• Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS

On the Couch with Amy Manko

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

Welcome! To our series of blog post in which I, Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW have the pleasure of interviewing one of our therapist here at Traveling Light Counseling. In our series of couch interviews the therapist will be offering us a glimpse into their speciality by answering questions about topics relevant to their field and imparting a few tips, ideas, and suggestions on ways to traveler lighter.

As a disclaimer these interviews are by no means a substitution for therapy and if in need of more specialized, personalized and/or intense help please find a therapist that would best fit your situation.

Here with me today is Amy Manko, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in helping children, teens, families and individuals move past hurts and life challenges.  She believes that individuals have tremendous strength, spirit, and a powerful capacity for change. She helps people grow and live a more peaceful life. She has over 19 years of experience helping people bridge gaps, set and reach goals, and build unity within their family to meet the challenges and changes that occur in life. She provides individuals with an ability to pause in the midst of all that they are experiencing, helping them take a step back in order to take a closer look and move in the direction of self-compassion, happiness, and fulfillment.

So, today's interview revolves around grieving:

Question: What are 5 tips you would give to a parent that is grieving?

Answer: If sitting across a grieving parent I would tell them to:

  1. Share your feelings: Your child is going to learn how to cope and express their grief by watching how you deal and express your emotions. It is so important to be able to share your feelings and talk about ways that help you cope with loss, so that it creates an open door for your child to come to you, know it is okay to cry and grieve, and whatever feeling they experience is normal. It will also decrease grieving in isolation. Thus, children feeling safe to express any emotion and know they have support as grieving as a family together.

  2. Be honest with your child and include them in conversations and decisions, when appropriate. Parents want to protect and shield their children from pain and sadness, but in reality children are aware and can see and feel what is going on around them. If we put up a barrier, it would only create magical thinking in children as they come up with their own reasoning as to why a loved one is dying or how they died.

  3. Reinvest and have fun. It is okay to have fun and engage in activities that make us feel good. Just because we are sad and heartbroken, doesn’t mean we have to feel this way every second of that day and night. It is okay to reinvest into our lives and continue with our routines.

  4. It is okay to cry. Whether you are female, male, older, younger… crying is a sign of strength and courage. In order to heal in our grief, we have to face the emotions and work through them. If we bury our feelings, then they will always come back and tap us on the shoulder until we actually feel them and find a way to heal.

  5. It is okay to ask for help. It is so important to use your support system during your grief. Children, especially teens, will most likely find support in their peer group and open up to them more than family. Encourage that release and connection to promote a feeling of not being alone and normalizing that grief for them. Make sure that the peer relationships are healthy ones for sure. And if outside professional help is needed, then reach out and get the support.

"Grief is like a door, you will never heal unless you walk through it."

What a great interview with Amy. I appreciate her taking the time and talking with me today. She definitely knows her stuff when it comes to helping parents transition through the grieving process in a healthy way. Grieving is such a personalized and at times complicated journey and it's a blessing to have someone with this specialty to help individuals, families and couples travel lighter through the journey of life by giving them a place to offload and unpack the pains of yesterday and today as it pertains to grieving.

If you feel like Amy will be a good travel companion for your journey. She offers a 15-minute free phone consultation.  During this time she will talk with you about your current stressors, you will get any important questions answered, get a better idea of who she is and how she can help you.  

So, what are you waiting for?  

Schedule a time to speak to her directly at 772-361-8448 ext. 704 or simply book your consultation online now.

Thanks Amy!

Yvette E. McDonald is the owner and counselor at Traveling Light Counseling, a practice for individuals helping them discover the person they were always meant to be, as they become the best version of self in their roles and relationships in the Port Saint Lucie and Martin County area.