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Remembering Catherine

Coming to Terms with a Client’s Murder

Maggie Mulqueen

By Maggie Mulqueen - Over the course of my career, numerous world events have entered my office. But none of them prepared me for grieving the murder of Catherine, my client of 15 years.

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The Courage to Let Go

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

Elizabeth Young

By Elizabeth Young - A whirlwind romance turns into a troubled relationship.

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One Enchanted Evening

A Special Storytelling Piece from Our Family Matters Department

Richard Holloway

By Richard Holloway - 40 years ago, to the shock of all my friends, I asked the most popular, desirable girl in school out on a date. When I arrived at her house, I noticed in her eyes a slight sadness that had never been evident to me before. Perhaps I should’ve had the presence of mind to ask her about it then.

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A New Stretch of the River

Learning to Age with New Openness in Our Hearts and Minds

Mary Pipher

By Mary Pipher - As we age, our bodies and relationships change, and the pace of change accelerates. At 70, we’re unlikely to be able to function as we did in our 50s. We require fresh visions and new paradigms for framing our experiences. What worked yesterday will not be sufficient for tomorrow.

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The Therapeutic Relationship, Revisited

A Man Discovers a Safe Guide, and a Real Person, in His New Therapist

Stephen Lyons

By Stephen Lyons - My work with Sara began in an uninspiring, windowless, downtown suite that she shared with another therapist. But before long, my therapy hour was the high point of my week. She came to show me that there were places I needed to go—vital, hidden places—that I couldn't get to all by myself. She showed me that she was a trustworthy guide. But after Sara suffered a devastating loss, I saw clearly, all at once, that she didn't simply exist to meet my needs.

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The Healing Power of Taking Baby Steps

Hope Follows Action, Not the Other Way Around

Yvonne Dolan

By Yvonne Dolan - Favoring positive emotions and subtly trying to subdue negative ones can sometimes backfire. Though focusing on mundane tasks in the present can seem impossibly beside the point for someone who has suffered a life-shattering event, it can help build, inch by inch and then yard by yard, a pathway out of despair and into the fullness of life.

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When Grief, Guilt, and Anger Collide

Finding Meaning in Feelings That Can Complicate the Grieving Process

Sameet Kumar

By Sameet Kumar - While grief may never entirely fade, and the loss that caused it certainly won't be forgotten, it almost always changes and becomes incorporated into life, so the grieving person can move on. There are times, however, when grief doesn't take this relatively straightforward path toward resolution.

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Pets: Our Most Unassuming Teachers

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Michael Hoyt

By Michael Hoyt - A man reflects on the death of a beloved pet, his burial, and the ones that came before.

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Helping Therapy Clients Cope with the New Realities of Death

With New Medical Advances, Navigating the Landscape of Protracted Dying

Joseph Nowinski, Joseph Nowinski

The increasing ability of modern medicine to arrest or slow terminal illness means that never before has death been such an extended process for so many. But as a culture, we’re only just beginning to face the deep ambivalence that reality creates for both patient and family. Just as important as conversations between patients, their families, and doctors about practical and medical end-of-life issues is the general conversation we all need to have about what the emotional experience of slow dying is really like, for both the ones doing it and those who must stand vigil.

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Our New, Complicated Relationship with Death and Dying

Helping Our Therapy Clients Cope with the Specter of Death

Joseph Nowinski, Joseph Nowinski

In spite of what’s clearly a massive social shift in the way we now enter and exit the domain of death, we still really don’t know how to talk about it. We haven’t yet begun to have the difficult, honest conversations---person to person, family member to family member, doctor to patient, therapist to client---that would help us better understand what to expect of this harsh landscape, and how to pick our way through it. As therapists, we’re uniquely well-placed to engage people in this emerging conversation and bring this topic into the light of shared experience.

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