Healing the Grieving Heart

The Tristesse Grief Center is conducting grief workshops this fall.

By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: October 2010

Kerrie Long, ND, program and client services manager, and Susan Bramsch, executive director, show examples of memory boxes clients make in workshops at The Tristesse Grief Center.

Kerrie Long, ND, program and client services manager, and Susan Bramsch, executive director, show examples of memory boxes clients make in workshops at The Tristesse Grief Center.

The Tristesse Grief Center is conducting grief workshops this fall tailored to address the needs of specific groups who have lost a loved one, including children ages 6 to 12, teenagers ages 13 to 17, and adults.

“Back-to-school time and the upcoming winter holidays can uncover new issues and challenges for those who have lost a loved one,” said Susan Bramsch, executive director of The Tristesse Grief Center. “Individual counseling is an excellent method to work on grief and learn coping skills, but nothing can replace the strength of a support system with others that have also lost a loved one.”

The Grief Center’s fall workshops include Shadows to Rainbows, Hope and Healing for the Grieving Child; Together We Heal, Hope and Healing for the Grieving Teen; Miscarriage Grief Group; Child Loss Group; Spousal or Partner Loss Group; and Infant Loss Grief Group. Each workshop takes place once a week.  

The comprehensive six-week programs are held at the Center’s new location, 3930 E. 31st St. in Tulsa. Each workshop will begin by helping participants identify grief and learn effective coping skills. They will learn to manage emotions, participate in activities to honor and celebrate their loved ones’ lives, and explore healthy ways to express grief, all in a group setting.

“The sharing of ideas, having the opportunity to speak frankly, and receiving support can build an excellent and invaluable community for those that are trying to rebuild their lives after a loss,” said Bramsch.

Workshop activities are hands-on, and include games, balloon releases, and creating commemorative items. “In the children’s workshops, participants express their feelings through art activities, such as creating memory boxes. They decorate a brown wooden box with photos, scrapbooking materials, beads and words, and place important items inside that remind them of their lost loved one,” said Bramsch.

Group sizes are small, typically eight to ten people, to create a more intimate experience. “We purposely keep the group sizes small so that participants will feel more comfortable and bond more easily with each other,” said Bramsch.

Additional programs offered by The Tristesse Grief Center include yoga, massage therapy, and a grief wellness series. Kerrie Long, ND, program and client services manager, instructs the grief wellness sessions and addresses different aspects of grief, including physical symptoms, eating right while grieving, and tools for relaxation. “Many of our clients do not want to go the medicinal route for their grief-related symptoms, such as insomnia and anxiety,” said Long. “I explain different alternatives to medication, including herbal therapy and aromatherapy techniques. For example, peppermint naturally eases headaches, decreases nausea and lessens anxiety.”

For complete program information, including assessments, costs and available discounts and scholarships, please call (918) 587-1200 or visit www.TheGriefCenter.org.

Founded in 2002, The Tristesse Grief Center provides professional, independent and affordable grief services to bereaved children, teens and adults in northeast Oklahoma. The Center’s comprehensive services include counseling, training, education, memorial events and support groups, all dedicated to healing the grieving heart.

For more information, contact

The Tristesse Grief Center

3930 E. 31st St.
Tulsa, OK 74135
(918) 587-1200


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About Author Sheryl Sowell

Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.

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