Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thursday, April 10th – “Spring has Sprung” Free Food Workshop

Spring has finally arrived and this is the perfect time for spring cleaning, detoxing and exploring our relationship to food.

In this workshop, we will explore foods that we can add into our diet instead of restricting ourselves through cleanses and diets! We will review basic ways to supplement your meals with adding nutrient dense foods, recipes, and MAKE yummy green smoothies that even your kids will eat! This will be an interactive experience encouraging mindfulness, thoughtfulness and the opportunity to develop a healthier relationship to food. We will also discuss our Primary Foods- Spirituality, Relationships, Career, Physical Activity.

The workshop will be facilitated by Lauren Seltzer, LMFT
Call Westport Family Counseling to sign up
(203) 227-4555 or email:

Environment of Acceptance for Loss of a Pet

The relationship between people and their pets creates a bond like no other. Animals accept us for who we are. They are willing to tolerate the worst of our moods with a kind eye, love and without judgment.

It is therefore not surprising that we grieve for the loss of a pet, as we would a close friend or family member. Additionally the loss can have an impact on physical or mental health.

Unfortunately, the loss of a pet is not considered significant by many and owners are left to bear the bereavement process without help or support.

WFC is creating a group for mourning and loss in an environment that is acceptable and welcoming. Owners will able to share their grief with others of similar losses.

Mourning is a long process. We are committed to help those in need for  5-10 sessions, once weekly in a group of four, but no more than eight people.

The Loss of a Pet

She sat in the group saying that she hadn’t felt this badly since her father died of a heart attack, in her arms.

How could the death of her dog hurt as much as the death of her father?

Intensity and longevity of grief and the mourning of a companion animal may rise to the emotional level of the loss of a family member or friend.

Grief varies widely for each person in symptom and process. Some cry and sob, or feel numb. Some feel depressed and guilty about choosing euthanasia, while others feel a profound sadness. There are those who withdraw while others have an urge to talk about their pets, or yearn and search for them for months.

The other factor that can complicate grief is a personal history of past losses which when triggered by the death of a pet, may bring back old intrusive memories.

Often people grieve in silence because they are afraid that others will trivialize their pain. It is important to be able to express grief in an emotionally healthy way free of embarrassment or shame.

Whenever a person becomes ready to face the loss, if needed, they can greatly benefit from the empathy of others who will listen. One of the best modalities is a support group led by a professional.

Vera Muller Paisner LCSW/Psychoanalyst

Pet Bereavement Groups @ WFC Westport CT. Call for information