There are many types of grieving styles, and that’s the topic of discussion between Dr. Heidi Horsley and Tina Barrett during the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference. Barrett is with the Tamarack Grief Center, an organization revered by Dr. Horsley and the Open to Hope Foundation. Comparing how girls grieve vs. boys is a tricky issue—since everyone grieves differently. It’s impossible to avoid lumping some stereotypes together with this conversation, however there are certainly well-established developmental differences between the genders. Still, as a nation men are under-served.

Look at almost any grief center, and you’ll find an inordinate amount of women. Tamarack Grief Center tackles this by offering a men’s retreat, geared just towards this gender and with customized therapies to connect with men and boys. Some participants have said they don’t want to come into an office and sit on a couch. They’d rather be with other men who understand while on the river catching fish.

Action vs. Process

Certainly men don’t have a corner on preferring action over process, but it’s a trend that Barrett has noticed. Dr. Horsley points out that many times, women know a man who’s grieving and are concerned because he won’t talk. If that’s the case, remember that your way of grieving isn’t the only one. You may want to help so desperately that you project your best grieving processes onto them. “What would feel helpful?” is one of the best questions you can ask.

Men may want to do something together rather than share stories or words. If you’d like to know more, contact the Tamarack Grief Center and discover a plethora of ways to help with the grieving process. There are both in-person and online methods of support, and it’s a fantastic avenue for any grieving men in your life.

 

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Heidi Horsley

Dr. Heidi Horsley is an international grief expert, licensed psychologist, and social worker. She is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Open to Hope Foundation, one of the largest internet grief resources, with over 2 million yearly visitors. She hosts the award-winning Open to Hope cable television show and podcast. Dr. Heidi is an adjunct professor at Columbia University. She serves on the ​National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, the largest peer to peer support organization in the world. She also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS has served over 50,000 military families who have suffered a loss. In addition, she serves on the National Advisory Board for the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation. Dr. Heidi is on the VIP section of Marquis Who's Who in America, Madison Who's Who, and Who's Who of American Women. Dr. Heidi has co-authored eight books, including; Spouse Loss; Fresh Grief; Inspirational Stories for Handling the Holidays After Loss; Inspirational Stories of Healing After Loss; Real Men Do Cry; A Quarterbacks Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression & Surviving Suicide; Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding Support and Guidance; and Signs and Hope From Heaven. She has appeared on the ABC television show 20/20, has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio shows as well as quoted in dozens of media publications, including the Metro World News, Washington Post, Time Magazine, Newsday, Money Magazine, and New York Daily News. Dr. Heidi is also the author of numerous articles and academic book chapters. Dr. Heidi gives keynotes, presentations, and workshops throughout the country, and teaches continuing education workshops for health care professionals on support following trauma and tragedy. For 10 yrs., Dr. Heidi worked as a co-investigator for the FDNY-Columbia University Family Guidance Program; a study which looked at traumatic loss in families of firefighters killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Through this 9/11 study, Dr. Heidi provided ongoing intervention and follow-up to firefighter widows and their children, and facilitated groups for bereaved siblings. In addition, Dr. Heidi supervised the school social work staff at Harlem Democracy Charter Schools in NYC for four years. Dr. Heidi's early career included work in a variety of clinical settings, including; Manhattan Psychiatric Center, California Pacific Medical Center Psychiatry Dept., University of San Francisco Mental Health Clinic, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Psychiatry Dept., and Hope Haven Residential Treatment Center in New Orleans. Her doctoral dissertation was on the sudden death of a sibling. Her academic credentials include a doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) from the University of San Francisco; a Masters degree in social work (LMSW) from Columbia University, and a Masters degree in mental health counseling (MS) from Loyola University, in New Orleans. Dr. Heidi splits her time between NYC and Tucson AZ.

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