Aug 26, 2019
In this episode, Litsa Williams and Gordon discuss helping people with an issue that affects all of us at one point or another in our life, grief. Litsa and her partner, Eleanor Haley, have created an endless supply of resources for people who are in the grieving process. Plus, they have resources for professionals who help others that require grief support. Later, they discuss creative coping and the idea that re-grieving is entirely normal.
I have taken a winding road, from England and a Master’s in Philosophy, to Baltimore and a Master’s in Social Work, to working with homeless adults, troubled kids, and grieving families. It is those individuals who have taught more than I could ever have hoped to learn in my 20 years of schooling. Though I never imagined myself here I am confident it is where I am supposed to be. I live in Charm City, with my husband and my rescue pit bull. And I believe that 5 minute late is absolutely on time.
Grief is a natural part of life. It’s an adjustment people are going to have to cope with at some point. About 85% of people can cope with grief without getting formal grief counseling as long as they receive normalization, validation, and social support. Unfortunately, when we look at this space where people do not need extra support, where does it come naturally? Litsa and Eleanor asked if there was something that they could create in the online space that would offer so many new ways to share information and build community.
Both Litsa and her partner, Eleanor Haley, used photography as a real tool for self-expression and coping with their grief. They started talking about this and wanted to find other people who would be interested in it. As soon as they started talking about it, people were immediately online and wanted to know more about how to connect photography with grief. They ended up creating webinars, online courses, blog posts, and podcast episodes. People are excited about getting this information in a convenient format.
Litsa and Eleanor also create print materials for funeral directors, hospitals, grief centers, and hospices. They were often given brochures and booklets to hand out to patients during grieving times. The leaflets were outdated because they have not been updated for 30 years. Litsa loves seeing how her new materials are used as the first step to the introduction of grief for so many people.
At this point, Litsa and Eleanor have nearly 600 articles. They try and cast an extensive net and still publish every week. There has long been a disconnect between academia and the regular people out there for grieving materials. Sometimes the resources for people struggling are underestimated; their blog translates their knowledge into understandable terms for everyone. Plus, they cover topics like talking to kids about suicide, miscarriage loss, and creative expression. Also, they offer hands-on ideas for professionals to help their grieving groups.
We re-grieve experiences, and that is a normal part of life. For kids, this is especially important because they re-grieve at every developmental stage. When kids get older, they revisit those losses through new lenses they now have. We as adults do that as well. When we hit life milestones, we suddenly re-grieve losses even if it happened thirty years ago. It doesn’t mean we did not grieve right; it just means it is part of our journey. When we see things in the media, we will feel empathy for other humans, and our losses will wrap into those thoughts as well.
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Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook