CHARLOTTE – Pet grief and dealing with the loss of a fur baby is one of the toughest things any pet parent will face. To help our pet parents through their grief journey, Passionate Paws Animal Hospital offers two free online pet grief support groups that meet through Zoom on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. The third Tuesday of the month meeting is led by Jeff Brockman, a licensed counselor. Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff. We are sharing part 1 of this interview and will publish part 2 next week.
Dr. Bonilla: Can you tell us why you decided to become a counselor?
Jeff Brockman: My journey into the heart of counseling began on August 31, 1971; the day my mother died. I was 8 years old. I did some grieving as a child but much of my grief remained unresolved until it showed up as significant depression in my mid-twenties. At that time, I began the first of what would be several long-term counseling relationships. Over a period of decades, I worked with these different counselors to resolve my grief and depression. Each of them taught me a different style of counseling as well as different interventions for grief and depression. Through all of these experiences, I realized my calling.
Dr. Bonilla: What do you love the most about what you do?
Jeff Brockman: My favorite thing about my vocation is hearing the stories of people. People have fascinating stories that could not be invented or fabricated; stories of both sorrow and resilience, tragedy and triumph. A person’s story contains hidden information that explains many behaviors.
Dr. Bonilla: What are your main goals for the Pet Grief Group that you lead?
Jeff Brockman: My goals for each Pet Grief Group are to comfort, empathize, and normalize. By doing this group, we are connecting people with others on similar journeys and removing them from their isolation. So many participants have remarked about how glad they are to have found the Pet Grief Group, because other members understand this type of loss. Many participants continue to converse after the group ends for the night.
For more information about our monthly FREE online Pet Grief Group meetings, please visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thepetgriefgroup
Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.