February 2022 Book of the Month: From Paycheck to Purpose by Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman “helps people discover what they were born to do and provides practical steps to make their dream job a reality.” Similar to Ken, I guide individuals through life transitions such as career change. I also assist clients with finding meaning. This book perfectly compliments my work, making it a clear choice for my February 2022 Book of the Month.

Here is a great clip from Ken Coleman’s podcast!

New support group starting on February 9, 2022.

The loss of a loved one to suicide is absolutely devastating. Unfortunately there is still such stigma attached to a suicide death. This special small support group is designed especially for those who are experiencing this specific type of loss. I will utilize a combination of psychoeducation and open discussion. The book Understanding Your Suicide Grief-Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart by Dr. Alan Wolfelt will be used as well as the companion journal. These books have been generously donated in memory of Rhya Marohn (www.carterandrhya.rocks). If you’re reluctant to join a support group I encourage you to give it a try. I strive to create a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment (and I will never force you to talk if you don’t want to!). Some people have told me they thought coming to a support group meant sitting around in a circle crying for 90 minutes. Well, honestly we do cry sometimes but we laugh too. If this sounds like something you would like to explore, send me a message at melinda@melindaruppert.com or call me at 240-298-2442. I would be more than happy to answer any questions.


We will meet for 6 consecutive Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30 pm starting on February 9, 2022.

Fee per session-$30 (book and journal included)

This is an in person group and space is limited to 8 participants.

The Art of Creative Mourning with Lisa Gillespie

I am so very excited to welcome artist Lisa Gillespie here on Saturday, February 27th, 2021 for our therapeutic art program! I had previously scheduled this program last year but had to cancel it. Lisa is a compassionate and talented artist who has a gentle way of helping others discover their creative side. This art program is for everyone-the person who sees themselves as creative and artistic and those who don’t feel artistic at all! We have chosen an art project that will be enjoyable and meaningful for people of all skill levels. With Lisa’s guidance we will be making beautiful memorial shadow boxes. I will supply some art materials but we ask that you bring a shadow box, photo or two and any items or mementos that symbolize your loved one. To learn more about Lisa please see her bio below. Visit http://www.melindaruppertlcpc.com to register for this program.

Lisa Gillespie

Artist and ASID Certified Interior Designer

Lisa Gillespie is an artist, interior designer and former professional chef with decades of design and art experience. A native to Charles County Maryland, she is a graduate of Towson University, and The Culinary School of Washington and continued her graduate level education at the Maryland institute College of Art in Baltimore and The Boston Architectural College in Massachusetts. In addition, she has studied art and design abroad at The American University in Paris. She is ASID Certified interior designer and principal of her own design business; Lisa Gillespie Designs and owner of The Treasure Nest, a vintage furniture and décor business.
Lisa moved back to Maryland in 2005 and was recently married to her wonderful husband Jim and is the proud mother of a beautiful teenage daughter Olivia.

Grief: The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room Flyer2 PRINT

On Friday, January 17, 2020 I am facilitating a grief program called The Elephant in the Room. This is for anyone who is helping a grieving friend or family member. If you are struggling with how to best support someone who is grieving, this program will provide some tools to help you. Walking alongside someone who is grieving can be very intimidating and emotional. Learning some practical ways to be supportive as well as knowing the things to say or not to say can help ease the stress of a very important role. Many times grieving people will tell me that if it wasn’t for a specific friend or family member then they wouldn’t have made it through some of their darkest days. On the flip side, I have heard some very hurtful things that people have said or done (a lot of times unknowingly) to someone in need of support.

Before I became well acquainted with grief through my own personal and professional experience, I remember fumbling around to find the right words to say to someone grieving. Or sometimes I wouldn’t know what to say so I simply……just didn’t say anything at all. While it’s impossible to take away another person’s pain, there are some things that can be done to soften it or provide comfort. Simply being present and not offering unsolicited advice is one of the most important things you can do.

If you are already helping someone through the grieving process or if you would like to learn some skills to feel more confident consider joining us this Friday. To register just follow the link here on my website and fill out the registration form and I will be in touch. There is no fee and this program is open to anyone!


Can I Just Skip the Holidays This Year?

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Well? Do you feel like skipping the holidays this year? Do you even have the option to skip the holidays or do you have obligations that have to be fulfilled? For the past 3 years I have offered this holiday grief program. I remember trying to think of a title that would capture how I felt throughout my grief journey. Although it’s a long title, “Can I Just Skip the Holidays This Year?,” seemed to encompass how many people feel at this time of the year. The holiday season can be challenging anyway even if you aren’t grieving! There are so many expectations, plans to make, details to remember….If you are grieving then you know that everyday can be tough to get through but the holiday season can magnify our loss. What once was meaningful and magical about the holidays may now seem painful and empty without your loved one.

So what do you do about it? There’s a lot of advice out there-go on a vacation and experience Christmas somewhere else, make new memories by starting new traditions, disengage from the festivities so that you don’t have to be around other people, don’t decorate or put up a Christmas tree. None of these are right or wrong, it’s truly all about what is best for you. Sometimes blending some of these ideas will work better for you and sometimes what worked this year isn’t what helps next year. You have the right to make that choice, to switch things up or to keep the same traditions that you’ve practiced for years. The first year without our son Brogan was very difficult as our older son wanted to stick with the tradition of choosing and cutting down our Christmas tree as we had always done. My husband and I could not even think about that (we were definitely in the “let’s skip Christmas mode”) but we didn’t want to let our son down so we compromised with an artificial tree. Hanging ornaments that were Brogan’s and had special meaning was really tough so we bought some new ornaments and decorated the tree with a mixture of old and new. By the second year we were able to add some of Brogan’s special ornaments and we started a new tradition of picking out an ornament in his memory. If you have other family members to consider it is important to talk about what works for everyone.

Please feel free to share what has worked for you. If you would like more information on how to survive this holiday season, registration is open for my holiday grief program on Friday, December 13th at 6:00 pm. Just go to the Register tab on my website. If you have any questions or need more information, I can be reached at 240-298-2442 or melinda@melindaruppert.com