Filmmaker/Grief Specialist Dr. Michelle Peticolas Creates Program on Transforming Loss: From Surviving to Thriving

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Award-winning filmmaker, speaker and grief specialist Dr. Michelle Peticolas launches the new Secrets of Life and Death website with her new grief coaching program "Transforming Loss: From Surviving to Thriving."

While a major loss often feels like hopeless devastation, it contains a profound opportunity for self-discovery and renewal.

Dr. Michelle Peticolas, award-winning Bay Area filmmaker, workshop leader and grief specialist, announces the May 24th launch of her website: Secrets of Life and Death with her new grief coaching program: "Transforming Loss: From Surviving to Thriving." The new coaching program helps people heal the trauma of loss while discovering their new life and purpose.

In celebration of the program launch on May 24th, she is offering three complimentary teleconferences highlighting unusual strategies for transforming grief. She will also be giving away a wide variety of transformational gifts and prizes. For more information, see:

Dr. Peticolas, a ten-year hospice volunteer veteran and grief group facilitator, has a surprisingly uplifting approach to death and loss. “While a major loss often feels like hopeless devastation,” she explains, “it contains a profound opportunity for self-discovery and renewal. Death invites us to embrace the hero’s journey—to face the challenges, battles, wounds and wins in order to discover an awesome treasure at the end—a real sense of self and life purpose.” For more information about her grief transformation program, see:

After losing both her parents in 1998, Dr. Peticolas dramatically changed the direction of her own life by embarking on the creation of three films to shift the way people think about death. Universities, hospitals and hospices across the country now use her award-winning three-part series "Secrets of Life and Death" in classes and training programs. In 2010, she received the first of three grants from the Lloyd Symington Foundation to bring her films and workshops to the cancer community. Donating close to 100 films, she has reached thousands of cancer patient and professionals with her open approach to death and grief.

For the last 50 plus years, western society has hidden death in the closet. The medical establishment fights it, Madison Avenue ignores it, everyone else fears it. “With the aging of America, this is no longer an option,” states Dr. Peticolas. “The baby-boomers—a demographic know for outspokenness, inquisitiveness, and social consciousness—will be facing illness, death and grief on a massive scale and requiring new and more soul-satisfying ways of handling these end-of-life challenges.” Dr. Peticolas’ work addresses this imperative need.

Trained as a sociologist at Indiana University, Dr. Peticolas wrote her doctoral thesis, “Reality Transformation in Gestalt Therapy Groups,” on the mental adjustments people must make when facing dramatic life changes. The making of the "Secrets of Life and Death" series took her deeper into this exploration with its spotlight on death—the ultimate reality shift. Her grief coaching and film screening workshops apply this framework to the losses of death. Crisis is treated as an impetus for change. Openness is the key.

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