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  • Loss through Death
  • Hidden Losses
  • Anticipatory Grief
  • Complicated Grief
  • Traumatic Grief
  • Other Loss

Topics in this section:


        Link to a paper by Director, Mary Sussillo, LCSW, BCD

       Link to a brochure of the Center


“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

                                                    —Robert Anderson, playwright

Grief is a natural and normal response when a significant person in your life dies. Yet you may feel shattered and, at times, overwhelmed. You may have experienced the profound loss of your loved one and your relationship, with its day-to-day habitual interactions. You may also be dealing with how to restore your life and find meaning in it, as you are faced with other challenging adjustments due to secondary losses of role, identity, household, finances, and other changes.

Your family and friends may withdraw after the initial, acute mourning period. Our “fast-forwarded” American society, with its emphasis on action and innovation, tends to disavow or compartmentalize death, dying, and bereavement and frowns on an extended mourning period. This denial in our culture may add to your feelings of isolation and estrangement in your grief. Also, if you are a caretaker or provider for the bereaved, you may also suffer from isolation and a lack of social support—and may develop compassion fatigue when you are exposed single-handedly to the raw emotions of death and loss.

While attachment and loss have been part and parcel of human existence from the beginning of time, grief is one of the most misunderstood and feared of emotions. Until recently, the literature on mourning has overemphasized the detachment or “letting go” aspect of mourning. We need to balance “letting go” with “holding on”—maintaining healthy connections or some sense of continuity with dead loved ones. In other words, the paradoxical task is how to live your new life without erasing your old one.

The Center For Bereavement Has A Multiple Mission

To counsel individual mourners and their families, and to consult with, educate, and support those who service the bereaved and the community at large including schools and places of employment:

To provide grief counseling and therapy in a safe, confidential, and private setting—for those who have lost a loved one or significant person through death recently or many years ago—to assist them in the mourning process through individual grief counseling/therapy or in bereavement groups with other mourners, facilitated by a seasoned, licensed therapist.

and Others Working with the Bereaved:
To provide clinical supervision and support for this sensitive, emotionally charged, and multi-layered work.

To provide grief workshops to assist clinicians in exploring their own grief experiences and history and to offer state-of-the art bereavement theory and treatment practices.

in Allied Fields, Schools, and Businesses:
To provide workshops, consultation services, educational programs, crisis intervention, group debriefing, workplace bereavement policy, procedures and training, for:

    • Employee Assistance Programs, Human Resources Departments, and Businesses (public and private)
    • Clergy
    • Educators, School Counseling Programs
    • Funeral Home Directors
    • Hospice and Palliative Care, Hospitals, Social Service Agencies and Departments
    • Other Professional Groups and Caregiver Organizations

For mourners and those who care about them, including their families, partners, friends, colleagues, caregivers, teachers, employers, and coworkers:
To offer additional bereavement resources including related organizations, summer bereavement camps and programs, and recommended literature.

About the Director

Mary Sussillo DirectorDirector, Mary V. Sussillo, LCSW, BCD, is a seasoned psychotherapist with more than 30 years’ experience working with individuals, couples and groups. Mary is Coeditor Emeritus of Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Sussillo is consultant, MIP, Trauma Studies Program. She is supervisor, City College, Psychology Center.

Mary formerly held positions as Manager, EAP, International Paper; Senior Asssociate, Harris Rothenberg International EAP consulting to Wall Street financial and law firms, and Senior Clinician, Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, New York Hospital. Mary has a bereavement specialty in Private Practice and has authored “Beyond the Grave—Adolescent Parental Loss: ‘Letting Go’ and ‘Holding On’”. She has also conducted bereavement workshops for professional groups internationally, including for Ukrainian psychology students and professionals.

In Memoriam
The Center for Bereavement is dedicated to my parents, Nicholas and Arlene Sussillo—to remember them and their good works.

"Beyond the Grave—Adolescent Parental Loss: 'Letting Go' and 'Holding On'"
For excerpts of a paper by Director, Mary Sussillo, click here.
To purchase a copy of the paper, click here.

Why Choose the Center?

Center for Bereavement offers quality services with these distinguishing features:

    • A quiet, private office setting in the Carnegie Hill community of Manhattan.
    • Stable, committed, and cohesive groups with the same members attending regularly. (Occasional “drop-ins” are not accepted.)
    • Bereavement groups of 8 or 12 sessions with the option to continue in subsequent relevant groups—which provides additional support and continuity for those who need it.
    • All groups facilitated by a seasoned, licensed mental health professional. The privacy and confidentiality of the individual is respected.
    • Individual consultation(s) offered before entry into a bereavement group to provide an opportunity to meet the counselor/therapist, to discuss the nature of the specific loss, and to determine which group experience will be optimal to meet the mourner’s needs.

Link to Center for Bereavement's brochure