Grief is a natural and normal response to loss – a consequence of being human. While grief is “normal”, it’s not necessarily easy. This normal/not easy situation can be made even more complicated with messages from family, friends, colleagues, and culture implying that you’re somehow “doing it wrong” (you’re not), should be “over it” (let’s avoid the “shoulds”, shall we?), or could be better if you “just don’t think about it” (wrong). How annoying!
As a clinical social worker specializing in grief and loss, I am comfortable sitting with individuals experiencing the normal, not easy, complicated, and ever-changing feelings associated with grieving a death, relationship, illness, unfulfilled dreams, move, and more. I can provide a listening ear, a space to feel, and perhaps an eye-roll to accompany the latest platitude from the next cubicle over (you won’t hear “it happened for a reason” from me). Together we can identify coping skills that have worked well for you in the past and develop a creative plan to tackle the days when those old skills aren’t as effective.
You might be wondering, “if grief is normal, then what’s the point of grief counseling?” Great question. While most people can benefit from working with a counselor at some point in their life, grief counseling can be especially helpful if you grieve a loss and …
Find it difficult to focus
Cry often, unexpectedly
Experience significant changes in your eating or sleep patterns
How long will I feel like this?
Am I doing it wrong?
Is it okay to laugh again? Will I laugh again?
When will I “get over it?” Do I want to be “over it?”
What’s the meaning in all of this?
What do I do with his stuff?
How do I support my children?
How I do move forward?
Just want to talk about it … Sometimes it’s that simple. There’s nothing wrong with this – nothing pathological, nothing to be diagnosed, nothing to be “treated” or “fixed.” And, because grief isn’t linear with defined starting & ending points, you may find that you want to talk about your grief soon after someone dies or years down the road. Maybe both – and that’s okay.
Whatever your reasons for pursuing grief counseling, I’m here to hear your story, affirm my belief in you truly doing the best you can, and work together towards a future where you feel okay to laugh again.
If you’re the person who is living with a chronic or terminal illness, I’m here for you, too. We can discuss your fears, vision for your days ahead, and your legacy. We can also reimagine what hope means for your future.
The relationship you have with your counselor can greatly inform your experience with counseling. Here’s a bit more about me:
I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Missouri. A “happy accident” in graduate school led to practicum (internship for social workers) with a pediatric hospice in St. Louis, MO. This initial “plan B” launched a career dedicated to supporting individuals with chronic & terminal illness and those who grieve. My professional & volunteer work with a community-based, child-focused grief center, oncology support groups, and hospice inform my person-centered approach to care. While I deeply value my formal education, I know that the real experts are people like you. Thank you for considering sharing your story with me.
At the end of the day, I’m the product of a small town that enjoys distance running, cooking, live concerts and sports (can I get a “Let’s Go Blues!”?), and most of all, time with family.
More on Nicole's approach to grief therapy and her work with clients who are on life's journey with chronic illness
Nicole is one of our favorite in-house contributors to our blog. Read any of her blogs, linked below, to get a better sense of her insight, expertise, and approach to her therapeutic work!
Chronic Illness Blogs:
Begin Counseling with STL Therapist,
Nicole is ready to get started with you when you are. Reach out today to start meeting with her in our Ballwin, MO counseling clinic. We can also chat via telehealth for online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. Truly, anywhere in the state! If you're a Chicago resident, we have in-person therapy available in Chicago, too! Taking this first step is a big deal, so you are already making great progress! Just follow these simple steps and we will get started.
Reach out to Marble Wellness
Our Client & Project Coordinator will be your first point of contact. She'll get you set up with a good match for your on our team, and talk first appointment details.
Meet with STL Therapist, Nicole Rhodes
Nicole is part of our team of therapists who works with grief. She also provides therapy for chronic pain and counseling for chronic illness. With her training and specialized knowledge, you'll be able to get to feeling better right away.
Start to live happy and calm again
Whether it's in-person, online, or park therapy, you and your STL therapist, Nicole, will work together to help you start to live the life you've been longing for.