Teresa Doniger

About Me – I am a Living with Loss Specialist

My own life and work are influenced and informed by multiple types of loss and death that I experienced in childhood. While I was in training to become a psychotherapist, I had the opportunity to examine and explore the significance and impact of grief and loss throughout a person’s life. In my work as a therapist, I have placed an emphasis on what is called ‘ambiguous loss.' This is a type of loss that does not necessarily include the actual death of a loved one (such as in the case of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, as well as the losses associated with having a family member in jail or prison).

I am passionate about providing support, guidance, and companionship to the bereaved. There is nothing pathological about grief. We benefit from grieving out loud, in community, and through various types of experiences such as grief counseling, talk therapy, trauma-focused therapy, brain-based treatment, somatic therapy, solutions-based therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy as well as the expressive arts (music, dance/movement, visual art, writing, etc.). We also benefit from having compassionate listeners in our lives who are willing and able to hold and embrace our hearts as we learn what works best for us along the way to healing, improved health and emotional well-being.

My practice

Most of my clients are young to mid-career professionals (millennials) grappling with the changes and challenges that can come with life transitions to include completing college and/or graduate school, beginning one’s career, and managing shifts in responsibilities at work and at home, as well as the challenges that can arise in intimate relationships.

My clients come from many walks of life and backgrounds – in some ways, they mirror my own background as a mixed race (Black and Hispanic American) who was raised in a White Jewish family.

In addition to traditional talk therapy and walk and talk sessions (which typically take place on quiet trails in Rock Creek Park), I  encourage and invite my clients to incorporate writing that can be healing and the basics of therapeutic (visual) art.

Education

BA, Intercultural Studies, 1992
Scripps College, Claremont, CA

MA, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 1996
New York University, New York, NY

MA, Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy, 2009
Phillips Graduate Institute, Los Angeles, CA

Professional Affiliations

American Counseling Association (ACA)

Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)