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Center for Renewal: Grief Counseling & Psychotherapy

Joan E. Pedersen, MA, ThM, LCSW-C

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A Place for Renewal
"We do best homage to our dead by
living our lives fully even in the
shadow of our loss."
                                                                                   -- Jewish prayer

Loss can take many forms beyond a physical death--separation/divorce, miscarriage, suicide, infertility, major illness, the passing of a favorite pet, or illness, unemployment, empty-nesting, retirement--each of which carries profound challenges and deep emotional pain. It can be a lonely and isolating time, particularly when well-intentioned friends or relatives might advise, "Just get over it. It’s time to move on.”


Sharing your unique story with me, an empathetic therapist who has also experienced loss, can restore a sense of stability as you work through the demands of mourning. Grief counseling affords you a safe, non-judgmental, setting in which your agonizing experience is validated and respected. With professional support, you can express, and in turn better understand the often overwhelming emotions of grief; accept the reality of the loss; develop appropriate coping skills; and re-invest in a healthy life-giving future.


The following books may offer you additional healing.


How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies, Therese A. Rando, PhD
No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life, Thich Nhat Hanh
Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful,
Ashley Davis Bush
Healing Into Life and Death, Stephen Levine
Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life for the Better, Jeanne Safer.
The Long Goodbye, Meghan O'Rourke
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death, Joan Halifax
The Mourning HandbookHelen Fitzgerald
Writing to Heal, James Pennebacker, PhD
Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, Hope Edelman
Widow to Widow: How the Bereaved Help One Another, Phyllis Silverman
Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst
Swallowed by a Snake: The gift of the masculine side of healing, Thomas R. Golden
In the Presence of Grief: Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying and Bereavement Issues,
Dorothy S. Becvar
Making Peace with Your Parents, Harold Bloomfield
Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankel
Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death, Irvin D. Yalom
The Courage to Grieve: Creative Living, Recovery, & Growth through Grief,
Judy Tatelbaum
No Time to Say Goodbye, Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One, Carla Fine
Dying Well, Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life, Ira Byock, M.D.
Handbook for Mortals, Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness, Joanne
Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harrold, M.D.
The Grace in Dying: How We are Transformed Spiritually as We Die, Kathleen Dowling Singh
Nothing was the Same, Kay Redfield Jamison
How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life--for the Better, Jeanne Safer, PhD
A Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
 Living Through Personal Crisis, Ann Stearns
Books to help grieving children:
The Invisible String, Patrice Karst
Talking about Death, Earl Grollman
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, Judith Viorst
When Dinosaurs Die, Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Tear Soup, Pat Schweibert
I Miss You: A First Look at Death, Pat Thomas and Leslie Harker
The Grieving Child: A Parent's Guide, Helen Fitzgerald
Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Guide for Grownups,
William C. Kroen
Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss,
Michaelene Mundy and R.W. Alley
About Dying: An Open Family Book for Parents and Children Together,
Sarah Stein
The Fall of Freddie and the Leaf,  Leo Buscaglia
Books to help with pet loss:
Precious Companion: Comfort and Remembrance after the loss of a pet,
Laynee Gilbert
Loss of a Pet: Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies, Wallace Sife, PhD
All God's Creatures Go to Heaven, Amy Nolfo-Wheeler
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Jack Canfield
Coping with the Loss of a pet: A Gentle Guide for All Who Love a Pet, Christina M. Lemieux