Michelle Iliff

San Diego Counselor

Your desire for well-being, peace of mind, balance, and joy in daily life is my reason for pursuing the counseling profession. It is my privilege to help individuals, couples, families and groups in overcoming many of life’s challenges. Relationship struggles, loss of a job, marriage, or death of loved one are often moments in life when we need to reach out for extra support as a way of respecting and taking care of ourselves.

After the loss of a loved one to a homicide, I became interested in and have specialized in traumatic grief and loss counseling. Since 2008, I have specialized in Grief and Loss counseling as well as Violent (or sudden/accidental) death support of those who have lost someone to homicide, suicide, disasters, etc. Any type of grief experienced from the loss of a loved one is difficult. Violent and/or sudden loss has an added element of trauma that may keep individuals stuck in his or her grief or experience Post Traumatic Stress symptoms (PTSD).

In working with individuals, couples and families after such a loss at The Center for Mindful Relationships, the Survivors of Violent Loss Restorative Re-telling, researched-based model, has helped to create a safe environment to share what loved ones are dealing with after such a difficult and often shocking experience. It has been my honor to help these “co-victims” of a violent loss learn about and understand many of the symptoms of complicated grief and PTSD. It can be very helpful for clients to understand these feelings as normal reactions to an abnormal experience. For over 5 years, I have led monthly drop-in groups with SVLP as well as the signature 10-week Restorative Retelling Violent Loss group, which has been so vital in helping many survivors of a violent loss.

This type of loss is not something you get over, but it is the type of loss I can help you learn to live with in a safe and supportive environment, full of deep compassion, I will help you on this journey in learning how to manage what has happened. We will discuss ways of finding comfort, seeking support, healthy activities and distractions, breathing and relaxation techniques as well as ways to continue to remember your loved one, what they meant to you, honor who they were, and how to stay connected to them in a healthy way.

Supervised by Laura Carr, LMFT (MFC 38400)