The Grieving Therapist: Caring for Yourself and Your Clients When It Feels Like the End of the World (Paperback)

The Grieving Therapist: Caring for Yourself and Your Clients When It Feels Like the End of the World By Larisa A. Garski, LMFT, Justine Mastin, LMFT, Jamie Marich, PHD (Foreword by) Cover Image
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For readers of No Cure for Being Human and Simple Self-Care for Therapists, a witty and compassionate field guide to the 10 realms of grief--and how to navigate them yourself and with clients.

How do you practice good therapy when it’s the end of the world as we know it…and no one feels fine?

The planet is burning, friends and family are falling to cults and QAnon, and we’re all living through the collective trauma of a global pandemic. Among therapists and healers, burnout is rampant; hopelessness and despair are, too. In The Grieving Therapist, psychotherapists Larisa Garski, LMFT, and Justine Mastin, LMFT, give voice to the difficulties of therapising in today’s world--and offer a grief-informed framework for taking care of yourself as you take care of others. 

Informed by narrative, internal family systems, fanfic, and trauma-sensitive therapy, Garski and Mastin examine what it means to be a therapist at the end of the world (or what feels like it). They break down 10 realms of grief that are critical to understand and work with today, but likely weren’t taught to you in therapy school. Each chapter includes:

  • Grieving tools that can be adapted for both client and therapist
  • Tips for supervisors and supervisees
  • Skills for maintaining healthy outside-the-office relationships
  • Support for current therapy students (and therapists new to the field)
  • Advice on how to hold space and work with clients who have the same questions—and are navigating the same issues—as you
  • Meditations on love, life, death, and connection

Garski and Mastin also share helpful guidance around working with clients whose social or political beliefs differ from yours; when therapeutic self-disclosure makes sense; honoring the information that countertransference is trying to give you; and how to sit with (or step away from) triggers in your work.

With humor, compassion, irreverence, and more than a little whimsy, The Grieving Therapist shows you how to show up for yourself, and your clients--in your own full humanity, amidst it all.

About the Author

JUSTINE MASTIN, MA, LMFT, LADC, E-RYT 200, YACEP is the owner and founder of Blue Box Counseling; creator of YogaQuest, an organization that blends narratives with yoga and mindfulness; and co-host of the Dark Side of the Mat podcast. Mastin serves as an adjunct instructor at St. Mary's University of Minnesota in the MFT Master's program.
LARISA A. GARSKI, MA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and Chief of Clinical Staff at Empowered Therapy in Chicago, IL. Garski is an AAMFT-approved supervisor. Find her at
Both authors specialize in working with clients who identify as being outside the mainstream, like those in the geek, secular, and LGBTQIA+ communities. They co-authored Starship Therapise and co-host the podcast Starship Therapise.

Praise For…

"A definitive resource that everyone in any helping profession needs to read and keep close by."
—SHELLY CLEVENGER, PhD, chair of the department of victim studies at Sam Houston State University

"Reading this timely book is like having a conversation with the supervisor of your dreams."
—NICOLE ARZT, LMFT, author of Sometimes Therapy Is Awkward

“With a subtle, engaging, and practical narrative, Garski and Mastin use a medicine wheel format, the wisdom of animals, the meaning-making of ritual, campfi re magic, and fearless trust in the universe to bring therapists back to earth. The result is mutual healing for therapists, clients, and the planet."
—FOUR ARROWS, coauthor of Restoring the Kinship Worldview

"A much-needed resource for all therapists—a timely reminder that we are all human, we all grieve, and we all need to heal together."
—JANINA SCARLET, PhD, author of Superhero Therapy

"Full of useful tools, this book helps readers explore the delicate balance between processing personal connections to grief while ... holding space for the client experience. A must-read for all therapists!"
—ERICA HORNTHAL, LCPC, BC-DMT, author of Body Aware

"Through narrative storytelling, creative mindfulness, and hard truths, this book invites readers to compassionately examine their own secondary trauma, burnout, and grief."
—KARINA AYN MIRSKY, MA, ERYT, founder of Yoga Mindset Coaching and author of Make a Difference and Make a Living Teaching Yoga

"This book offers clinicians a map and a compass for exploring all dimensions of themselves—in and out of the clinical space. I can't recommend it highly enough."
—MARA TESLER STEIN, PsyD, PMH-C, founder and director of The Touchstone Institute for Perinatal Training

"A welcome and much-needed landing spot for bone-weary therapists."
—MEGAN KELLY, MA, owner of Informer Coaching & Consulting and “Antiwork Therapist” on Instagram

"Much gratitude to Justine and Larisa for the gentle reminder to reach out to our community and allow them to hold us while we too grieve."
—KATHRYN TEMPLETON, LPC, C-IAYT, director of the Ayurvedic Yoga specialist program at Yoga International

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623178451
ISBN-10: 1623178452
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: July 25th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English