Grief can feel like a tsunami - wave after wave of emotions that can overtake you at any moment. Have you lost touch with who you are? Life's challenges can feel dark, heavy, or even impossible to deal with.
Grief counseling with Dr. Melissa Valentina can help you reclaim meaning and joy in your life, sort through the possibilities, and chart a course towards a more hopeful future.Schedule today to get started
Are you suffering the loss of a loved one or perhaps someone you loved has left before it was time, such as in relationship loss? Loss of a job or a financial situation can also cause a grief response.
Losses of every size can completely shift the way that you experience and move through life. Often they require complete reorganization of our daily life, support system, and are accompanied by a wave of overwhelming emotion.
The depth of the feelings associated with loss often feels incomprehensible, indescribable, and isolating. I’m here to assure you that you are not alone, and that I understand those depths, intimately.
These symptoms are a natural response to the grieving process, whether the loss is of a person, a relationship, career or job, or a beloved pet. And yet—everyone grieves differently. If these sound true for you, I want you to know that in our society we don't talk about it much, but what you are experiencing is normal. Considering what you are going through, it is so important that you take extra good care of yourself right now. Reaching out for help can provide you with the support and encouragement you need. Getting through grief and getting to your “new normal” is a journey I specialize in. I can help ease your journey through grief with healthy choices and good decision-making.
You Are Not Alone.
You just need the right guidance.
My name is Dr. Melissa Valentina and I am here to guide you.
Life events can affect you in surprising ways. Loss of love, health, or career can exhaust you and create confusion, anxiety, or loss of sleep. Grieving is a lot of work and affects you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Maybe all thoughts of the future have turned sour, or, lost in your grief, your days start to blur together. Everyone experiences loss at some point in life, but knowing that doesn’t do much to change your daily experience. Stuck in negativity and feeling out of control, you may feel like life is overwhelming, like it's too much. You feel frustrated, scared, and unsure, as though you can't do anything right and not sure where to go from here.
Imagine shifting into a more positive outlook on life, finding new direction, and feeling confident about where you’re headed. Before your life was upturned and forced to take on a new shape, what were your goals? What were you pursuing? A fulfilling career? Supportive relationships? A picture-perfect family? The re-evaluation that accompanies loss is not always a negative experience. It allows you to clarify who you are, what you want, and perhaps most impactful, what you don’t want. Most people who start grief counseling feel scared. Perhaps you can relate. Stuck in the loss of something that matters is an incredibly challenging place to be, but you don’t have to stay there.
The loss can be like a void in us, the place that the loved one filled in us that is now empty. The realization that the loved one is really gone can be devastating, and you need time and support while mourning the loss that has been a large part of you. It can take some time to recover. After a while, it might seem as though other family members and friends have gone on with their own lives while you are still in the depths of your pain and grief. People benefit greatly from the help of a caring professional who has gone through significant losses and knows that everyone grieves in their own way.
There is no time limit on the grief process; it takes as long as it takes.
You have access to the help you need and the freedom to realize your strengths and your survivor abilities. Giving yourself this time to reflect, respond to the reflections, and to get the support you need is necessary to heal yourself and get started on your “new normal”, your life ahead.
Grief is work, perhaps the hardest work you will ever do.
Besides the emotional upheaval, decisions have to be made, and you have to function on a level that maintains your life and health. You might feel like you are going in a zillion different directions, and it can be exhausting.
Are you the beneficiary or executor of an estate?
For people who are the beneficiaries or executors of a will, that in itself can be a full-time job when you have to go right to work on the estate. With the demands of the estate process and lawyers, you feel like you have no time for grieving. Finding your way in making these important decisions while grieving can be daunting. You need all of the support that you can get as you go through this period in your life.
Grief Counseling helps you rise above your challenges and start moving towards your ideal life with less sadness and more joy.
You will get a toolbox of practical actions you need to find your way through difficult feelings and situations and deal with the challenges that arise in life.
Even if you are hurting and you may be confused about the emotions that are coming up for you, grief counseling may be able to help.
Giving yourself this time to reflect, respond to the reflections, and get the support you need is what is necessary to heal yourself and get started on your “new normal”, your life ahead.
Self-care is so very important, and therapy can help to comfort you, support you, and ease your way through this time.
