Understanding the world as it really is—random—can liberate and empower us.
Verified by Psychology Today
Pondering the emotional side of life, beginning to end.
Deborah L. Davis Ph.D.
Protect-and-direct bereavement care is "what not to do." But this practice can be a longstanding habit that's hard to break. How can you begin to change your ways? Start here.
After a baby dies, protecting parents from pain and directing them to move on might sound good. But this approach bothers parents and does real harm. Let’s explore how and why.
Let’s review the beliefs that drive us to “protect and direct” bereaved parents, and explore how these thoughts translate into specific actions.
The urge to "protect & direct" is based on certain beliefs about bonding, death, and grieving and the related assumptions made. See which ones you hold, and ponder their influence.
Your words have a powerful effect on grieving parents, whether you’re a professional caregiver or a dear friend. Here are some insights on what to say.
Platitudes, euphemisms, and jargon do more than just inflict pain. They actually create distance. Be mindful of this effect, and understand the value of honest, open, plain talk.
Encouraging words, mild expressions, & medical jargon are meant to be kind and caring, but rarely have that effect on bereaved parents. Find out why, so you can offer real support.
Cognitive empathy discourages connecting with parents; emotional empathy makes it hard to accept parents as they are. Compassion is what enables us to skillfully accept & connect.
What’s the difference between compassion and empathy? Why is compassion key to supporting bereaved parents? How does it ward off burnout & increase your professional fulfillment?
When you "accept and connect," you become a nonjudgmental witness and companion, which enables you ease parents’ suffering with a therapeutic, compassionate presence.
How to think about the suffering we witness in grieving parents, and why they benefit most when we accompany them through their suffering rather than jumping in to protect them.
Why does separating parents from their dying or deceased babies deepen their distress? And how do parents benefit when we honor their bond and trust them to know what they want?
What happens if grieving parents can’t “move on” after their baby dies? Let’s look at grief and adjustment, common concerns, and the kinds of support that truly benefit parents.
Adjusting to a baby’s death can be extremely hard, and parents never forget. That's why they experience profound grief and a lengthy mourning, and “moving on” is not an option.
Are you in a relationship and comparing yourself to her ex-lover? Are these thoughts interfering with your happiness? How to gain confidence and get rid of the ghost.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month; the 15th is the International Remembrance Day, observed with "a wave of light". Here's how to offer support to bereaved parents.
Offering comfort to people in crisis requires special care and sensitivity. It can also require that you get support.
Unsure of how to support loved ones in crisis? If you can picture concentric circles and a spotlight trained on the center, you can up your game.
Is your partner constantly irritated? Do you feel like you're being blamed? Here are some ideas to consider, ways to deal with it, plus resources that show how to restore peace.
This week’s #metoo moment yields a pointed lesson on how sexual harassment is mostly about power dynamics—and even feminist scholars can wield power plays.
It's Pride Month. An out and proud reader wonders about how to handle people who shine a spotlight on her LGBTQ+ status. Here's a look at how to build bridges of understanding.
It's summertime and the sexy lovin' is easy—and sometimes WAY too loud. If lusty neighbors are scorching your eardrums, here are 10 tips for dealing with this situation.
Graduation. Wedding. Career advancement. Parenthood. Retirement. All exciting milestones. All huge adjustments. How to grow into your next chapter with grace and enjoy the journey.
Why do yo-yo relationships keep you hooked, even as you try to leave? Here is an explanation of the dynamics, plus five keys to breaking free and finding closure.
What if you’re madly in love with each other, but he doesn’t want children and ends the relationship because of it? How to cope with the pain and adjust to this loss.
Isn't there a difference between bad guys doing bad things, and good guys doing gross things? A bad date is not #metoo.
Most New Year’s resolutions are epic fails. Instead, reflect on how you’ve stretched and grown during this past year, and you’ll reinforce your gains and learn your lessons well.
Tired of arguing about politics? You may even be dreading family or social gatherings this holiday season. But you can build bridges, not walls, with compassion and warmth.
Louis C.K. is a talented and lauded comedian. What makes a good guy behave like a bad guy? And how can we come to terms with his grossly inappropriate sexual impositions on women?
Feeling bombarded by record-breaking natural disasters, the opioid epidemic, and ongoing political and social strife? Here are 10 key tips for managing stress during trying times.
Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and the author of 6 books, including one about perinatal hospice titled A Gift of Time.