Guest Post with Julia Samuel

Friday, February 23, 2018

Hi Everyone!

Stopping by today to bring you a guest post from Julia Samuel. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome to the blog! :)
by Julia Samuel

I wrote Grief Works because I was angry. Angry that so many of the bereaved clients that came through my door, were suffering more than necessary, because they felt they should have been coping better, feared they were going mad. They had no idea this is normal in grief.  And they didn’t know how to help themselves. I want Grief Works to change that ignorance into knowledge and thereby confidence.

I learned this lesson in my childhood, both of my parents had experienced significant losses: my mother’s mother, father, sister and brother were all dead by the time she was 25 - my father’s father and brother were dead by his mid twenties - and they never spoke about them. I saw black and white photographs of these people around the house, but they were like ghosts in a frame, I knew nothing about them. They believed that what you don’t talk about won’t hurt you. Forget and move on. Yet the pain they felt beneath their silence remained untouched throughout their lives. When my mother told me about the death of her brother at Arnhem, during the war, she spoke as the 17 year old sister whose grief was absolutely raw.

Death is the last great taboo, and its consequence, grief, is profoundly misunderstood. We seem happy to talk about sex, or failure, or expose our deepest vulnerabilities, but on death we are silent. It is too frightening, even alien, for many of us, to find the words to voice it. That silence leads to ignorance, which means we often don't know how to respond to grief in others, let alone ourselves. We prefer it when the bereaved don't show their distress, and we say how "amazing" they are when they are being "so strong." But the fact is. death happens and grief hurts. Despite the language we use to try and deny death: “passed over” “lost” "gone to a better place" it is a harsh truth that as a society we are pretty ill equipped to respond to it. The lack of control and powerlessness that we are forced to contend with, counters our 21st century belief that technology or medicine can fix us, or if it can’t, our determination can.

Every day thousands of people die, expectedly and unexpectedly. 2,626,418 deaths a year in the USA. On average every death affects at least five people, that means millions of people will be faced with the shock of the news. They will forever remember where they were standing when they heard their parent, their sibling, their friend or their child is dying or has died. It will impact their relationship with themselves, and with every aspect of their world, for the rest of their life. How they manage that process, will inevitably affect the people around them. 

For the grief we feel is invisible. It is an invisible wound that is greater or smaller depending on how much we loved the person who has died. It may be that we are grieving a sudden death, or an anticipated death. Either way the sky we look up at is the same sky as before the death, but we look in the mirror and we don’t see the same person. We look at a photograph of ourselves, and wonder at the innocence of that smile, and see a different face from the one we see now. But some of the people around us, don’t understand the complexity of what has happened, or the depth of the hidden injury we are carrying. Death is the great exposer. It forces into the open, hidden fault lines, submerged secrets, and reveals to us how crucial those closest to us are.  

I have regularly seen that it is not the pain of grief that damages individuals and whole families, even through many generations; but it is the things we do to avoid the pain, which inflicts the most harm. Dealing with pain requires work on many different levels; physical and psychological. It is not possible to do that on our own. Love from others is key to helping us survive the love we have lost. With their support, we can endeavour to find a way of bearing the pain and living without the person who has died; and daring to trust in life again.  

In my profession there is a body of well researched practical facts as well as psychological understandings that are essential for anyone who is grieving. As a therapist I have witnessed how this knowledge can help protect those who are bereaved, suffering  worse consequences, through inappropriate support. Research studies show that at the root of 15% of all psychiatric referrals, is unresolved grief. But this information is not out in the world and I want this book to change that. There is so much fear that surrounds death and grief, largely caused by ignorance and lack of knowledge, and I want to replace that fear with confidence. I want people to understand that grief is a process that has to be worked through; whatever the circumstance, whoever they are, to protect them from a bad event having even worse consequences, due to ignorance -  but that information is not out in the world. I want this book to change that.

Peoples’ resistance and thereby lack of knowledge about death and dying is understandable because it is fuelled by fear, I would like to replace that fear with confidence. Experience has taught me that grief is work, extremely hard work, but if we do the work it works for us, the natural process of grieving can be supported to enable us to both heal, function effectively in our lives, and help us to find a way to rebuild our life. I hope that this book will illuminate what that work entails.  

