Therapist offers ideas to process painful grief in healthy ways

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries speaker Charlene Ray wants to help people confront their grief in healthy ways. 

Therapist Charlene Ray
Charlene Ray will discuss healthy ways to process feelings of grief.

Ray, a licensed clinical social worker, has been in practice as a therapist, mentor and grief guide for 35 years. Her TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talk, See Grief in a New Light, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Aug. 4 as a Zoom meeting that requires registration and will be shared live on Facebook. Event host Phil Klein will introduce Ray’s pre-recorded TEDx talk followed by a live question-and-answer session. It is scheduled for one hour. 

Ray has studied many therapeutic treatments and blends those traditions and techniques with her intuitive work to create an individualized and powerful experience for each client.  

She is an interfaith minister and works for Forefront Suicide Prevention as a coach and community trainer for the Forefront in Schools program. She has written three stories in the Ignite compilation series on Health and Wellness, Adventurous Spirit, and Modern Goddess.  

Ray enjoys spending time in nature, reading, writing, cooking, walking, connecting with friends, visiting her son and traveling to Ireland. She lives on Whidbey Island with her partner Quinn. 

Why did you want to present a TEDx talk?  

Ray said she believes that grief is often misunderstood and not talked about in American culture. 

I wanted to present the idea that even when you are experiencing the pain of grief there is hope to be found in connecting with nature,” she saidI have found so much healing through connecting with wonder and beauty in nature and want that to be available to everyone. 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic?  

Ray said she drew inspiration for her talk from her own experiences with grief and working with so many clients experiencing grief over the years.  

I found that nature provided me so much hope for healing when I was young and my father died,” Ray saidNature provided solace for my hurting heart when my mother died in 2011 and most recently when my brother died. I have seen the magic of nature bring healing to so many of my clients of all ages over the years. A daily dose nature is essential for my wellbeing. 

What expectations do you have with your talk? 

I want as many people as possible to view this talk and find hope for healing from the grief they are experiencing or feel like they can offer support to someone they care about,” Ray saidThe tools in this talk are helpful for other kinds of experiences as well, like anxiety or stress. I just want to spread the word! 

She is writing a book on nature and grief that can serve as a companion for those who are grieving or supporting someone through grief. 

What have you learned from this experience? 

I have learned so much from this experience!” she said Right away I needed to confront my self-doubts and how to get my passion to translate into a talk. It has been a tremendous time of growth for me.