News & Press

Grief Is Not a Disorder

Grief Is Not a Disorder

Grief Is Not a Disorder My Position on the New “Prolonged Grief Disorder” Diagnostic Category in the DSM by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Our phone at the Center for Loss and Life Transition has been ringing off the hook in recent weeks with requests for my opinion of...
Waking Up to Gratitude

Waking Up to Gratitude

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   I’ve become a fan of sunrises. Before COVID-19 changed all of our lives, my busy travel and teaching schedule had me hopping. Most mornings after I woke up, I went straight to work. I had a love-hate relationship with the adrenaline of...

Nurturing Hope in Difficult Times

  by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   “Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.” — Pliny the Elder   The caller to the Center for Loss asked a question that is on the hearts of many right now: “Are we going to get through this?” It became obvious as the...

This Pandemic of Grief

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The coronavirus is not only causing a viral pandemic—it is giving rise to a pandemic of grief. As I write this, in mid-March, we as a global community are suffering so many losses that I hardly know where to begin. Death and grief go...

Eleven Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Tenet One: Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain.   Tenet Two: Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being’ it is not...

The Paradoxes of Mourning: Part 3 of 3

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Backtracking on the Route to Healing Paradox 3: Mourners must go backward before they can go forward. A paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory statement or situation that is in fact often true. The paradox of mourning we will consider...

In Praise of Slow Funerals

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Have you ever noticed that we are speed-obsessed these days, even though faster is often not better? A century ago, the Industrial Revolution brought about mass production and with it an emphasis on speed, efficiency, and productivity....

The Paradoxes of Mourning: Part 1 of 3

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Creating Hello Opportunities Paradox 1: Families must say hello before they can say goodbye.   A paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory statement or situation that is in fact often true. The paradox of mourning we will consider...

The Paradoxes of Mourning: Part 2 of 3

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The Dark Night of the Soul Paradox 2: Mourners must make friends with the darkness before they can enter the light.   A paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory statement or situation that is in fact often true. The paradox of mourning...

Grieving the Death of a Celebrity

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   When someone we have admired from afar dies, it’s normal and natural to experience grief. This article will help you understand your thoughts and feelings over the death of a celebrity and find healing ways to mourn.   What is...

Why Is the Funeral Ritual Important?

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   “When words are inadequate, have a ritual.”  — Author Unknown Rituals are symbolic activities that help us, together with our families and friends, express our deepest thoughts and feelings about life’s most important events.  Baptism...

Helping Your Family Heal After Stillbirth

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Stillbirth is a profound loss Few events in life bring about such warm and wonderful feelings of anticipation as the announcement of a pregnancy. As soon as you and your family learned you were expecting, you naturally began to have...

Reaching Out for Help When You Are Grieving

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   “Action is the antidote to despair.”  – Joan Baez When someone you love dies, you must mourn if you are to renew your capacity for love.  In other words, mourning brings healing.  But healing also requires the support and...

Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Holidays are often difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of someone loved.  Rather than being times of family togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving, holidays can bring feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.   Love...

Helping Yourself Heal When a Pet Dies

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   A pet is a family member, too A pet is often a member of the family. In fact, surveys show some interesting facts about pet owners: 84 percent consider their animals family members; 99 percent talk to their pets, and 54 percent...

Helping Your Family Personalize a Funeral

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   If you are in the midst of planning a funeral, you may be feeling overwhelmed right now.  Many details must be attended to. Many people must be contacted.  Many decisions must be made. Your natural and necessary feelings of grief make...

Helping Teenagers Cope with Grief

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.   Each year thousands of teenagers experience the death of someone they love. When a parent, sibling, friend or relative dies, teens feel the overwhelming loss of someone who helped shape their fragile self-identities. And these feelings...