Cari D. Dawson

Cari D. Dawson, MTS, MA, JD is a Life counselor who draws upon her training and experience in spiritual direction, Jungian dream work, grief counseling and hospice chaplaincy. She has a depth of knowledge and resources in these areas as well as addiction counseling & teaching, and her earlier work in the corporate world and legal profession, which often come into play in the counseling session. She meets with clients in the Portland, Oregon area.

Grief Recovery

Are You Ready To Do Your Grief Work?

         Grief Recovery Method® - Loss History Graph

         Grief Recovery Method® - Loss History Graph

We all experience loss, but in a culture that is death-avoiding, only those who want to live life fully are courageous enough to seek out help and work on becoming more whole and complete as human being. I often get calls from grievers who are in crisis. They express a desire to do grief work, but when the crisis subsides, they resume their busyness and don’t call back.  We like to “forget” the pain of grief, attempting to avoid it, hoping for those “good days” of feeling on the high side of the grief roller coaster, not want to go back down into the inevitable pits of grief where the hard work of recovery must begins. I don’t hear from them again until and unless they realize that that we must go through grief. We cannot get over it or otherwise avoid it.

We often think of “death” only in the physical sense. Yet, life also brings us divorce and relationship breakups, lost jobs & finances, health issues and other significant emotional losses~the very real death of hopes, dreams, & expectations. When we are encouraged by well meaning people and the culture in which we live to get over it, our grief often goes inward, remains unresolved, sometimes for a lifetime.  Using the Grief Recovery process, a very simple but effective method of becoming complete with significant emotional losses, we journey together over a period of 6 or 7 sessions.  Recently, a griever shared that she embarked upon the grief recovery journey because of its format ~ learning and implementing the necessary steps to go through grief and recover the lost thread of aliveness in the fabric of her life on an ongoing basis.  Although I am a strong advocate for the group process, meeting one-to-one has its advantages:

  • We are able to customize meeting dates and times to fit your known schedule
  • The number of sessions is reduced to approximately one-half compared with the 12-week group format.
  • Life happens. Clients can reschedule when unexpected events occur rather than having to miss a session when in a structured group.
  • Weekly “homework” is individualized using The Grief Recovery Handbook, by James and Russell Friedman, 20th Anniv. Ed.


From the Grief Recovery Method® website, here is a a brief introduction to the Grief Recovery Method®.

Cari D. Dawson, MTS, MA, JD., is a Grief Recovery Specialist® and was a board certified chaplain, who has counseled hospital and hospice patients and their family members for more than twelve years. She first helped grievers using the Grief Recovery Method® in Miami in the mid-1990’s after doing her own grief work following the death of her granddaughter, Christine. She has trained in several venues, including The Grief Recovery Institute and a year-long hospital residency.

© Copyright, Cari D. Dawson.  All rights reserved.
Located in Portland, OR