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Support Groups

What can I expect from a support group?

  • A safe environment where one can tell his or her story and express feelings freely, knowing that others will be understanding, non-judgmental, and supportive.
  • A place for establishing a connection with others to decrease the isolation that grief brings.
  • A forum for understanding common myths about grief and typical grief patterns.
  • A place for people of all faiths to learn from each other through sharing their grief stories in a non-judgmental way.
  • A community that validates and normalizes one’s emotional reactions.
  • A place for learning that there are many different ways to grieve, all of which are natural and acceptable.
  • A resource for gathering articles, poetry, and reading lists to further one’s awareness of the many aspects of grief. Discussion of articles can serve as a springboard for identifying important meanings in one’s own loss and to learn from examples of how others have faced their losses.
  • A place for learning new coping skills, relaxation techniques, stress management skills, and daily survival skills that others in the group have found effective.
  • The opportunity for members to help each other brings strength, confidence, and a new sense of purpose and value.
  • Opportunities to learn ways to create memories and observe anniversaaries and other important milestones.
  • A sounding board where members can present ongoing or new concerns, report on progress or challenges, and safely come back for help when they experience setbacks or backslides in their grief journeys. 

Which group(s) are right for me?

Bereaved Parents Group –  This group is intended for parents who suffer the loss of their baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth.  This group is offered in English and Spanish.

Pregnancy After Loss Group – This group is intended for parents contemplating another pregnancy following a previous loss or are currently in a subsequent pregnancy.

Dad’s Grief Discussion Group – This group is intended for dads who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy or as an infant.

Grandparents & Extended Family Group – This group is intended for grandparents and other extended family who have experienced pregnancy or infant death.

Parenting After Loss Group – This group is intended for parents who lose a child and have other living children who are older than the child that died or was born after the loss

Coping With SIDS/SUID & Infant Death Group – This group is intended for parents who lose a child up to one year of age due to SIDS/SUID or other causes of death.

 






Star Legacy Foundation support groups are held virtually via synchronous online video and are encrypted for security. All support group facilitators are trained mental health professionals with first-hand experience and/or practice emphasis in perinatal loss.

A grief support group offers a different quality of support and connection that comes from being with people who have also recently experienced a loss. Grief support groups provide emotional support, validation, and education about grief.

Registration is only required once for each group you wish to attend. All groups are free to attend for as long as you wish.

When you join a new support group, you may be nervous about sharing personal issues with people you don't know. So at first, you may benefit from simply listening. Over time, though, contributing your own ideas and experiences can help you get more out of a support group. But remember that support groups aren't a substitute for regular medical care. Let your doctor know that you're participating in a support group. If a support group isn't your thing but you need help coping with your condition or situation, talk to your doctor about counseling or other types of therapy.


Observation Policy: To protect participant confidentiality and preserve a safe place for our families, we do not grant permission to any individual(s) or family members who have not themselves experienced perinatal loss to observe any Star Legacy Foundation support group. For this reason, we also do not authorize the recording of support group sessions.

Our Support Group Facilitators

Elizabeth R. B. Naylor, LGSW, MS-DRL, IBCLC

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Liz’s (she/her) origins are as a certified birth doula, childbirth educator, and birth professional trainer. She now primarily works as an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, a craniosacral therapist, and a

Kelly Pulford, CCLS

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Kelly Pulford, CCLS facilitates the Parenting After Loss support groups for Star Legacy Foundation.  Kelly is Certified Child Life Specialist and her career experience includes years of working with families

Tricia Rausch

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Tricia Rausch is a registered nurse at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Birth Center in Shawnee Mission, KS.  She has worked with families in the Birth Center for over 14 years as

Lyssa Oldre

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Lyssa holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in Counseling Psychology. Lyssa is a licensed counselor currently practicing at Vayda Mental Health Collaborative in

Alise Novak, PsyD, LP

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Alise is a doctor of clinical psychology and works as a licensed psychologist where she specializes in reproductive and perinatal mental health. She is co-founder of a group private practice

Mark Terjessen

Mark Terjesen, PhD

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Dr. Terjesen has been active with Star Legacy Foundation for several years since the stillbirth of their daughter Savannah.  In 2022 Dr. Terjesen joined our Family Support team as our

Anna Calix

Anna Calix

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Anna joined the Star Legacy Foundation in 2021 as our Spanish support group facilitator. She was born and raised in Honduras and came to the United States to pursue a

Bianca Goodrum, PHD, LPC

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Bianca Goodrum has a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Bianca’s Dissertation is entitled “Grief Counselors’ Self-Care and Wellness Practices: A

Kathleen Massmann, MS, LAMFT

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Kathleen Massmann is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Clinical Director of Healing Moments Counseling. She has over 20 years of experience working with a wide range of clients including

JoAnn O'Leary

Joann O’Leary, PHD, MPH, MS, IM-ER(IV)

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Dr. O’Leary, holds a B.E.S. and a Masters in Maternal-Child Health from the University of MN. She also has a Masters in Psychology through research from Queens University in Belfast,

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