photo of Debbie AugenthalerDebbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC

Debbie is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. Her husband, Jim, died suddenly in her arms when she was only 36 years old. He had been healthy and vibrant – the doctors compared the probability of his death by heart attack to being struck by lightning. That lightning strike ended her life as she knew it and thus began the “baptism by fire” that brought her to her new future.

Debbie’s award-winning book, You Are Not Alone, is the book she wishes she’d had when she was grieving, and is glad to have now to offer clients experiencing life-altering losses. With the connection of a shared experience, Debbie guides the reader through grief to transformation and a new beginning. You Are Not Alone is the 2018 Winner of the Foreword INDIES 2018 Book Awards, Grief/Grieving, and an Award Finalist in Health: Psychology/Mental Health for the 2019 International Book Awards.

As a psychotherapist specializing in trauma, grief, and loss, Debbie’s clinical training is steeped in Western traditions of healing. Interweaving the knowledge gained from her graduate studies, clinical training, working with many clients, and her life experiences has made her very curious and interested in how people have been dealing with grief and loss since the beginning of time. She has been on a wonderful journey of studying Eastern philosophy, energy healing, and exploring spiritual practices from cultures around the world, learning about the wisdom of the ages and the many different ways people have ritualized grief and healing. Ancient healing traditions incorporate the connection to that which is beyond our physical world, the connection to spirit, to earth, to all that is. To Love. She is building a bridge between the two traditions, using time-honored practices to inform her work with clients.

Debbie helps normalize common feelings and experiences for people who are grieving, and holds space for each of us to experience grief in our own way and time, because grief is not linear. There are many gifts that accompany loss, including spiritual awakenings, discovering the connection with forever love, developing deep compassion, and grateful appreciation for the blessings along the way from grief to healing to transformation and joy. Debbie has walked this path throughout her life and wants to help you on your path from grief to joy.

I believe we are all connected. No one should feel alone in their grief, their sorrow, their hope, their healing, their transformation.

Debbie has an MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. She completed a two year post graduate Advanced Trauma Studies program from the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and is trained in various modalities that inform a holistically based practice including EMDR, Internal Family Systems, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Energy Psychology, and Hypnosis.

In 2012 she received the NYU Steinhardt Award for Outstanding Clinical Service.

Debbie speaks regularly in the New York area, and is available to give workshops, trainings and talks to professionals, grief support groups, and books groups around the country. To book Debbie, please visit her Workshops & Talks page.

She has also been featured in numerous interviews, articles, and podcasts. Visit her Press Page to learn more.

