Grief Counseling In San Diego

Ready to book a session, click the button below or call us at 626-864-0756.

Introduction: Welcome to Healing

“Welcome to a place where your bravery in facing grief is honored and respected. Taking the first step towards healing may feel daunting, but it is also a powerful testament to your strength.” – Paula Shaw

Grief is a profoundly personal and often isolating experience, yet it touches everyone at some point in their lives. Whether you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the end of a significant relationship, a loss of health or some other form of loss, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Paula Shaw brings compassionate, professional support that acknowledges the depth of your pain and the personal nature of your journey. Here, you’ll find a safe space to understand and process your grief, with guidance tailored to your personal healing process.

One of her core beliefs is that acknowledging your pain is the first step toward healing it. With Paula Shaw, you’ll explore the impact of grief not just through traditional counseling methods but also through personalized approaches that recognize the uniqueness of your situation. The support you’ll receive is rooted in empathy and a deep understanding of the complexities of grief, ensuring that you feel seen, heard, and supported as you begin your journey towards healing.

Understanding Grief

“Grief is not a linear journey; it’s a complex tapestry of emotions that varies widely from one individual to another.”

Paula Shaw

At Paula Shaw’s practice in San Diego, we recognize that understanding grief is crucial to the healing process. There are no Five Stages of Grief that each person must navigate. Rather, grief often follows a path through various dimensions such as shock and denial, devastation and overwhelm, anxiety and fear, sleeplessness and physiological changes, explosive emotions, hopelessness, depression, and a host of other dimensions, on the way to the eventual acceptance and peace that comes with healing. These dimensions are not rigid or sequential but are common experiences that many people encounter. Recognizing these dimensions can help demystify some of the feelings you may be experiencing and reassure you that what you’re going through is a normal part of grieving.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Grief is surrounded by myths and misconceptions that can complicate the healing process. One common myth is the belief that grief should be resolved within a set period of time, such as one year. At our grief counseling practice in San Diego, we understand that everyone’s timeline for healing is different. Another misconception is that expressing grief openly or for an extended period is a sign of weakness, but in reality, expressing your emotions is a vital part of the healing process.

Grief’s Many Faces

Grief can manifest in various ways depending on the individual and the nature of the loss. It might appear as overwhelming sadness for one person and numbness or detachment for another. Paula Shaw tailors grief counseling in California to meet you wherever you are in your process, providing the support you need to understand and navigate your grief effectively.

If you’re ready to book a session for grief counseling in San Diego click here or call our office at 626-864-0756. 

Why Grief Counseling?

“While the support of friends and family is invaluable, there are times when professional guidance can make a significant difference in your healing journey.”

 The Role of a Grief Counselor

Paula Shaw, a seasoned grief counselor in San Diego, offers a specialized approach that goes beyond what loved ones can provide.  She is trained to understand the complexities of loss and the many ways it can manifest emotionally and physically. Paula uses a compassionate, evidence-based approach to help you process your grief, offering strategies to manage the pain and confusion that come with loss.

Testimonials and Success Stories

Hearing from others who have navigated the grieving process with professional help can be incredibly reassuring. Our clients often share how grief counseling has been instrumental in their healing. These testimonials highlight the transformative effect that empathetic, professional support can have, helping individuals to find a renewed sense of purpose and stability after a significant loss.

The Difference Professional Help Can Make

Engaging with a grief counselor like Paula Shaw can provide you with tailored support and coping strategies that are difficult to find elsewhere. Whether it’s through energy psychology modalities, cognitive-behavioral techniques, mindfulness practices, or simply providing a non-judgmental space to express your feelings, professional counseling is designed to address your specific needs in a structured, supportive environment. This focused approach helps demystify the grieving process and empowers you to move forward at your own pace, with confidence and understanding.

Our Approach to Grief Counseling in San Diego

“At the heart of our practice is a belief that healing begins with understanding and is nurtured through personalized care.”
– Paula

Paula Shaw employs a variety of therapeutic techniques tailored to the unique needs of each client, ensuring that every aspect of the grieving process is addressed with sensitivity and expertise. Here’s how we differentiate our approach to grief counseling in San Diego:

Personalized Therapy Plans

Every grief journey is unique, and so our therapy plans are customized to match. After an initial assessment, Paula develops a personalized plan that takes into account your specific circumstances, emotional state, and the nature of your loss. This plan might include one-on-one sessions, the use of techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Meridian Tapping, or Energy Balancing and practical exercises that you can carry into your daily life.