When love dies, it is only the love of others that can help us. This book shows how that love works.

© Julia Samuel, author of Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving (Scribner)

About the Author:

Julia Samuel is a grief psychotherapist who has spent the last twenty-five years working with bereaved families, both in private practice and with the NHS at St Mary's Paddington where she pioneered the role of maternity and paediatric counsellor. She is Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK, where she continues to play a central role. Grief Works is her first book. Find out more at

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ICYMI-Last Chance at Giveaway!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hi Everyone!

In celebration of Valentines Day...

Stopping by to let you know about a giveaway from the publisher! If you are interested in winning, please leave a comment below. Winner will be selected 2/22.

Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship (St. Martin’s Press; February 13, 2018) by Dr. Stephen Snyder, a couples therapist and psychiatrist featured on NBC’s Today, GlamourNewsweek, and Cosmopolitan.

For couples in long-term, committed relationships, a satisfying love life can be elusive. Advice is plentiful, but it overwhelmingly focuses on techniques to spice up the bedroom and make things “new” and “exciting.” What if, however, this advice fundamentally misunderstands the needs of men and women in committed relationships? 

In Love Worth Making, Dr. Stephen Snyder explains how a great love life is possible when we connect deeply with our feelings. A therapist with 25 years of experience, Dr. Snyder offers a game-changing approach in this lively and informative book.

Love Worth Making uses stories from Dr. Snyder’s practice to illustrate how to make significant and lasting changes to your love life. He also integrates the latest research on human sexuality in easily understandable terms. Dr. Snyder’s guidance will allow couples to understand and embrace their feelings in order to have the best sex of their lives. 

Like Mating in CaptivityLove Worth Making is destined to become a defining book for couples of all ages and backgrounds. 

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It's Wednesday, What Are You Reading?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. I learned about this meme from Lori at Palmer's Page Turners. Thank you for sharing this fun meme! 

*I know, I usually schedule these for Monday, but due to the guest post, this is being brought to you today instead! :) 

What I Just Finished Reading

What I'm Currently Reading


What I am Reading Next


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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Guest Post with Sharon Shaw

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hi Everyone!

Excited to be here to bring you a guest post from Sharon Shaw. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome!

Would like a post on some insights on what finally prompted you to write the book?

After I stayed with what my gut knowing/intuition was telling me that my ex-partner was cheating and I eventually found evidence that proved my intuition was right, I felt empowered. I decided that I would always listen to my intuition even if people around me were telling me something different, I would always seek internally to listen, to understand and move to find evidence to show that my knowing/intuition is correct. I was always aware I had this knowing/intuition but I didn’t believe in it even though many times it had been right in what it would tell me. As a child no one around me talked about intuition or a sense that I might get in my stomach so I just thought I was weird and people would say I was too deep, when I was a child would voice what my intuition was telling me.

At this time I was dealing with a lot emotionally and mentally with our break up and wanting to ensure that our children were safe and had time to understand changes that would be happening within our family. I kept sitting listening to my intuition that guided me in what to do, my intuition was telling me that I needed time to understand and heal from this betrayal and that it was important that my ex stayed with us within our family home so we all had time to understand what changes would be happening, no matter what other people would say to stay with myself. Other people thought it was weird that I would allow him to stay but I found it was so healing, in going back to him to ask questions so that I had more understanding. I had acknowledged from reflecting on my past in having personal understanding, I heal and let go.

I also acknowledged at this point in time that I had emotionally healed from past trauma as I was at this time only dealing with this betrayal, my past painful life experiences were not coming back up. This experience shocked part of me as my past experiences would always come back up before. Whenever I experienced betrayal in the past, it was so painful and I now understand that within that pain was also pain from childhood abuse in so many ways. I acknowledged that because I had the opportunity in University to complete lots of personal development building my self-awareness and experienced personal counselling. These processes gave me safe connections and the opportunity to tell my story, to show my pain to people that could just accept me, this process helped me to see me and develop self-love and understanding my own truth to past trauma. Through me seeing me, and my dysfunctional development, I can now see why possibly others might project out and hurt others in so many ways.

