Grief and Loss


At one point in everyone’s life, there will be grief and loss. There is the grief we feel after the death of a loved one. This can be a parent, a child, a beloved soulmate or spouse, a sibling, a friend or the loss of a dear animal companion. Each one of these deaths would create a unique experience of grief and requires a unique pathway through that grief. Grief can also be complicated by trauma and complications surrounding the death. The loss can be devastating and the burden too difficult to carry on one’s own.

Charlene has many years of experience combining gentle companionship, education about grief, poetry and mindfulness to provide a healing and supportive environment for your pain.

Moving toward your grief can be one of the hardest things you ever do, but over time, you can find a place of solace with the grief and learn to find its place within you.

You don’t ever get over grief, contrary to what other people might tell you, or want for you. But you do heal and find a new rhythm with the grief as a part of your life.

In the course of your life, you may also experience loss of job, relationship, home, school, friendships and other losses that cause feelings to emerge and life to change. At times like these, it can be so helpful to have the support of a counselor.

Grief counseling can give you hope in a time of despair and pain. Grief is not meant to be experienced alone. I invite you to allow me to walk with you on the grief journey so that you can feel the support, know you are not alone, and trust that healing is possible. 

Schedule a session with Charlene Ray


Life Transitions


Charlene specializes in guiding individuals through times of change in life. She's worked with a variety of life transitions:

•    Divorce
•    Career change
•    Illness
•    Empty nest
•    Relocation
•    Leaving school or starting a school program
•    Graduation
•    Becoming a parent

If you know a transition is going to happen, Charlene can help you plan for it. We talk about the feelings that transition brings up and take the opportunity to make the change in an intentional way.

Life sometimes throws the change your way—and suddenly. This can even be traumatic, and it can certainly bring up feelings of anxiety, grief and depression. I work with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy as the foundational approach to guiding you through those challenges with support. I will help you identify support in your life and make decisions about what steps would be helpful for you to take as you move forward. Schedule a session with Charlene.



Mindfulness is the awareness of the present moment without judgement. It is allowing all thoughts and feelings to be present with acceptance. I know that sounds easier than it actually is, but mindfulness and mindfulness-based cognitive tools are helpful in making significant progress in counseling.

I use mindfulness skills in most sessions with clients and find it particularly helpful for the following:

•   Depression
•   Anxiety
•   Grief and loss
•   Mood disorders
•   End-of-life issues
•   Parenting
•   Life transitions
•   Soul work
•   Spiritual crisis

As you can see, I believe Mindfulness is an extremely supportive tool to be used in counseling and daily life. I combine this with other tools and techniques to create a therapeutic environment that will help you find results more quickly than many other therapies. Mindfulness is often combined with Nature and Poetry Therapy.

I also teach Mindfulness classes and workshops. I currently teach Mindfulness skills in the South Whidbey Schools K-12th grade. I also teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teachers and offer day-long workshops for adults. Schedule a session with Charlene.

Nature and Poetry Therapy

60-MINUTE in-office SESSIONS $135

90-MINUTE nature therapy SESSIONS $185

The best co-therapists I have ever worked with are Nature and Poetry. I have found that healing can happen more quickly and more profoundly while outside walking in a forest, sitting by the sea, digging in the garden, listening to birdsong, or writing by a tree.

I am happy to schedule sessions outdoors where we can walk and talk, or you can be given a nature task to complete, and then afterward, we can discuss it sitting on the grass or by the sea.

These sessions tend to be a little longer to give time to really be present and listen to the magic and wisdom of Nature.

Even if you see me for therapy in my office, you will find that I will suggest Nature tasks and time in Nature between sessions.

If you have a love of poetry, you already know the power of a properly placed poem. Most of my work involves poetry. I have learned that this symbolic language can strike a chord deep in the soul and bring forward much needed tears or words that would be difficult to access any other way. Some of the poetry therapy involves writing poems, but only if that comes naturally or somehow emerges in the process.

Most of the time it’s a poem that really accentuates something you are feeling or that clarifies a question or gives you something to think about and focus on before our next session.

If you are bored with traditional talk therapy or feeling stuck, then Nature and Poetry Therapy might be just the companions you need. Schedule a session with Charlene.


Child and Adolescent

60-MINUTE Sessions $125 

I have been a child and adolescent counselor for over 33 years. I would say that teenagers are one of my specialties, although I enjoy working with children age 7 and up. I have worked with children and adolescents in schools as a school social worker, as a mental health counselor and a teacher. I have led many rites of passage camps for adolescents and have years of group therapy experience.

One of the highlights of my career was working as the counselor at Bayview High School for 13 years. Bayview was an alternative education program, and I had the opportunity to bring in modalities that adolescents really respond to like divination, astrology, archetypes, dream work and psycho-education.

I continue to use these tools in my therapy with children and adolescents in my private practice. I invite you to schedule a session to find out what it is all about. (Some sliding fees are available for children and adolescents.)  Schedule a session with Charlene.


For session scheduling or information

If you would like more information about sessions, scheduling, or would like to find out more about Charlenes counseling services, please click the inquire button below.


Please cancel 24 hours in advance. For no-shows and late cancellations, the full fee is due.