Techniques and Therapies Used

Paula Shaw is skilled in a range of therapeutic modalities that help address the multifaceted nature of grief. CBT helps clients deal with destructive negative thought patterns, while Meridian Tapping, Visualization and Energy Balancing have been proven effective in processing and reducing the intensity of distressing memories associated with loss. Additionally, mindfulness and relaxation techniques may be employed to help soothe anxiety and improve overall emotional well-being.

If you’re ready to book a session for grief counseling in San Diego click here or call our office at 626-864-0756. 

The Healing Environment

Our grief counseling services are offered in a calm, supportive environment that promotes healing. Paula’s office in San Diego is designed to be a safe haven where clients can feel secure and comfortable in expressing their feelings and working through their grief. This supportive setting is complemented by the confidentiality and respect for privacy that are central to our practice. And these same elements are provided on phone or Zoom sessions as well.

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Grief Counseling Services We Offer

“Grief can touch every aspect of your life, and our services are designed to address the varied ways it manifests. Here are the specialized counseling services Paula Shaw offers to help you navigate your path to healing.”

Individual Counseling

Our core service is one-on-one grief counseling, where Paula Shaw works directly with you in private sessions. These sessions are tailored to meet you where you are in your grieving process. Whether you’re grappling with a recent loss or unresolved grief from the past, Paula provides a compassionate ear and expert guidance. The focus is always on moving towards healing at a pace that feels comfortable for you, with strategies that are personalized to help you manage your specific grief-related emotions and situations.

Support for Various Types of Loss

Grief is not one-size-fits-all, and neither is our counseling approach. Paula Shaw has extensive experience helping individuals cope with all types of loss, whether it is the death of a loved one, the end of a significant relationship, loss of a job, one’s health, even the passing of a cherished pet. Each type of loss brings its own unique emotional challenges, and Paula is adept at navigating these nuances to provide support that’s as varied as the needs of her clients.

Techniques Tailored to Each Client

Paula utilizes a diverse toolkit of techniques to aid your healing journey. This may include narrative therapy, where you construct a coherent narrative of your loss and its impact on your life; or even nature-based therapy, which uses the calming effect of the natural environment to facilitate discussions about feelings and healing. Chakra work and Energy Balancing can help issues to shift far more rapidly.

If you’re ready to book a session for grief counseling in California click here or call our office at 626-864-0756. 

Meet Paula Shaw

“Get to know Paula Shaw, whose deep empathy and extensive experience are the cornerstone of this practice.”

Brief Bio of Counselor

Paula Shaw has been a pillar in the San Diego grief counseling community for over a decade, bringing a wealth of experience and a deeply empathetic approach to her practice. With training in grief counseling and trauma-focused therapy techniques, Paula is well-equipped to guide clients through their darkest times. Her personal journey through grief, which included losing her husband and the 14-year-old family dog within a month of each other, has not only shaped her professional path but also deepens her understanding and connection with her clients.

Philosophies and Approaches to Healing

Paula believes in a holistic approach to grief counseling, which addresses the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of healing. She understands that grief can disrupt every part of life, and her therapy sessions are designed to bring balance and renewal to these areas. Paula’s methods are grounded in compassion and personalized care, ensuring that each client’s unique needs are met with the utmost sensitivity.

Credentials and Specializations

Paula was originally trained in Addictive Disorders but she soon realized that most addicts and their significant others had unresolved core issues of grief. This unaddresses loss and pain drove them to seek comfort and distraction in addictive substances and behaviors. Realizing this truth, she went on to get additional training in Grief and Loss, Energy Psychology  Mindfulness and Stress Reduction techniques. Her continuous pursuit of education in the field of grief therapy is a testament to her dedication to providing the highest level of care.

Your Journey to Recovery

Embarking on a journey of healing with Paula Shaw means receiving personalized support tailored to your specific grief and circumstances.

Initial Consultation Process

Your therapeutic journey begins with an initial consultation where Paula takes the time to understand the depth of your loss and the impact it has had on your life. This session is crucial for establishing a connection and setting the stage for the work ahead. During this meeting, Paula listens attentively to your story, allowing her to tailor the subsequent sessions to your emotional and psychological needs. This first step is all about creating a trusting relationship and a safe space where you can feel comfortable and supported.

Customized Therapy Journey

Based on the insights gained during your initial consultation, Paula crafts a customized therapy plan designed specifically for you. This plan may include a combination of different therapies best suited to address your individual grief. Each session is thoughtfully planned to help you understand and process your feelings at your own pace. Paula’s approach is flexible, allowing the therapy to evolve as you progress through your healing, making adjustments as needed to best support your journey.

