Recently, it was announced that the American Psychiatric Association is currently revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a tool used by clinicians to diagnose patients. Shockingly, they’ve added grief as a treatable disease as part of … Continue reading
About Suzy Yehl Marta
Suzy Yehl Marta, a divorced mother of three sons, gave up the security of her three jobs to do something she knew in her heart had to be done for our youth who were grieving a life-changing loss. She established Rainbows, www.rainbows.org now the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to helping families cope with loss.
While growing up, Suzy dreamed of being a good wife and mother. She never considered the possibility of divorce, and was devastated when her marriage ended. She was relieved when family and friends told her there was no need to worry about her kids. “They’re resilient. They’ll bounce back,” she was told.
But soon Suzy realized her sons were hurting as much as she was. She searched for the type of support that she was receiving as an adult. There was no place accessible for them to talk about what they were feeling. Certainly there was therapy available, which she tried. At the end of the counseling session, she was advised not to return. The therapist said they were just fine adjusting to their loss. But he never told them how to do it.
What Suzy learned later was that they were all grieving the death of their nuclear family. In addition, her sons needed to be with other children their age going through the same experiences so they could understand their feelings. Working with other concerned single parents, Suzy began organizing weekend retreats for children in single-parent and step-family homes. In three years, more than 800 youth benefited from the retreats. After hearing their stories, Suzy was compelled to do more. She began working on a formal curriculum- the foundation of Rainbows.
Rainbows has served nearly 2 million youth throughout the U.S. and 16 countries. Now the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to helping families cope with loss.
Books by Suzy Yehl Marta
Posts by Suzy Yehl Marta
Holidays are normally a time of joy and celebration amongst families; however, they can heighten children’s sense of loss. Whether it is loss from a death or a divorce, a child is more likely to acknowledge the fact that the … Continue reading →
The news this week of Osama bin Laden’s death evokes countless emotions. As I look back on the tragic day of September 11, 2001, I shudder with the memories of fear for our country and the immensity of how Rainbows … Continue reading →
Recently, TIME magazine published an article, “New Ways to Think About Grief,” by Ruth Davis Konigsberg and it listed several myths on grief. Open to Hope contributing writer Suzy Yehl Marta, founder of Rainbows For All Children, wrote a letter … Continue reading →
Following are thoughts from Suzy Yehl Marta about the recent death of Elizabeth Edwards. Why do you think people around the country are so moved by her death? Most likely, it is because of the drama and trauma she has … Continue reading →
News headlines are increasingly filled with tragic stories of youth becoming violent because they seemingly are lashing out to their peers as a way of expressing their anger, which I believe is often a result of a significant change in … Continue reading →
As the world pulls together to deliver physical necessities such as food, water and shelter, we must remember to respond to the emotional healing that is needed nationwide in Haiti as well. Following the earthquake, the children will experience post-traumatic … Continue reading →
The holiday season after my divorce found me overwhelmed and almost totally unprepared. It was a traumatic time, especially for my three young sons. Their father was gone. I went from being a full-time, at-home mom to a single parent … Continue reading →
By Suzy Yehl Marta – Josh was a quiet kid, a seventh grader in a mid-size, Midwest city whose parents’ divorce left him bereft. Fortunately, his school offered a peer-support group for students struggling with family transitions, and Josh chose to … Continue reading →
Note: After my husband and I divorced, I was so overwhelmed with my grief that I didn’t notice that my three boys were hurting too. I learned that kids aren’t resilient, as so many people say, and I knew I … Continue reading →
Being a single dad is tough. Even though it is the 21st century and there’s a diversity of family configurations, being a single dad is tough. It can be rewarding and gratifying too. But it’s nonetheless tough. It is tough because … Continue reading →