Dr. James Hollis, PhD., calls the transition known as the “mid-life crisis” the “middle passage” between the first- and second-halves of life. However, the transition point is different for all of us. Some hit the point at age 30 and others at age 60. Generally, the “middle passage” begins when we have the experience of confronting the questions:
- Who am I, really?
- What is my purpose in life?
- How can I gain meaning in living?
- How can I be
st share my inner gifts and serve?
For some, this is a less painful and/or less challenging transition.. However, for most, it is precipitated by a significant life change, such as “empty nest,” loss of a job, a health challenge, an emotional upheaval, divorce, etc. I work with clients by supporting them in distinguishing how they may have followed someone else’s plan and / or expectations for living from the often crippling angst felt in trying to figure out and implement a new life plan of their own. Something (or perhaps someone) is often lost in the process and it must be grieved.
Grief after a Major Loss
Grief due to the death of a loved one or the loss of a job / health / goal or being in a transitional state in life can all feel the same. The process of grieving death, loss and transition is very similar.
Grief and loss can be debilitating and the only “bad grief” is not grieving. According to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, the predictable stages of grief include: denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, acceptance. There is no timeline for how long grief takes and the process is not linear.
The guidance I offer differs from therapy in that it does not work with underlying psychological or mental illness challenges. It does seek to provide “scaffolds of support” and suggested strategies to guide the client through the “swamp of suffering” to “dry land”.
I work with clients, drawing from Jewish grief rituals, which are year-long and universal. I also draw from the teachings of Karl Jung, James Hollis and other Depth Psychologists to support clients in embracing their psychic wound. Together we draw meaning from loss and journey toward acceptance of life without the loved one or without what was lost. This is NOT therapy and I will refer to therapists if there are underlying mental illness challenges blocking forward movement.
Meetings are by phone, Skype, FaceTime or in person. Fee: $65 per hour and I will consider working on a sliding scale, if circumstances warrant reduction in fees.