Support Outside of Sessions

Understanding that grief does not adhere to a schedule, Paula offers support beyond the traditional therapy sessions. This might include providing resources like reading materials, activities to do at home, or exercises designed to help manage symptoms of grief such as anxiety and depression. Paula is committed to being accessible to her clients, offering tools and communication that extend support outside of scheduled sessions, ensuring that you feel continuously supported throughout your healing process.


“It’s natural to have questions about grief counseling, especially if this is your first time considering professional support. Here are answers to some of the most common queries we receive to help you feel more informed and comfortable with the process.”

Payment and Insurance Queries

Q: What are the costs involved with grief counseling, and do you accept insurance?

A: Paula’s fees will be discussed with you at the complimentary consultation session. She does not bill insurance but offers a variety of plans and fees that you can choose from.

How to Prepare for the First Session

Q: What should I do to prepare for my first session with Paula Shaw?

A: Preparing for your first session involves little more than coming as you are. However, it may be helpful to think about what you wish to achieve through counseling and jot down any significant points about your experience that you would like to discuss. Being open and honest during your session will facilitate a more effective therapeutic process.

What to Do If You’re Not Ready for Therapy

Q: What if I feel I’m not quite ready to start therapy?

A: It’s perfectly normal to feel hesitant about starting therapy. If you’re not ready, we recommend starting with less formal support, such as joining support groups or reading about grief. Paula is also available to discuss your concerns, which might help you feel more prepared for the process. When you’re ready, we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

Taking the step to reach out for help is a significant and commendable decision. Here’s how you can easily get in touch with Paula Shaw to start your journey toward healing.”

Contact Forms and Information

For your convenience, contacting Paula Shaw is straightforward. You can reach out through our website’s contact form, which is secure and confidential. Alternatively, you can call us directly at our San Diego office. All contact details are readily available on our website, and we ensure a prompt response to all inquiries. Our goal is to make your initial steps towards counseling as seamless as possible.

Emergency Resources

If you find yourself in need of immediate assistance or are experiencing a crisis, it’s important to seek help right away. While Paula Shaw offers extensive support, she also provides resources for emergency situations, including contact information for local crisis hotlines and emergency services. We prioritize your safety and well-being above all else.

Encouragement to Reach Out with Any Questions

We understand that deciding to start grief counseling can bring up many feelings and questions. Paula Shaw is here to address any concerns or inquiries you might have—no question is too small or insignificant. We encourage you to reach out, even if it’s just to ask about what grief counseling involves or to discuss your specific needs. Paula is committed to providing a supportive and informative environment where you can feel comfortable taking the first steps toward recovery.

Testimonials and Stories of Hope

“Hear from those who have walked the path of healing with Paula Shaw and found renewed strength and peace. These stories are not just testimonials; they are affirmations of the transformative power of personalized grief counseling.”

Paula Shaw’s clients often share their experiences, describing how grief counseling has helped them navigate through their darkest times to find light and hope again. Here are a few stories:

  • Emily’s Story: “After my husband passed away unexpectedly, I was overwhelmed with grief and didn’t know how to cope. Paula’s compassionate approach helped me face my pain and gradually find a way to cherish the memories rather than be consumed by the loss. Her support was invaluable in helping me rebuild my life.”
  • David’s Tale: “Losing my job during a tough economic time took a toll on my self-esteem and mental health. Paula helped me understand that my grief was valid and taught me techniques to manage my feelings and regain confidence. I am now on a path to a new career, feeling hopeful about the future.”
  • Maria’s Reflection: “The loss of my beloved pet left a void in my life that I couldn’t fill. Paula’s sessions provided me a safe space to express my grief and find comfort in the community of others who had experienced similar losses. Her guidance was a crucial part of my healing process.”

These stories highlight the broad spectrum of grief that Paula Shaw addresses and underscore her ability to adapt her therapeutic approach to the specific needs of each client, fostering an environment of healing and hope.

Conclusion: A Message of Hope

“As you stand at the threshold of a journey toward healing, remember that you do not have to walk this path alone. I am here to guide you through each step, offering support and understanding as you navigate your grief.”

With years of specialized training and personal dedication to grief counseling, I am committed to helping you understand and manage your grief, transforming it from overwhelming pain to a more bearable part of your life that acknowledges loss without being consumed by it. This journey is about more than just moving on—it’s about growing through grief to find a new sense of peace and purpose.

I invite you to reach out today to begin your journey to healing. Whether it’s a simple question or a desire to start sessions, I am ready to support you with empathy and expertise. Let this be your first step towards a future filled with hope and healing.”

From my heart,


Photo of an elderly woman crying at a funeral before seeking grief counseling in San Diego.

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