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Valley woman turns personal loss into recovery as grief counselor

PHOENIX — After losing her baby, a husband, her father, her home and her job, a Scottsdale mom has found a new life as a grief recovery counselor.

“I got into grief recovery reluctantly, like most people do,” said Claire McCarthy, a certified grief recovery specialist.

About six years ago, McCarthy’s daughter died unexpectedly. Four months later, her husband of 10 years left her, and then her father died.

“And then I went through financial situations, lost friendships and all of those things that go along with sort of trying to navigate life after significant loss,” she said.

Now six years later, she has bounced back and found her calling as a grief recovery counselor. The Grief Recovery Method offers a step-by-step process to healing from loss.

“[I’m] really working with folks to help them lead better, healthier, happier lives after loss,” McCarthy said. “Recovery sometimes gets a bad rap because it gives that connotation that there is just this ‘completeness’… you put it aside, you never deal with it, you never have worry about it again.”

This ‘completeness’ is actually just a way to feel a little better and to work through it, she said.

The Grief Recovery Program addresses death and divorce, as well as 40 other significant emotional losses.

Upcoming Grief Recovery Method programs will be held at Kierland in North Scottsdale in June:

The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program: 8-week summer session for adults. Starting June 2 at 6:30 p.m.

When Children Grieve: 6-week summer session teaching adults how to help children dealing with grief. Starting June 5 at 6:30 p.m.

McCarthy also offers individualized counseling through a one-on-one 7-week course.