There’s an expectation in our society to keep it There’s an expectation in our society to keep it together—to not make a scene, to keep the messiness private. I call this the “unwritten rules of grief.” These rules are to help others feel more comfortable with YOUR grief. But grief is messy. It’s okay to cry, and let it out. Don’t feel like you have to “be stoic” for others. Do what you need to do for you.⁠
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#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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#Emilydickinson #hope #hopeisthethingwithfeathers #Emilydickinson #hope #hopeisthethingwithfeathers
Never lose hope. #grieftogratitude #youarenotalone Never lose hope. #grieftogratitude #youarenotalone
#henrywadsworthlongfellow #grieftogratitude #henrywadsworthlongfellow #grieftogratitude
#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone⁠ 🦋 #grieftogratitude #youarenotalone⁠
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Waiting a year to make any big decisions after a l Waiting a year to make any big decisions after a life-altering loss is a wise adage. It’s difficult to make permanent decisions when it’s hard to think clearly. The pre-frontal cortex, the logical, thinking part of your brain isn’t working optimally. If you can, wait for those big decisions until you’ve had some time to begin healing.⁠
I needed to withdraw for a while, and that’s okay. Not everyone does. But eventually, I was strong enough to go out and about and start living life again. I was still grieving but I was also beginning to heal. Saying yes to everything was a way of avoiding the emotions of another kind of grief, of acceptance and moving ahead. In living in your “new normal,” fresh grief and mourning is natural. You are letting go of that which WAS and stepping forward into that which IS—a new way of being in the world. It is a time of transition and seesaw emotions, back and forth and up and down. Be gentle with yourself.⁠
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#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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Purchase the book 'You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing, and Hope' by Debbie Augenthaler. ⁠
LINK is in our profile. ⁠
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#wuvip #giftsofloss #griefandhealing #griefandloss #loveliveson #begentle #itsokaytogrieve #debbieaugenthalerauthor #youarenotalonebook #grief #grieving #grieveinyourownway #griefsupport #griefshare #griefisajourney #griefisaprocess #griefprocess #griefcounseling
There is a place of darkness that so many of us ha There is a place of darkness that so many of us have known or may be experiencing right now. We feel so alone and every single thing is an effort. We feel hopeless. I’ve been in that place, as have so many others. I’ve had clients come in wondering if the despair and bleak hopelessness will ever abate. If you’re feeling this way now, know that this feeling, this dark place, is a natural part of the grieving process. To feel angry, to rage at your loved one, at God, at the world, the universe, is completely natural. ⁠
Many of us have other losses we may still be grieving, even if it’s from a very long time ago. A life-altering loss like losing someone you love can trigger the hurt and trauma from these older losses, impacting and magnifying our current grief. It can bring up many unresolved “wounds of the heart” and draw you even deeper into despair. This is something to be aware of and another reason to seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by this.⁠
If you are in this dark place, I urge you, with all my heart, to find someone who can help you. I wholeheartedly believe in therapy; it was crucial to my healing. I became a therapist because I wanted to help others like my therapist helped me. If therapy is not an option for you, I urge you to reach out to someone who will help you through this dark period. Find someone you can trust, who will hold you when you are in such pain. If you go to a place of worship, reach out to your pastor, your priest, your rabbi. Find a support group, call a hotline, your best friend, a family member—call someone you know can hold you through this time. I urge you, if you’re in this place, just hold on, breathe through it, cry through it, for these moments pass, and you WILL get through it.	⁠
I replayed in my mind a million times what I might I replayed in my mind a million times what I might have done differently, a running loop that added to the pain and helplessness I felt. How could I not save him if I was with him? The what ifs and if onlys. What if I had done this or that? If only he had said yes when I first suggested going to the hospital. He thought it was heartburn. He had no pain while his heart was taking its last beats. The doctors said he would have died even if he had been in the hospital. Moments I relived multiple times a day for months, long after I was told there was nothing I could do.⁠
Do you have a running loop racing through your mind? It’s a natural response because the world feels scary and out of control, and we feel helpless and wish we could change the outcome. However, no matter what the circumstances are, the what ifs and if onlys will not change the outcome. The running loop may continue to happen for a while, but it will ease. ⁠
Take deep breaths. Be as kind and gentle to yourself as you possibly can. It’s what you need right now.⁠
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This is an excerpt from You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide for Grief, Healing and Hope by Debbie Augenthaler. Link is in our profile.⁠
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#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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You will discover more losses along the way to hea You will discover more losses along the way to healing. It will feel like a fresh new wound, for each loss merits its own mourning. Especially when you lose your partner, your self-identity changes. To ask, “Who am I now?” is to begin facing all the other losses you will encounter.⁠
This inundation of loss can feel like a flood that overwhelms us. This is natural and understandable. When our anxiety escalates in this way, our brain is wired to interpret it as danger and our bodies respond by going into survival mode. This causes the “thinking” part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) to shut down, and we can only feel, unable to think clearly. This often causes anxiety or panic attacks, including the feeling of not being able to breathe.⁠
It’s important each loss is recognized and mourned. There’s no right way or wrong way; often it’s just knowing that, “Yes, feeling like I don’t know who I am anymore is all a natural part of this.” ⁠
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This is an excerpt from You Are Not Alone: A Heartfelt Guide for Grief, Healing, and Hope by Debbie Augenthaler. Link is in our profile.⁠
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#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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Take deep breaths. Be as kind and gentle to yourse Take deep breaths. Be as kind and gentle to yourself as you possibly can be.⁠
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#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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Beginning to heal and adjusting to your new life d Beginning to heal and adjusting to your new life doesn’t mean having to let go of the person you love. ⁠
Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Do what feels good to you.�⁠
#grieftogratitude #youarenotalone #debbieaugenthaler⁠
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Your world has been turned upside down. ⁠ Take t Your world has been turned upside down. ⁠
Take the time you need to cocoon. ⁠
Be patient with yourself. ⁠
Do what you need to do as you heal. ⁠
And look for the angels in your life.�

“Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends”

— Hafiz

If you are in need of support, please CLICK HERE for a list of resources.

Crisis Resources

Emergency: 911

These numbers are provided for informational purposes only and may be subject to change.
All numbers are valid for the United States.

To find a qualified therapist, go to Psychology Today’s website, and follow the simple steps to find a therapist in your area. Here’s the link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us    This is a world-wide resource. If you’re not in the US, go to the upper right hand corner of the page and change the country.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1 (800) 273-8255

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1 (800) 799-7233

  • Family Violence Helpline:

1 (800) 966-6228

  • National Hopeline Network:

1 (800) 784-2433

  • Self-Harm Hotline:

1 (800) 366-8288

  • Planned Parenthood Hotline:

1 (800) 230-7526

  • American Association of Poison Control Centers:

1 (800) 222-1222

  • Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line:

1 (800) 622-2255

  • National Crisis Line, Anorexia and Bulimia:

1 (800) 233-4357

  • GLBT Hotline:

1 (888) 843-4564

  • TREVOR Crisis Hotline:

1 (866) 488-7386

  • AIDS Crisis Line:

1 (800) 221-7044

  • Lifeline Crisis Chat:

(Online live messaging): http://www.crisischat.org/

  • Crisis Text Line:

Text “START” TO 741-741

  • Veterans Crisis

Live chat https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/,
Call 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)
Text 838-255

*This page and my website are not a substitute for psychotherapy or other forms of professional support.

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