Prolonged Grief

Complicated or prolonged grief is an unusually intense and persistent form of natural grief. When a person becomes stuck in complicated grief, powerful emotions dominate the person’s life. Intense feelings of longing and yearning for the deceased may persist accompanied by disbelief and inability to move forward with one's life.

Prolonged Grief Treatment

Complicated Grief Treatment or as it is now called, Prolonged Grief Treatment, was developed to help people who are suffering in this way. This treatment is an efficacious, short-term talk-therapy that is delivered over the course of 16-20 weeks. Treatment addresses the factors that have resulted in a person becoming stuck in intense feelings of grief and enables the adaptive process of grief to move forward. This treatment is evidence-based and was proven efficacious in three large National Institute of Mental Health-funded studies.

Our Expertise

We have been trained in the Complicated Grief Treatment and continue to work with Katherine Shear, M.D., leading expert and researcher in the field of complicated or prolonged grief and director of the Center for Prolonged Grief at Columbia University.

Grief, Brain and the Body

John Bean, LCSW

Founder and Director

One of the more important factors in having a positive therapy outcome is knowing that you are working in a safe, supportive and positive therapy environment. I work with you to help you navigate your grief experience, so that you can get your life back on track. I use the strategies and my training gained from working with an expert in the field to help you reach your goals. My use of compassion, humor and a deep respect for your story makes our work come alive with the possibility of growth and change. I maintain a strong commitment to working with persons with Complicated Grief and remain current in the field by conducting workshops for the Center for Complicated Grief.

Nancy Turret, LCSW

Founder and Director

I worked as a study therapist in Katherine Shear’s NIMH study regarding the Treatment for Prolonged Grief Disorder at the New York State Psychiatric Institute for over a decade. Upon completion of the study, I continued to provide Prolonged Grief Treatment in my private practice as well as teaching workshops at the Center for Prolonged Grief, supervising graduate students, co-authoring several articles about Prolonged Grief and teaching a course at Columbia School of Social Work with Dr. Shear. I continue to provide Prolonged Grief Treatment in a variety of different states, New York, Maine, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Florida.

Natalia Skritskaya, PhD

Founder and Director

I believe in using tools that work and have trained with an expert in the field to learn this treatment for complicated grief, also known as Prolonged or Traumatic Grief or Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder. My overarching therapeutic philosophy is cognitive-behavioral, which means I like to focus on specific problems and work on them together. I view myself as a guide, someone you would partner with to navigate a difficult terrain. In addition to private practice, I continue to be involved in research at Columbia University.

Bonnie Gorscak, PhD

Founder and Director

I am a licensed psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in providing therapy for people coping with a variety of challenges and situations. I maintain a private practice offering virtual therapy to bereaved adults in a number of states. The loss of someone we love is one of the most painful experiences in life. Complicated/prolonged grief exacerbates a person’s distress, adding to the pain of an already difficult situation. Prolonged grief therapy, an effective treatment, can alleviate this additional suffering. It has offered relief and a renewed sense of hope to thousands of people who have struggled to navigate their personal process of grief. Assisting bereaved adults to find a way through hopelessness to living life more fully again remains the most fulfilling part of my 30 year career.

  • I can say that the grief counseling/program was highly beneficial for me.  My husband’s death  was like a shadow in my daily life, following me everywhere, even more than 10 years after his passing. I read every book about grief that I could find and attended multiple grief group.  This grief counseling/program that I experienced … was miles above that and helped me tremendously.  I highly recommend it.
  • After I lost my one and only brother to cancer and my sister to brain tumor in one year and my nephew in off-campus fire I was very reluctant to seek any help. I didn’t think anything would help or bring them back. I felt 6 feet under till I met [the therapist], a few months after the therapy I could enjoy the music, smile, and move on in life. CGT for me worked like a miracle. I should say thank you for the research.
  • CGT helped me get my life back on track after the devastating loss of my younger sister to pancreatic cancer. I chose CGT because it was a targeted approach, and the regular therapy I had been doing did not seem to be helping. I was skeptical at first, I had been living with such profound grief for so long, but the exercises and tools I got from CGT helped me get near feelings I thought I couldn’t bare to get near. With the gentle support of an experienced therapist I found my way back to myself and to life…. the one my sister would have wanted for me and the one I want for myself.
  • Being stuck in the grief and loss I was in felt like a form of mental torture. I am so very grateful that I was referred to [the therapist]. Her ability to listen and ask the right questions as well as her understanding and compassion toward what I had and was experiencing, brought profound relief. I am forever grateful that there are caring and dedicated professionals … out there. Through her, I discovered that there was a name for what I was going through and a proven path out of the suffering.