoever of which way to go when you begin to notice the ground beneath you changing. And as each step gets a bit easier, it dawns on you that you have found a path. This path does not make the dark woods disappear, nor does it shorten the distance you must travel to get out of the woods --  but it does allow you to move forward with a bit more certainty, knowing that others have traveled this same route before you. In my work as a grief therapist, I am often a companion to those who feel lost in...

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The Wilderness of Grief

The Wilderness of Grief

In March of 2020, life on planet earth changed. And just like Max in the beloved children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, millions of us were sent to our rooms. We called it quarantine and it gave us a good long time to think and reflect. After this lengthy time-out, when we gingerly cracked open the door of our lives to peer out at what awaited us in the world, the manicured lives to which we were all accustomed had been replaced by a wilderness that seemed to grow up, over, and through all that was familiar. As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, the old landscapes of our...

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Life, Death and the Things that Matter Most

Life, Death and the Things that Matter Most

Silence is the fence around wisdom.  — German Proverb I have lost count now of how many times I begin to write a post, only to stop midway through my musings to turn back and huddle safely behind the fence of silence. Like many of us, I have felt so unbelievably overwhelmed by information in these last months – medical, political, social, and cultural. I read, watch, and listen to information from so many sources, paying attention to everything I can – allopathic, eastern, and integrative on the medical front, red, blue, moderate, independent on the political, and every creed, color,...

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Time to Worry . . .

Time to Worry . . .

‘We've made the children weep. It's time to worry.’ Ajay's home school literature assignment yesterday was to create a 'black out poem' from a page in the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' (Blackout Poetry is a mixture of poetry and art made by taking any form of printed text and blacking out the unwanted words to create a poem or statement.) Knowing he was far more interested in finishing his work quickly than awakening his inner poet, I was not surprised that less than 15 minutes had elapsed when he popped out of his chair yelling ‘done!’ as he threw his arms skyward like he had just scored a...

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Therapy . . .

Therapy . . .

“Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer.” Anthony Robbins What Anthony Robbins is suggesting, is that we learn to transform our relationship with fear. What we fear does not really matter - how we meet and greet what we fear does. Imagine that the next time fear arrived, instead of recoiling and stepping back, you stepped forward confidently shook its hand and said, 'So what brings you here today?' ...And then listened to what it had to say? Fear is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is a messenger, sometimes it is a motivator, and sometimes it is the voice of reason telling you that...

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