Psychotherapist publishes journal to help teenagers deal with grief

Psychotherapist Publishes Grief Journal

A north Swindon psychotherapist has published a journal to help teenagers cope with grief. Kathleen B Whelan produced the journal having discovered a gap in the resources available for young people.

Kathleen is a psychotherapist specialising in a therapeutic approach to working with clients. Entitled The Grief Episode Guide for Teens, the journal addresses bereavement, trauma and suicidal themes.

Psychotherapist Publishes Grief Journal - Kathleen Whelan
Kathleen Whelan


The journal takes the form of a diarised guide to working through the fluid stages of grief. Kathleen has launched it to tie in with National Grief Awareness Week, which runs from 2-8 December 2020.

A former art teacher, Kathleen not only wrote the text but also illustrated the journal, which runs to over 100 pages. It’s filled with illustrations, a poem and doodles and uses both clinical and non-clinical language.

The cover represents mourning, the early pages are dark, but get lighter in tone towards the end of the book, to denote the move towards recovery.

“When I was volunteering in my early days of training, a lot of the client cases I dealt with were around loss and grief. Such things are so universal they’re a part everyday life and come in many forms. And so this was a natural arena for me to grativate towards,” said Kathleen. Based in North Swindon, she operates a private practice, Inukshuk Therapy & Publishing.

A gap in the market

“I soon came to realise there was a gap in resources for teenagers and young people coping with grief. The loss they are feeling could be for someone or for something. It could be grief for the loss of a person, or for a pet, or for their own identity. It’s very broad and this journal enables teenagers to pause and reconnect with themselves.

“It encourages the user to write in it, annotate it, draw and store photos in it. It will result in being a privatised account of their stages of grief. Some of my younger clients are already using the journal and finding it very helpful. One said she writes in it before she goes to bed, this helps her address  her feelings and emotions.”

Kathleen began work on the journal when she experienced a significant loss of her own and that inspired her to help others. She is now planning two further editions: one for younger children, to use with their parents. And a second edition for adults.

The National Counselling Society have endorsed the journal. It’s also attracted interest from Gloucester charity Teens in Crisis and and Grief Encounter children’s charity in London. Haydon Wick Parich Council is also keen to help fund future copies, for local distribution.

What it costs and where to get it

  • The Grief Episode Guide For Teens costs £14.99 and is available via:
  • Waterstones
  • Amazon and
  • WHSmith.

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