Elizabeth Crunk, PhD, NCC, LGPC
Counseling & Psychotherapy, PLLC, in Washington, DC
Psychotherapist | Researcher | Educator
I specialize in treating complicated grief, non-bereavement loss, and life transitions.
Scroll down to learn more about my practice areas.
The death of a loved one can be a highly distressing experience. Grief is a natural response to loss and most bereaved individuals eventually heal. However, some bereaved individuals struggle to adapt following the loss and might experience what is known as complicated grief (also termed prolonged grief). Although there is no one way to grieve that is "right" and there is not a duration of time that grieving should take, some mourners feel stuck in their grief. They might struggle to accept the loss, have difficulty restoring their lives, or feel numbness, anger, fear, or other distressing emotions.
I have received training on complicated grief at Columbia University's Center for Complicated Grief and have published on complicated grief in scholarly journals. My training, clinical experience, and research equip me to help grievers navigate these challenging losses.
Grief is a natural response when we lose someone or something valuable to us. Non-bereavement loss refers to the loss of people or circumstances still alive or present, such as divorce or a breakup, identity loss, or family estrangement. These "living losses" occur across the lifespan and are often associated with feelings of grief and chronic sorrow.
I help individuals explore the personal meanings and complex emotions related to non-bereavement losses and to identify strategies they find helpful in coping with these loss events.
We experience a multitude of transitions across the lifespan, such as leaving a familiar environment and adjusting to a new one, retirement, and issues related to aging. Some individuals also become "empty-nesters," experience chronic illness, or become caregivers. Although many people find that such experiences can lead to growth and even moments of joy, these transitions can also be highly challenging. Grief following life transitions is often disenfranchised or unacknowledged by society.
I help individuals process the grief related to these life transitions, explore personal meanings of their changed circumstances, and identify coping strategies they can employ to help them adjust.
Additional Practice Areas
Common grief reactions (uncomplicated bereavement)
Grieving difficult or conflicted relationships