Head Heart Hope

Illustrated by: Ernest Luther

I wrote Beyond Here There Be Dragons 

because I noticed that most of the books about grief seldom look beyond the first year or so after a loss. Few of them acknowledge that the life transition that follows loss can often take a few more years to navigate. 
Instead of using the Grief River ® metaphor, this time I played with the "waves of grief" in a different way; visualizing that those waves have flung you far out to sea. With no wind in your sails and nobody and no land in sight, you are left to wonder, "Where do I go from here?" or even, "What's the point?" 
This is not one of those self-help book that promises, 
"10 Easy Steps to a New You," instead, it is a reflection on the stories I've heard from clients who have faced their own "dragons" and lived to tell the tale.​ Along the way, I tell a few stories of my own making, modern myths, that help to illustrate the point that, we don't have to be afraid of the dragons we encounter, it's even possible to make friends with them.

Other Services

Individual Counseling Psychotherapy

I am currently able to meet in-person and virtually with clients who live in Iowa and Illinois. My schedule is open to taking new clients and I have some daytime, evening, and weekend hours available. ​I work with adults, 18 years of age and older.  Contact me for more information about my fee structure and billing insurance providers.

Workshops Presenter

I present to groups, large and small, and base my fees accordingly. I love the interaction that happens at in-person workshops, but I'm also comfortable presenting online in multiple formats. These are some of the topics I can bring to your group, community, or organization.

  • ​Navigating Life Transition 
  • Grief and Bereavement (Especially the Grief River ® Model)
  • All our losses across the lifespan (Non-death Losses) 
  • Ritual as a resource for healing
  • Nature as a therapeutic intervention
  • ​Integrating the arts & humanities into counseling and psychotherapy
  • Self-Care, Self-Compassion, & Self-Reflection

Some recent or upcoming presentations include:

  • Grief River: A New Approach to Understanding and Supporting Loss, Hospice Foundation of America, (HFA) May 14, 2024, Live Webinar, for information about: CE Credit 

  • ​Riverview Center Staff Retreat, June 17 at Four Mounds, Dubuque, Iowa

  • ​​Grief River: Loss across the lifespan. Ohio Living, September 25 in Niles, Ohio

Group & Private Directed Retreats

I retreat from the frantic pace of modern life to my home in the woods just outside Galena, Illinois; a historic tourist destination near the Mississippi River, with plenty of opportunities for retail therapy, great restaurants, quaint B&Bs and hotels to match any budget.  Galena is situated in the  the "Driftless Area" of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. When the last ice age enveloped the Midwest, the glaciers missed this region, leaving an ancient topography of tree covered hills and dolomite/limestone bluffs that beckons us to come and experience the healing power of nature.

I lead weekend retreats for groups and individuals seeking solace for their wounded hearts. We can walk and talk along prairie or woodland trails, kayak on the calming waters of the Galena River, or just sit and listen for what the Earth has to teach us about how to be our authentic selves and live more intentionally in the present moment. Each season of the year offers its own unique lessons and invitations. Watch this space for future scheduled group retreats, or contact me for more information about how to arrange an individual private directed retreat.

Spiritual & World View 

Formally raised in the Christian tradition, with years of experience working in the Jewish community, and as a student of world religious and philosophical traditions, I find my own world view has shifted over the years, I bet yours has too.

Working in healthcare, and in the field of mental health, one goal of the therapist should always be to make that empathic leap, to try to enter into and understand, that other person's felt experience in order to foster healing; knowing full-well that you can never know completely. However, the effort brings us into deeper dialogue, and therefore clarity, and certainly closer into relationship where true transformation can take place. I want you to know that although my credentials suggest I have a lot of ministry in my background, I don't preach, I companion. I am going to respect you, and your world view, whatever that may look like. Fundamentally, we are all on a journey. Wherever you are today, is not where you will be tomorrow. The time we spend together, however short or long, will be transformative for both of us. So long as we are working to integrate head and heart, there will always be hope.

To dwell in peace with Mystery,

to walk with humility,

to embody empathy and kindness in all my actions,

toward the goal of harmony in all creation.

                                                                                                  The Grief River Guide