The holiday season can be very difficult for people who have experienced a severe personal loss.  reports that's why Corinne Case encourages people dealing with such a loss to consider attending a session of the Northern Berkshire Loss Support Group, which she has facilitated for many years, most recently at the Harper Center in Williamstown. Upcoming sessions are Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; for information call Case at 413-242-4495.

"It's just really important," said Case, particularly around the holidays. "The worse thing we can do is stay in denial. Nor can we stay in anger."

Case is a licensed mental health counselor, but she doesn't consider this group therapy in the traditional sense. Some people speak a lot, and some people listen — it's all up to every individual, which is why she encourages people who may be reluctant to share in a group setting to come check it out.

While the majority of people who drop in and out of the support group have experienced the death of a person close to them, others come who have experienced other kinds of loss, like broken relationships. But whatever someone is dealing with, a group situation can help, she said.

The group — which used to be part of the Northern Berkshire VNA & Hospice before the North Adams Regional Hospital closed five years ago — is currently funded by a Mary and Henry Flynt Grant through the Williamstown Community Chest. Because of the grant, Case said she surveys group participants to see if it is helpful in their emotional recovery.

Case quoted the biblical passage "God will not give us more than we can handle".



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