Self Care During Our Grief Journey

Grieving takes a lot of work and a lot of energy out of us!

Often after the funeral ends and friends and family go home the toughest days are upon us.  These days don’t dissipate just because we “look ok”, “act ok”, “seem ok” or even laugh.

Grief can be exhausting, lonely, and at times difficult to manage.  Grief often is a moment-by-moment journey.   I like to look at grief as an opportunity to re-discover ourselves.  It takes time to get there and re-invest in life, but it does happen if you are willing, get support, reach out, and share.

This past week during our bereavement group at Coral Springs Funeral Home we looked at self-care during the grieving process.  We looked at things that deplete our energy and also nourish and uplift us up.  Check out the diagram below and follow these simple directions.  You can do this on your own, with you family, friends or someone who loves and supports you.  It is a conversation you can have over coffee, tea, a dessert or anything you fancy.

  1. Put your name in the middle.
  2. Anything that takes away from you or depletes your energy put on the outside of the circle.  These things can be people, conversations, habits, behaviors, thoughts, situations, actions, etc.
  3. Anything that nourishes you put on the inside of the circle.  These are things that give back to you, lift you up, and support you.
  4. Have a conversation with others to generate more ideas and possibilities.
  5. Keep this exercise in your consciousness because as you live your day-to-day life you will discover other things that both deplete you and nourish you.
  6. With new awareness around what depletes you and what nourishes you, you get to choose what is best for you from moment to moment.  It increases your own resources during your grief journey.


If you liked this exercise and can see how coming to a bereavement group might be beneficial to you we would love for you to come join us.  CLICK HERE for details of where and when we meet.  Our Bereavement Groups are ALWAYS complimentary to ALL participants.

By Katie Lemieux


What Dad Taught Me About Money, Finances, and Life

As Father’s Day approaches I am reminded of my dad, as many of you may be.  I like to generalize both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day to think about the men and women who have impacted our lives in a positive way.  Sometimes it is our parents and sometimes it isn’t.


When I think about my dad, I think about the teachings of money.  My dad never really “talked” to us about money rather he demonstrated and showed us about money.  I remember going to the bank every other Saturday to put a portion of our allowance in the bank.  It was a tradition. We would get up Saturday, drive down to the bank, and deposit our money.  I don’t remember what I was saving for, but I do remember how excited I was to watch my balance grow.  He showed me how to keep track of my money on a registry, fill out a deposit slip, and speak to the teller, remember this was before the days of internet and online banking.

I remember when I turned 16 and was ready to drive.  My dad came in my room and handed me the bill for my car insurance.  I took the bill and after he left the room I cried.  I thought, “How unfair, none of my friends had to pay for theirs.  Their parents all paid their car insurance and gas!”  What teenager doesn’t think his or her parents are “unfair”.  Unbeknownst to me my dad was teaching me valuable life lessons.  Some of these lessons were learning the value of money, how much things cost, hard work, appreciation, and the delay of gratification, something often lacking these days in our fast food, “have it now” world.  These life lessons have paid off in a BIG way as an adult.  I am glad to say I am financially sound.  When I look at many of my friends of the same age, many of them have an exuberant amount of debt, they live beyond their means, have no retirement, no ownership of anything, etc.

Looking back over my childhood I appreciate my dad and his teachings.  I appreciate how he taught me about money.  He created experiential learning, true life lessons and for that I am grateful.  Thanks Dad for teaching me how to make my piggy bank perpetually happy by keeping it fed!

~ Kate

PS – I would love to hear about the positive things your dad or someone like a dad has taught you.

by Katie Lemieux


101 Things I Am Happy About – A Look Over 1 Week

positive+psychology+happiness+depression+anxiety+i+want+to+be+happyAs a therapist I seek to help people look at and EXPAND the positive things in their lives.  At EVERY session I always start off by asking the people I work with, “What is going well since I last saw you?”  I train them to begin to look at small progress, things that make them happy, things that are changing for the better, etc.

As a therapist I have a strong belief that I won’t ask a client to do what I haven’t already done or what I would be unwilling to do myself, so today I thought I would challenge myself and look over a week in my life and come up with 101 things that I am happy about.

Here is my list and I would love to hear what your list is.  Remember it doesn’t have to be big, something simple, something small, something that puts a smile on your face.

1.  Shaun T. – he is my workout buddy 5 days a week.  I love T-25!

2.  Apple TV – I love that what I put on my computer can pop up on my TV for all to see.  I often use this during Friday supervision with my registered (and AWESOME) interns I might add.

