Writer Erin Silver interviewed me during her preparation of this article, and I am quoted within the piece.
> Grief Workshop for Children and Teens by Elizabeth Tomaras, Montreal Families - Published in the December, 2014 edition.
Here is the text of the article:
Natalie Segall was 16 when her father committed suicide. She said it was difficult to function; she felt guilty, isolated and confused. She didn’t have an outlet to express her grief nor did she understand how to do so.
As an adult, she decided to help others going through similar situations. A certified grief and loss consultant, educator and facilitator, she organizes memorials, support groups, and workshops to help those dealing with a variety of loss by normalizing what they feel and empowering them to move forward.
“I really take pride in offering different avenues of expression,” Segall said.
For the past 10 years, Segall has helped facilitate grief programs with the Mount Royal Commemorative Services led by grief expert Dawn Cruchet. Now that Cruchet has retired, Segall will be leading a workshop on Dec. 6 called Good Grief Workshop for Children and Teens.
It will aim to help children as young as 3 understand how to deal with grief and loss in a constructive way. “It’s about helping kids and teens incorporate their grief into their lives in a healthy way for the future,” Segall said.
Kids will be divided into groups, by age, to allow participants to be among peers. They will decorate ornaments for their loved ones, release balloons with messages written on them and do other activities.
For more information, or to register for the next Good Grief Workshop, to be held at Selwyn House School in May 2016, call Natalie Segall at 514-222-9668
> There is an article featuring the Good Grief Workshops (also with some background on me!) on pages 12 & 13 of the August 12, 2014 edition of the Westmount Independent.
Here is the text of the article:
Segall Takes Over Good Grief By Stephanie O’Hanley
When her mother died of tracheal cancer in 1993, Westmount resident Natalie Segall didn’t seek grief counselling right away. “I didn’t understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I couldn’t make the right decisions, I couldn’t commit to anything,” said Segall. “I was having horrible panic attacks. Everything about me physically, emotionally was just breaking down, and I didn’t understand what was happening. I thought I was going crazy.”
“I went to psychiatrists and they said, ‘you’re not crazy.’ I went to psychologists and they said, ‘you’re not crazy,’ and they didn’t address my grief at all.”
Finally, a friend whose father recently died told Segall, “I went to this woman named Dawn Cruchet, and it just changed my life.” Soon after Segall joined an eight-session group Cruchet was starting. “Right away, from the first group, she validated what was going on and said ‘it’s okay if you’re feeling, this, this, this and this or if you’re not feeling this, it’s part of grief.’”
“As soon as that got connected, my whole life started getting back on track,” Segall said. “I went back to do a session with her for the suicide of my father, which I had never addressed. I went back to school. I was able to get a degree when I couldn’t focus before…I got married. My whole life went back to what it should have been.”
After hearing friends say they couldn’t cope with the loss of their loved ones and nobody understands, Segall decided to become a loss and grief educator, consultant and facilitator. She studied with Cruchet, took courses, and pursued a degree in education.
Segall spent four years as a cancer patient education coordinator at the Royal Victoria and Montreal General hospitals. But while she kept a private practice, “it was very sparse,” Segall said. Since leaving that job, she’s restarted her private practice and offers individual grief support in person or via Skype, and group workshops.
“It’s a non-denominational, all-inclusive, no-barriers type of grief counselling, grief association, grief consulting,” Segall said. “It’s not about religion unless a person brings it up and then we discuss it. It’s all about acceptance and finding out what the person needs.”
With grief, there never is closure, Segall said. “We never say it will be better, we say it will be different,” Segall said. “It will always be different. And sometimes you’ll be more emotional, and sometimes you won’t be as emotional, but it’s always with you, and that’s the most important thing for people to understand, and that way they can really move on without guilt, without this heavy burden, without feeling they’re disrespecting anyone.”
When Segall’s counsellor and mentor Dawn Cruchet retired, she asked Segall to coordinate the Good Grief Workshops for Children and Adolescents, sponsored by Mount Royal Commemorative Services. “I’m honoured,” Segall said.
An “awesome volunteer team” made up of nurses, social workers, doctors, school staff, retired people and others from all walks of life devote a Saturday twice a year for the workshops, which happen in facilities provided by Selwyn House, she said. Children ages 2 to 18 validate and share feelings in age-specific groups, while their parents or guardians attend a separate group.
The workshops give children tools to help them express and “own” their grief, including art therapy, talking, storybooks, exercise, memory boxes, Segall said.
> Recently published article: Attending A Jewish Funeral and Shiva House published in Montreal Jewish Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014
> I am featured in the following article entitled:
The Power of Grief Therapy By: Lydia Lukidis published in Montreal Jewish Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014
Here is the text of the article:
Leonard Cohen sings, “There is a crack in everything…that’s how the light gets
in.” When Natalie Segall’s mother was diagnosed with tracheal cancer, Segall dedicated
her life to caring for her. After her mother died, Segall found it extremely
difficult to get back to her previous life, as the entire landscape had changed,
and so had many of the people in it. It was not until she met leading grief specialist
and educator, Dawn Cruchet, that she learned how to process what had happened,
and bring meaning to it. Through this support, Segall was eventually able to deal
with her grief, and resume a healthy life.
defining process ignited a deep empathy and passion within her that lead her to
the career she finds herself in today. Through her desire to help others, she
decided to become a grief specialist, facilitator, and educator herself. Segall
then went back to school and earned two degrees and several certifications in
order to gain professional qualifications to match her personal experiences.
then, Segall has devoted herself to making a difference in the world. For many
years, she has not only worked with patients and family members, but she has
also trained doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who must care
for people with chronic and terminal illness. She has worked in the oncology
departments at both the Royal Victoria and Montreal General Hospitals.
Segall celebrates a proud moment. She has just accepted a new position: she will
become the new coordinator of the “Good Grief” workshops, in partnership with
Mount Royal Commemorative Services. In fact, she will replace none other than Dawn
Cruchet, who announced her retirement this past January, and is pleased to pass
believes that grief education and support should be easily accessible to all. She
has created a myriad of educational and experiential workshops, and leads
various support groups to help people deal with issues of loss, bereavement,
and grief. At any age, any of us may experience loss and grief.
Please feel free to contact me at any time: 514-222-9668 | firstname.lastname@example.org