Regaining Hope After An Overwhelming Year in the Pandemic

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified grief and trauma counselor, Kara Bowman discusses her new book entitled “Heartbreak to Hope: Poems of Support for Grief and Loss”.  She talks about how the book can help guide people through their experiences of isolation, sadness, and grief. She advises some other ways to find effective methods for dealing with painful emotions and find the capacity to grow, heal, connect and find meaning.

Kara Bowman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in grief and trauma. She has a part-time private practice in Scotts Valley, California. Kara traveled a long, winding road to arrive at her current profession. She began with an MBA and a career in finance, opened a large, award-winning child development center, worked in non-profit administration, and homeschooled her three children before becoming an NVC Compassionate Communication Trainer.
Just as Kara’s children were leaving home and she was settling into her life, her family was hit with a nearly unbelievable wave of illnesses and deaths in a five-year period. Once Kara found her feet again, she knew she was driven to help others who were experiencing grief, loss and trauma.

Kara returned to school to earn a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and did her internships primarily in hospice grief counseling. Kara is a Certified Grief Counselor (AAGC), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (IATP), and a Certified Thanatologist (the study of death and dying; ADEC). Research and knowledge are growing in the field of grief, and Kara’s passion is to help create a culture which is more compassionate and helpful toward those who are grieving (which will eventually be all of us).

Kara is dedicated to her career and community through her practice and volunteer work. Although she always uses empathy as a foundation for her grief work, she tries to individualize her approach in order to give each client what they most need at that moment in time. This includes ritual, poetry, meditations and visualizations, along with talking. Kara loves sharing her knowledge of how to grieve, and how to support grievers, by volunteering at Hospice, giving talks to public groups and training therapists. In the summer of 2020, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists honored Kara’s practice with a Spotlight in The Therapist magazine.

Kara lives in Santa Cruz, California, near the redwoods and the ocean, with her husband. She loves to read, write, walk, do pilates, cook, visit with friends and family, and try to make people laugh. She is very thankful her three grown children all live on the west coast.

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