3.  My spouse

4.  My comfy bed

5.  My sweet dog

6.  Dr. Oz

7.  Dr. Alejandro Junger’s 3 different detox diets for cleansing your body

8.  My ability to communicate

9.  My ability to see things systemically

10.  Tony Horton – P 90 X

11.  My friends

12.  My upbringing

13.  My “Connecticutness”

14.  Living in South Florida – there is just so much to do!

15.  Presenting in Orlando this weekend with my amazing colleague – Dr. Kate Campbell

16.  My presenting skills

17.  The word “FUN” and knowing how to use it and what to do with it

18.  My kayaking trip with my friend Duane Lawrence with Primerica

19.  Knowledge

20.  Youtube – I have learned to create a toga, make a zombie costume, and many more cool things.

21.  Google – who doesn’t love Google

22.  Starbucks

23.  Free stuff

24.  Coupons – I LOVE using coupons and getting cool deals

25.  Connections

26.  New recipes that are yummo!

27.  Having face to face time with friends and family where we get to connect

28.  My anticipation and excitement of my Alaska trip

29.  Being able to see glaciers in Alaska

30.  Being financially sound

31.  The universe

32.  Allowing myself to be divinely and intuitively guided

33.  The 10 – 15 minutes each day my spouse and I talk, connect, work through and tackle things in our life and relationship

34.  “Sleep in Sundays” – this is more of a fantasy, every so often I do sleep in but most often not really

35.  Taking a nap

36.  Stretching myself

37.  Seeing challenges as life lessons

38.  National Marriage Seminars

39.  Lori and Chris Cambas from Couple Strong

40.  Facebook and being able to see peoples’ lives grow, develop and transition

41.  My mentor – Dr. Annalynn Schooley

42.  The plethora of referrals from people I know over the last month

43.  Getting a good deal on 500 flyers from Overnight prints for my Bereavement Group I do with Coral Springs Funeral Home

44.  Amazon Prime – enough said!  Love them! Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner about that???

45.  The opportunity Neiko Shea has given me with working with birth moms with Gift of Life Adoptions

46.  Being witness to my clients achieving their goals right before my eyes

47.  Watching a client empower herself and being clean for 5 weeks

48.  Jokes

49.  My humor

50.  Sharing laughs

51.  Dunkin Donut coupons

52.  “Hook ups” – I get a lot of free or reduced priced things

53.  Peace and Calm

54.  Self Discovery Life Mastery

55.  Free legal advise from my friend and colleague Attorney Leisa Wintz, Esq. from Solaris Law Group

56.  The 3 new pair of shoes I got at Marshalls – so cool

57.  My shifted and transformed relationship with money

58.  David Lawrence of – my web designer who has put in countless hours helping me get my new website off the ground

59.  My new website – I can’t wait to show all of you!

60.  Networking events

61.  Having so many opportunities that there is just no way to attend everything

62.  Trying new things like “mint flavored chlorophyl” who knew…

63.  Creating more time and space in my schedule

64.  My amazing registered interns

65.  Having a talent for what I do

66.  Patience

67.  The Gottman Method of Couples Counseling – which has changed both my practice and relationship

68.  My car – it gets me everywhere I need to go, never a hassle. My car’s name is “Nike” because it looks like a cross trainer sneaker – do you name your car?

69.  Sharing resources with people that they are jazzed about

70.  Colleagues

71.  Maintaining contact and having personal relationships with the many people I supervised and led over the years

72.  Being there when others need you

73.  Jammies – I love PJs and workout clothes – so comfy

74.  That I am 27 things away from finishing this list

75.  The ocean

76.  Feeling good

77.  Sleeping well

78.  Being able to be honest, open and authentic

79.  Thinking about Father’s Day and what my dad taught me about finances and money through role modeling

80.  The woman who created the 18 guidelines for her son’s iPhone use including that “you will mess up and that is ok. We will talk about.  You will lose your phone, but just remember I am on your team…”  How cool is that!

81.  Shawanna Walls cupcakes – yum!

82.  BAMFTs upcoming Supervisor/Supervisee Meet and Greet

83.  Being successful

84.  Buying new fun jewelry

85. Thinking about going on a cruise with my mom or as she would call it, “a real vacation” as we have never been on one together.  The cruise also happens to be on her birthday

