Workshops focus on loss, grief

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BETHEL – “Recognizing and Coping with Loss and Grief,” a four-part workshop series, will be presented from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 27, Feb. 10, March 3 and 17, at the Garland Chapel of West Parish Congregational Church, Church Street.

The series, led by professional counselors, is designed to help people cope with feelings of loss and grief due to death or illness, accidents or the death or loss of a pet.

On Jan. 27, James Douglas, MEd, hospice bereavement supervisor, and Ann Hutchins, RN, hospice nurse, both of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, will present “An Overview of Grief.”

They will discuss how grief normally unfolds, will help dispel common myths and misunderstandings about grief and offer practical strategies to deal with end-of-life issues by promoting healthy grieving for all ages.

On Feb. 10, Jake Lariviere, coordinator, Grieving Children and Teens Program, and David Walton, LCPC, ACS, school counselor, Meroby Elementary School, will present “How Children and Teens Grieve Differently.”

They will focus on the changing thoughts, feelings and actions of toddlers to teens as they react to a death in their lives. Suggestions for parents to help their grieving children at each developmental age group will be presented.

On March 3, Paul Matteson, MS, Ed, Edgebrook Inc., will present “How to Cope with Unexpected and Traumatic Loss.” He will explore the challenges of grieving unexpected or traumatic losses from accidents, suicide or homicide and present strategies for healthy coping and grieving in the face of such loss.

On March 17, Wayne DuPlessis, MEd, MFT, counselor, will present “How to Deal with Depression Following Loss and Grief.” He will cover the most important issues discussed in the prior three sessions and how they can manifest themselves in anxiety, depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Discussion will include what can be done to minimize those effects in daily life.

Complimentary copies of the “Working Through Grief, Self-Care Handbook,” will be provided to each workshop participant.

The workshops are part of the “To Your Health” winter series of health issues co-sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College and SAD 44 Community Education. Others collaborating with the series include the Bethel Family Health Center, Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, Bereavement and Grief Support Services and DuPlessis.

The workshops are free and open to the public. It is not necessary to attend all four workshops, but preregistration will be appreciated to help with planning. For more information or to register, call one of the co-chairwomen, Rosabelle Tifft at 824-2053 or Wendy Iseman at 824-8610, and leave name and phone number.

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