Grief. How to deal with grief.

September 12, 2016
Hosted by Kathy J. Ellis

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Grief. It finds us early in life and never really ever lets go. Maybe that’s OK, in a ‘it’s part of being human’ kind of way. I wish it on no one. And it’s not my place to try to take it away from anyone. We should not rob people of their grief by saying pep talk, feel good kind of things. Sure everyone means well but we all need to have our grief. We go to great lengths to make it stop and have life go back to the way it was. It can’t. But we can learn to be with it. What does the topic of loss have to do with individuation and autonomy, the main theme of Make Life Work? Sometimes grief can consume us and cloud any sense of ourselves. And, it takes psycho-emotional autonomy to sit with someone’s pain without trying to fix it. My guests have had great loss, and they’ve managed it in different ways. Fiona Tankard wrote Ruby and the Ghost Dog after losing her husband. And Alison Jennings Wohleb is a mom who lost her son. She’ll give us insight on how to respect the grief of others.

Make Life Work

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

Hello and welcome to Make Life Work where I’ll be talking about people, culture and everything "humanity" (animals, too as they're part of humanity). It might sound like a mix between psychology and cultural anthropology classes but much more entertaining. I’ll talk about how we shape culture and how it traps us, and look at how the expectations of social groups and families impact how we think, feel and behave. It’s impossible to separate the nature of people and the influence of society. We all have a little something we have to deal with and we often get in the way of our success and happiness. The great news is just a little change goes a very long way. Society can't change if people don't grow as humans and people won't change if society fails to evolve. We need to attend to both, the health of society and the health of people.

Kathy J. Ellis

After 35 years as a Marriage, Family and Child therapist (LMFT) I’m starting my “retirement career” as a radio host, life coach (and food blogger and photographer). In my career I’ve worked with many different people from all walks of life and all ages. I’ve opened businesses; work in many different settings, and provided training and education. I’ve studied communication skills, physiological psychology (it’s all about the brain!), social and educational psychology. I’m also a keen observer of how the culture and society shapes individual beliefs, attitudes and behavior. If I had to pick an approach to therapy it would be Cognitive Behavioral, but the truth is that people are not theories, they are not books, nor are they a clinical diagnosis. The first thing I say to new interns is “Now, throw away the books.” What I want to know is what people think more then they feel. It doesn’t take a therapist to see what someone is feeling, but we can’t see what a person is thinking. Of course, feelings have their place and are so important, when they’re not screwing around with someone’s ability to make a safe and sound decision, muster up confidence, tolerate mistreatment or grow up.

Now I just want to share what I know about people and culture, and if anyone learns something, laughs a little and feels a bit better about themselves then that would be an added bonus!

For the whole story, my credentials and experience please go to

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