86.  Things ALWAYS working out

87.  Trusting in the universe and knowing that everything is “perfect” exactly the way it is

88.  Hearing about and experiencing my friend’s pregnancy woos first hand

89.  Hearing my friends have “aha” moments

90.  Being apologized to

91.  Apologizing

92.  Teaching my dog a new trick – “shake”

93.  Realizing that it took me only 40 minutes to come up with and type this list and I have 9 more to go

94.  Being offered opportunities

95.  PMA – Present Moment Awareness & Mindfulness

96.  My supervisees making me proud and watching their growth

97.  The smell of birthday cake candle

98.  Anticipating watching “22 Jump Street”

99.  Dunkin Donuts having any size ice tea for $1.05

100.  Valuing myself and my time

101.  Love – xoxo

As I finish my list I realize there are so many more things I could be putting on here.  I challenge you to make your list and strengthen your Attitude of Gratitude!  Who is up for the challenge?

by Katie Lemieux


Purging “Stinking Thinking” During Grief Group

Have you heard of “stinking thinking”, well stinking thinking also occurs within and during our grief.  Some of the thoughts we have around our grief and the death of our loved one prolong grief and suffering, and for some reason we hang onto them with a vengeance.

Some thoughts people have running through their minds as they are processing the death of their loved one might be:

1.  “If I had only come 3 minutes earlier he would still be alive.”

2.  “It should have been me.”

3.  “I can’t ever be happy again.”

4.  “If I enjoy life again I won’t be honoring…”

5.  “There must have been something else I could have done.”

6.  “It’s my fault.”

.  “Why am I not upset?  People are going to think I didn’t love my husband enough if I don’t cry.”


Can you relate to any of the above statements in your grief journey?  Many times we hold onto these statements, and they can create negative perpetual feelings that can create chronic issues and feelings of guilt, shame, judgment, etc.  When we hold onto negative thoughts in our grief, it can be detrimental if we don’t know where to place these thoughts.  They can overwhelm us!

During our last grief group we looked at and examined the “stinking thinking” in our grief.  We looked at the thoughts that serve us well and those that are somewhat detrimental to processing our grief.  All thoughts and feelings were written on slips of paper, and participants were invited to choose what thoughts and feelings they wanted to hold onto and which ones they were ready to let go of.  The negative thoughts and feelings participants were ready to  let go off were launched into the garbage as a symbol of readiness and willingness to release that which is no longer serving us.

If you are ready to join us or interested in learning more about our grief group we would be interested in having you.  Check out our GRIEF COUNSELING PAGE for more information.

by Katie Lemieux


15 Ways to Make Your Relationship Sizzle This Summer


Are you ready for some fresh, fun and clever tips to make your relationship sizzle like the summer heat??? Perfect, then keep reading!

  1. Share an ice cream cone and feed each other.
  2. Take a trip to the beach, a park or any place you deem a natural beauty.   Spread out a blanket, sit on a bench or a rock and take an oath of at least 15 minutes of silence.  Just be in the space with nature and your partner.   Utilize all your 5 senses to fully experience this moment.  When the time is up, turn face-to-face, touch, and talk about your experience and what you noticed.
  3. Sit in a quiet place face-to-face, Indian style or on chairs.  One partner closes his/her eyes and the other partner gently caresses the other one (the partner being caressed keeps his/her eyes closed) for 5 minutes.  Touch the face, ears, hands, fingertips, knees, back of neck, etc.  Partner one breath deeply in and out and focus ALL your attention on each touch.  After the 5 minutes is up open your eyes, and both of you share about your experience, then switch.
  4. Skinny Dip – PS – make sure you don’t get caught.
  5. BBQ sauce isn’t just for chicken or for a summer BBQ – lick the BBQ sauce off your partner’s fingers.
  6. Wrestle in the water.  Make it a game where the winner wins and the loser wins!
  7. Recreate and relive a summer memory the 2 of you enjoyed.
  8. After a day out enjoying the summer sun, bathe one another; don’t forget to apply lotion after your shower or bath.  I can’t be responsible for what happens after or before that, for that matter.
  9. For fun and for “old times sake” write a love letter to your sweetie in your handwriting and mail it to him or her.  You can even send it to his or her work.
  10. Sit by a campfire or make your own, roast marshmallows and feed each other S’mores.  Use other ingredients like your favorite chocolate bar or a different type of “cracker”.  Just for, fun, together, create a new name for it.
  11. Red lights = kisses, at each red light give one another a kiss.
  12. Do an Internet search for “sex tips” and try several of them out.
  13. Find a roof top or somewhere secluded and watch the sunset or sunrise, pair this intimate moment with delicious foods and/or drink.
  14. Declare War – have a squirt gun fight.
  15. Looking to build and create trust, then take your sweetheart rock climbing.  This is a great way to increase trust in your partner and increase your listening and communication.

* Did you like these 15 tips to make your relationship sizzle?  If so sign up for our newsletter to receive more great tips.

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by Katie Lemieux