Grief Healing Story

To honor our confidentiality commitment to our clients, the story below uses the fictional name of “Susan.” “Susan” worked with counselor Catherine Hunter, licensed clinical professional counselor (LCSW, CADC, PMH-C), at Catherine J. Hunter & Associates.

What initiated counseling?
Susan experienced two painful endings: the passing on of her mother and the closing of the Christian elementary school that she founded.  She sought help to manage the grief and regret.

What did Susan discover?
Both the passing of her mother and the school closing occurred at the same time. Susan learned that by focusing on saving the school, she avoided dealing with the grief of her mother’s death. In addition, she felt guilt and regret for spending too much time on developing the school which took away time with her Mom in what turned out to be her final years.

How did the counseling sessions work?
The starting point for Catherine and Susan focused on how to close out these very big events in Susan’s life. “Catherine helped me dig out the root of many things so I could better understand my feelings,” said Susan. “Not only was she my therapist, confidante and lifeline, she became my life coach. She offered insight, prayed with me, and also provided concrete steps which I could take each week in order to provide closure.”

Positive closure was important to Susan. The sessions first focused on healing the guilt of being distracted by the school closing during her mother’s illness. As Catherine and Susan looked more deeply, other painful life issues emerged and helped Susan discover more about her current reactions.

Issues related to the school closing were tackled next. “I wanted to help out, working with teachers to find new positions and making sure people still felt valued,” explained Susan. “However, many issues were beyond my control. Catherine worked with me to establish healthy boundaries about where to contribute and where to move on.” Through these boundaries and weekly goals, Susan was able to heal the past, manage the present, and plan for future changes.

How did counseling help you with the most difficult changes?
“To have two crises at the same time was very difficult. I needed to spend time with my mother, but I had also created, given birth to, and nurtured this school,” said Susan. “I was trying to be there for my mother, but also dealing with feeling betrayal about the school. Catherine helped me close out these two very big events in a balanced and positive way.”

How has counseling changed her life?
“With Catherine’s help, I was able to resolve these painful events and move forward with living my life to the fullest,” said Susan. “Catherine is an amazing counselor who combines wisdom, practicality, and the path of God. Any client would be blessed to work with her.”

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