My name is Ronda Gallawa and my private practice is located in Vancouver, Washington.
Specializing in Grief Counseling, providing support groups for Suicide and the Bereavement Process.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Washington State University in 1995, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. I earned a Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 1998 from Lewis and Clark College, specializing in marriage and family therapy.
My clinical practice focuses on relationship counseling, individual counseling, and group therapy.
Suicide Support Group
If you've lost a loved one to suicide, you share something profound with others of us who have experienced this kind of devastating loss. You are not alone. My therapist-led groups provide a warm and accepting place where people who are grieving the suicide-related death of a loved one can find active assistance in working through the grieving process. *Five minutes from the I-5 bridge *Plenty of street parking *Private, safe, comfortable location *Two-hour weekly groups offered *Daytime and evening groups available *Group Cost: $50.00 per person/per group *Credit cards accepted *
Issues: Trauma and PTSD
Treatment Orientation:Emotionally Focused
Session Cost is $50
My approach to counseling is unlike most other counselors’ approach to therapy. This is partially based on personality differences between professionals, and it is partially based on differences in philosophy. Most of the therapists I’ve known are wonderful, empathetic clinicians who want the best for their clients and they believe that if they are present with their clients and they provide a safe place for their clients to explore their feelings, healing will occur naturally.While I respect this belief system, I do not subscribe to it. You will likely find me to be very different than any other therapist you’ve ever met. I am more direct, challenging, and transparent than most clinicians. I am loving and empathetic, but I’m relentless in my determination to help my clients pursue joyful lives. While I maintain professional boundaries, I am open and willing to share information about myself in situations where I believe that information will help you. If you’ve been in counseling before and it didn’t help, I may be the kind of therapist you need.
My goal is to help you move in the direction of increased peace and happiness in your daily life. I believe that we are happiest and healthiest when we are compassionately truthful with ourselves and with the people in our lives.
need grief counseling
You may benefit from grief counseling if you have
experienced trauma and are experiencing some of the following symptoms. You may
be living with many of these symptoms, or only one or two. If these symptoms
are interfering with your life or if your grief is persistent, you may want to
see a grief counselor. Grief isn’t something you have to live with. Unresolved
grief chips away at us and ultimately destroys our quality of life.
Drastic weight changes
Feeling hopeless, helpless, or like life has
Withdrawing from things you used to enjoy
(including isolating from friends/family)
Feelings of impending panic or doom
Feeling nervous, restless or tense
Recurring thoughts about the traumatic
Irritability or anger
Addictive (numbing) behaviors
Drug/alcohol use to numb pain
If you’ve lost a loved one, you may be experiencing the
Intense longing for your loved one
Avoiding people/places that remind you of
your loved one
Difficulty believing your loved one is dead
Reliving the death
Nightmares about the death
Guilt, pain, fear, anger, sadness, numbness,
inability to feel joy
Regardless of the loss or trauma you’ve suffered, if you
are concerned about yourself or if loved ones have expressed concerns for you,
you may want to seek help. If you’ve experienced multiple losses over a short
period of time, or you have suffered multiple losses which never really healed,
you may benefit from grief counseling.
need grief counseling quiz
The following website provides a quiz to determine if you
might benefit from grief counseling. Some of the questions are specific to loss
of a loved one, but regardless of your trauma, this quiz may help you gage your
level of functioning:
grief counseling should
Effective grief counseling should guide you through the
grief process and help you work through, and thereby diminish, your grief. But
I don’t aim for ‘not suffering so badly that I can breathe and sort of
function’. I aim for contentment and peace. When my clients put the work in,
and are willing to suffer through the pain of grief work, they move on to live
new, happier lives.
can/does grief counseling help
Grief counseling with a skilled clinician can literally
change your life.
Imagine that you broke your leg but were too afraid to go
to the doctor. You limp around on that broken leg, doing the best you can. But
that leg hurts with each step. The pain becomes exhausting. You stop wanting to
do anything because of the pain. So
you put a make-shift splint on your leg and it heals, but it heals improperly.
Now you can get around, but there is always a dull ache
in your leg.
Grief is like this in many ways. You might be able to
grit through the worst of it but it won’t go away without help and intentional
work to heal it.
Counseling can give you your life back.
effective is grief counseling and does grief counseling actually work?
