‘Engine – Er’ by Lester Goldman, 2003 (used with permission from the Estate of Lester Goldman)

What is the first session like?
The first time we connect is a free 30-minute online or phone consultation. The goal is to give you some preliminary tools and insight, an understanding of my approach and communication style, and confidence in my ability to really help you. Also, it allows me to determine whether the two of us working together is a good fit. I want to feel assured that I can help you, and if not, I want to be able to refer you to someone who can. (Contact me here.)

What hours are you open?
I see clients from 9am to 8pm, Mondays through Thursdays; 9am to 5pm, Fridays; and 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. (Hours are Eastern Standard Time.)

How do I contact you?
Either write to me at griefandpoetry@gmail.com or call/text 610.742.6419.

How long are sessions?
Sessions are one full hour.

How many sessions will I need?
It varies considerably, and the support plan is tailored to the individual. Some wish to be connected for many months, others for less.

How often would I typically see you?
Once a week or once every two weeks is most common. However, there are a variety of options available, and scheduling is flexible.

What are your fees?
I charge $125 for a full one-hour session. (Please note that a small percentage of my clients are paying less than $125/session based on their personal circumstances.). I accept digital mobile (cash) payment through Venmo, Paypal or Zelle, and can also process credit card payments.

Do you take insurance?
No, I am not able to take insurance.

What is your cancellation policy?
If a session is canceled without 24-hours notice, $125 is charged. This is a standard practice in the profession.

What age range and gender do you see?
I work with people 18 to 108 years of age and with any gender.

Do you offer online or phone sessions?
Yes, both. Please know that I am not offering in-person sessions at this time.

Do you work with individuals experiencing loss or sorrow that is unrelated to a death?
Yes. Loss and sorrow meet all of us in some form or another when experiencing significant change—encountering a life-altering illness, on the tailwinds of divorce or separation, or loss of job or status. Support work is the beginning of a process of reclamation and redemption, an opening towards reshaping loss, and finding consolation, hope, and resourcefulness.

How do you work with individuals?
I provide deep listening and reverent attentiveness, helping clients reflect on, shape and reshape their loss in a safe, sacred and peaceful space. I meet individuals where they are and focus on helping them increase their ability to cope with the landscape of loss. It may include assisting individuals to connect or reconnect to ideas, practices, people, and principles that matter most to them. I may use poetry to provide additional comfort, deepen the space between us, and encourage reflection and opening.

I help individuals begin to understand, cope with, and endure a world that has been turned upside down and made strange by loss. Compassion for self, ways to understand and process loss, and strategies for reparation and redemption may be part of the process.

Do I have to enjoy poetry to able to benefit from working with you?
While I’m passionate about poetry, the answer is emphatically no. Poetry is used judiciously and only when an individual finds comfort and meaning in it.

What theories or body of knowledge do you use in your support work?
My focus is on the person and their narrative, and the work is based on humanistic, experiential, and contemplative principles. It includes carefully attending to emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and memories. This is the path to connecting one’s response (mind, body, spirit, emotion) to experience, and bringing them to a fuller understanding and integration. 

I have been influenced by the work of theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön, Francis Weller and Murray Bowen, and Buddhist teacher and Founding Director of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski.

How does your being an interfaith chaplain influence how you work with individuals?
You may be surprised to learn that chaplaincy training focuses on presence, reverent attentiveness, deep listening, loss and sorrow, forgiveness, and grace. It’s about creating a sanctuary space for witnessing and holding loss, sorrow, and grief. If a client desires conversation about God, theology, religion, or prayer, these topics can and will be broached.  

Will I be given “homework”?
I may ask you to be particularly attentive and mindful toward a situation or relationship dynamic. Or, I may encourage some exploratory writing or drawing focused on something we talked about, an experience you have had, or a poignant dream. At times, I have asked individuals to jot down some ideas on paper related to future intentions.

What is your education background?
I have a M.Ed. in School Counseling and a BA in Psychology. I am also a board certified (BCC) chaplain.

There are some griefs so loud/They could bring down the sky/And there are griefs so still/None knows how deep they lie…” — May Sarton

It takes outrageous courage to face outrageous loss.” — Francis Weller

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