I wanted to go deeper to understand my development emotionally, mentally and my healing. My intuition told me I should write books that this will help me to see my development and give deeper insight and give hope to so many people. Obviously I had so many fears I started to write them down and understand where these fears interlinked into my past experiences, I used safe connections my counsellor, mum, and friends to communicate on anything I felt stuck on. This process was hard and frightening to start with but so insightful, that would empower me more to keep doing the process. I started to get light bulb moments in understanding my development and mental defences that created fear, that I now acknowledge I had built or taken from others as a child in order to try to keep myself safe, but these defences had become dysfunctional as an adult as they closed me down and made me fearful as an adult to live my life free to be honest and open and to explore. I now don’t have the same fears and other people’s thinking doesn’t affect me the same, therefore I am free to share all of me within my books, in a hope that people will take whatever they need from my story and inspire them to look back to their own childhood and understand their own life story, emotions, thoughts and build on their own intuition. My wish as a child and still now is for people to heal, from pain and fear in understanding themselves, I believe that this process will break many cycles of perpetration at different levels, but believe that people need to experience and see it for themselves by finding a safe person or people and doing their own internal work. My intuition tells me that all I can do is share, openly and honestly, so that is what I am doing, sharing myself with love for everyone.

A Child Inside: understanding, healing and freedom following childhood abuse and trauma
Sharon Shaw is a respected psychotherapist specialising in cases of childhood sexual, emotional and mental abuse. Few of Shaw’s clients would know that her brilliance as a therapist comes from profound personal experience. Her early life has inspired and informed her therapeutic techniques, now shared in this remarkable book, A Child Inside: understanding, healing and freedom following childhood abuse and trauma. Now an adult woman with the language and training to explain and analyse her experiences of abuse, Shaw revisits herself as that damaged child, with the support of her personal counsellor, her mother and other important safe connections. She reveals a frightened child, lost in a world that was not safe for her, trapped in a body and with a developing brain that wasn’t yet mature enough to understand and articulate the horrors she was experiencing, thinking and feeling, all of which conflicted with what she had been taught by family and society at large: she knew they were meant to protect her but why had they failed to do so? A Child Inside explores the complex issues of trust and responsibility between adults and children, charting the progression from acute distress through cognitive and intuitive understanding and ultimately towards forgiveness.

About the author: Living in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Sharon Shaw B.Sc. spent five years training as a psychotherapist at Leeds Beckett University and now has over 600 hours of clinical experience in therapeutic interventions specialising in play therapy including a year at a local primary school and working with private clients.

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Guest Post: Arthur Coombs

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here to bring you a guest post from Arthur Coombs. Please help me in giving him a warm welcome!


John Quincy Adams maintained that the most successful people were those whose actions inspired others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. These people were the ones who left the sidelines, entered the fray, and threw themselves into life. They were the ones who forged a nation and achieved the impossible. They were the ones who truly connected to life, to others, and to themselves.
Today, the world needs human connection more than ever. It needs people who strive for deeper relationships, not just surface recognition, who come at life with the enthusiasm, energy, and excitement that bind people together. These people have a powerful impact on all around them.
HUMAN CONNECTION contains fresh perspectives and unforgettable stories into a simple formula that will result in rich connections as you live, laugh, learn, love, and lead those who mean the most to you. Begin today to live the authentic, abundant life you were meant to as you build and shape the connections that change everything.”

Best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur Arthur Coombs brings decades of global expertise to readers, audiences, and corporations. Founder and CEO of KomBea Corporation, Art has served for more than fifteen years developing and marketing tools that blend human intelligence and automation.
Art’s best-selling Don’t Just Manage—LEAD! has been hailed by some of the nation’s top executives, and his new work on the foundations of human connection provides a powerful formula for success that captivates and inspires readers.
Before founding KomBea, Art served as EVP of Strategic Initiatives for FirstSource. He was the founder and CEO of Echopass Corporation. Art has served as Sento Corporation’s CEO, managing director and vice president of Europe for Sykes Enterprises, and has worked for organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, VLSI Research, and RasterOps.
Amazon Book Page:

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

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