We don’t know the answer to this question and the
‘answer’ largely depends on which Doctor’s opinion you agree with. The research
is also inconclusive.
However, I can tell you, anecdotally, that over the
course of five years working intensively with people suffering from complex
trauma, that all but one of my
clients benefited immensely from our grief work. They report decreased pain and
increased contentment, peace, and happiness.
does grief counseling last
Unfortunately there is no timeline for grieving. I can
tell you that if you are seeing a therapist who is skilled at helping people
work through their pain, you should notice a gradual decrease in symptoms over
time. Grief and healing are different for everyone.
much does grief counseling cost
I charge 150.00 per hour and I accept cash, checks,
debit, HSA, and credit cards. Some companies will cover therapy for their
employees—you can find out if your company offers this benefit by speaking with
someone in Human Resources.
You may also be able to use your insurance to cover some
of the cost of seeing me if your insurance covers ‘out of network therapists’.
I’m happy to answer any questions you have about how this works.
There are also less expensive therapists in the field and
some therapists offer a sliding fee scale.
If you decide to see me, depending on your level of
functioning, we may see each other once a week or every other week to begin
with, and then spread out sessions as we go.
to do grief counseling
Sometimes people avoid grief counseling because they are
already in so much pain they believe they can’t handle any more—and they
believe that grief work is too hard and too painful.
The beauty of coming to grief counseling with me is that
you don’t have to ‘do’ anything extraordinary. I will help and guide you. I
will listen and really hear you. I will help you say the things that haunt your
thoughts, that you might not want to say out loud. I will be with you, right
where you are, without judgement.
I believe that we all
want peaceful lives and that with guidance and help, we can attain peace
For your part, you will have to come to therapy and be
present. You will have to choose to suffer in the short term so that you feel
better in the long term.
The most difficult part of the process for most people is
walking through their new therapist’s door for the first time. For most people,
therapy soon feels like a huge relief.
to find grief counseling
to find a grief therapist
When looking for a skilled grief counselor, you’ll want
to look over the clinician’s website to see if they list grief counseling as a
specialty. All counselors are trained to work with grief, but therapists who
specialize in grief and loss are more likely to have specialized training in
grief work, and more direct experience working with grieving clients.
My clients come to me through referrals from other
clients, referrals from other clinicians, referrals from doctors, and internet
I would personally trust a referral from a friend/doctor/family
member whose judgement I trust. If you are looking for someone using the
internet, I suggest that you go over each prospective therapist’s website with
a fine tooth comb. What to look for?
Someone you like (you should be able to get a
good feel for their personality from their website). For therapy to work you
will need to form a relationship of trust with your therapist, and you need to
feel comfortable and relaxed in therapy. I strongly
discourage going to a therapist who you don’t feel a connection to, simply
because they specialize in grief work.
Assuming you like them, someone who clearly
specializes in grief work.
A therapist you can relate to (I personally
wouldn’t go to a therapist who used a lot of therapist-lingo without ever really
to know if I need grief counseling
I go to grief counseling
If you are grieving and feeling ‘stuck’, you may benefit
from grief counseling. Grief doesn’t just ‘go away over time’. We can’t ignore
or suppress our pain, at least not forever, and not without a great cost to our
quality of life. I like to imagine that we have a bowl inside our bodies,
where our emotions reside. If that bowl is full of pain, there is no room for
other emotions. Once we work through that pain, and get it out, we make room in
‘the bowl’ for other feelings like happiness and joy.
degree do you need for grief counseling
Therapists can provide grief counseling with a Masters
degree, (MA, MS, MFT, MSW) or a
Doctorate (PsyD or PH.D).
do they do in grief counseling
A skilled grief counselor will guide you through the
grief process. They will offer support, a safe place to talk about your
thoughts and feelings, help you work through your specific trauma, and help you
find your ‘new normal’.
Grief & Suicide Counseling of Vancouver - New Direction Counseling
Ronda Gallawa-Foyt MA, LMHC
3615 Grant Street Vancouver, Washington 98660
Suicide Prevention & Bereavement Counseling, Individual, Relationship and Grief Counselor in Vancouver, Wa 98661. A safe and welcoming environment to helps you move your life in a positive direction. New Directions Counseling Therapist Ronda Gallawa
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