Through therapy, my clients have discovered themselves in a new way and found the strength and tolerance to face each day and function on a fresh new level.
My clients say that going through therapy helped them:
Having someone whom you can talk to when you are suffering a life-changing event can make all the difference.
Grief counseling is effective in helping you deal with your loss and understand your needs while in the grief process and life in general. Having someone to talk with who understands the grieving process is taking care of yourself on a level that enables you to move forward with confidence in your healing and in your life.
When your world has been turned upside down, you need someone with whom you can express your feelings within a nonjudgmental space and who can support you as you walk through this time in your life.
Grief counseling consists of 50-minute, one-on-one sessions that help you work through your concerns and honor the loss of something (or someone) that mattered in your life.
I will help you find ways to recover and fill that void that is in you right now. In addition to listening, I will play an active role in helping you shape what your next steps look like.
Here’s how it will work step-by-step:
I will facilitate a safe, accepting space so that you will feel comfortable sharing your struggle with me. No loss is greater than any other, or too small to bring up in the safety of our sessions.
Through hearing your story and learning about the grief that is coloring your world, I will start to get a picture of what your challenges are.
Our work together will start by helping you address immediate concerns like managing the difficult emotions surrounding this loss, as well as the deeper emotions simmering underneath.
By remembering who you were before, and connecting to the passions, goals & hopes that once motivated you, we will set the baseline for what success in therapy will look like.
Keeping your unique goals in mind, we’ll figure out what’s needed to help you reach them, with concrete, actionable steps to help you get there.
Over the course of our sessions, you will start making progress in the grief process and towards the life you desire.
Grief counseling can positively change your thinking, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. It can help you let go of what’s holding you back. The tools you learn and insights you gain about yourself in grief therapy will be useful throughout the rest of your life.
"I thought my anxiety over that experience was behind me”
Have you thought this statement to yourself before? Anxiety can be triggered by sensations such as a statement you hear, a smell that reminds you of an old memory, or hearing a particular tone in another person’s voice. These types of anxiety triggers stem from situations in the past and demonstrate the link between anxiety and trauma.
Loss, whether due to the death of a loved one or loss of a relationship, is hard work and demands a lot of yourself. Investment in yourself in a safe, supportive environment can help you get through this.
This grief recovery process can be a journey of self-discovery that you give to yourself. Together, we can realize your strengths and your inherent survival abilities. My goal is to make this transition as simple and as meaningful for you and everyone involved. Our therapy will provide you with the reassurance and clarity you need for the road ahead.
There are several approaches to grief, and I use an integrative approach that is suited for the individual at the time of need. Some of the tools used to help you find the peace, calm, and joy that has been missing in your life: painting, journaling, movement, hypnosis therapy, guided meditation, mindfulness techniques
The focus of my doctoral program was grief and loss and I specialize in this work. Beyond that, I have been there before – death, divorce, career loss. Knowing how to deal with the decisions and issues is a process that is unique for everyone, and when you are doing something that you have not dealt with before, professional support and direction is essential.
I use integrative, solution-focused, and strength-based approaches. This means that I use an appropriate approach for your particular situation. This has proven to be beneficial with clients who are motivated to recover from grief and loss, including loss of loved ones (and yes, pets), relationships, or health. The length of time in therapy depends on where you are now, what you want to accomplish, and how open you are to express yourself in a nonjudgmental space.
Of course, you can survive grief. However, I can help you through the process in a much healthier way, where you will be heard and acknowledged, and helped to calm, soothe, and heal.
When you want to do more than just survive: you invest in yourself, you consult a professional, and you get the help you need to get to your new normal and thrive.
Investing in your health with therapy is an optimal way to get back to living and creating the life you dream about.
Replacing what you’ve lost is often not possible, and certainly not always on your ideal timeline, but taking care of yourself is essential, from the illness, from day one of the loss, and throughout your process of finding your way back. Getting back to and maintaining your sense of well-being will help you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Taking care of yourself and meeting your needs will help you heal.
Learning how to deal with and fill the void left by your loss can be a journey in self-discovery and holds the potential for personal growth. Filling that void and finding yourself again can take a while but is an essential process as you learn about and recreate yourself. I am dedicated to helping people suffering from grief and loss to recover and find direction in their life again.