Trauma & Grief

Trauma (painful events, memories and emotions) will stay in your mind and body, until they are addressed and the pain-body (emotion/feeling) is moved, out of your body and into the past.  Growth and healing occur when the emotional pain is let go of, moved into the past, bringing only the lessons you have learned from the experience about yourself, into your life NOW.

When trauma happens: (whether it is traumatic loss/death, early childhood abuse, or abuse to you in the present time), it affects every aspect of your Being.  The symptoms that you have; spacing out, going numb, physical and emotional pain, anxiety and depression, are your body/mind’s way of showing you there is a problem you need to deal with (a psychic wound).

The amazing piece of art work, created by Natalie on this page, so clearly illustrates to me how difficult it is for most of us, to see the pain we have inside of ourselves.  We either move into the defense of avoidance and denial because we don’t want to see or experience the pain, or we have moved the incidence and pain into the unconscious part of our mind and it may only come out in our reactions and behaviours.  The pain gets trapped in the body/mind/spirit connection and we begin suffering with some symptoms, distortions of life or dis-ease.  Some people numb and then hurt others. Wounded people may wound others if they don’t use their courage to heal themselves.

Grief is always a part of trauma whether it is a loss (death) or if you have been traumatized.  Grief is normal, natural and necessary for healing, growth and leading healthy, contributing lives.

We live in a very death denying and emotional denying society.  Others, as well as ourselves, don’t give the grieving individual enough support or time, to work through the grieving process.  We act better much before our broken hearts are healed and we have adjusted to the many changes in our lives.  The thoughts and feelings surrounding the death or loss (relationship) of someone that we are connected to can be devastating and many times we need support and encouragement to work with the physical and emotional symptoms of grief to be able to continue moving healthily in life.  We learn to develop a different relationship with those who have left us.   We learn to create new and different meanings to our relationships and life.

For training in grief and trauma please look at the workshop, training page.


The Certificate in Bereavement Education provides a very comprehensive approach to bereavement for professionals working with individuals who are grieving.  Ms. Fitzgerald and her faculty, each expert in the area they teach and outstanding instructors, present excellent and in-depth material offering a multitude of learning experiences using various teaching modalities. This program provided  me with broad and sweeping insights into bereavement using a multifactorial framework. 

Looking at bereavement issues in a holistic way and engaging with health care professionals, clergy, funeral professionals, teachers, community workers, counsellors, and therapists in lectures, group work, discussion, and films provided for me a unique way of sharing and learning. Moreover, the self-reflection practices utilized by this program allow each learner to adapt theoretical models to oneself, which in turn, enhances applied learning which is then used in working with others. At the same time, Ms. Fitzgerald and each instructor is sensitive to the emotional responses and triggers that may possibly affect learners as they work with their own grief in order to apply theoretical models to themselves and others during the class.  I found that this component of the program made the learning both powerful for my own life experiences and meaningful to me as a professional working with those who are bereaved. The handouts are well planned and organized in accordance to the teaching in the class.

I highly recommend The Certificate in Bereavement Education for anyone seeking to enhance his or her knowledge in this importance area.

Rabbi Rena Arshinoff

Nathalie VachonNathalie Vachon

WorkshopsCalm Zone

Learning to reframe and work with our trauma and the grieving process, allows us to take back control of our lives, as well as promoting healing and growth while adapting to change.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”

Mahatma Ghandi