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Adele Ryan McDowell

Psychologist, teacher, and writer who likes looking at life through the big viewfinder.

Adele Ryan McDowell, PhD, is a practicing psychotherapist and crisis former hot-line responder with more than 30 years experience helping clients find hope and balance in the face of crisis, trauma, and grief. Dr. McDowell's newest book, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort (White Flowers Press, 2014), speaks to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, those considering suicide, and those who work with or counsel the bereaved and suicidal. Learn more at: and
The 7 Points On The Spectrum Of Mixmike via Getty Images

The 7 Points On The Spectrum Of Suicide

Over my 30+ years of clinical work, these are the aspects of suicide I have seen in the consultation room and through crisis intervention lines. There are seven points on this spectrum, each with its own degree of severity. Clearly, some points are more intense and critical than others, but each is to be taken seriously and warrants professional help.
05/16/2017 10:16 EDT
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This Is What Grief Feels Like

Loss hammered you incessantly. Grief hollowed you out until you were gasping for breath, empty and fully spent. Your heart was broken and battered into a heap of crumbled bits and pieces. And still, you stood.
04/10/2017 11:24 EDT
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5 Ways To Deal With An Emotional Hangover

There is no hair of the dog for the morning after. There is no specialized rehab. Copious amounts of water to hydrate your burned-out system are of little avail. As with any good recovery effort, you need to acknowledge that you have a problem. Yep, this is your problem.
03/07/2017 09:24 EST
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7 Things You Need To Know After A Loss From Suicide

For loved ones left behind, suicide is not painless. It leaves you holding your heart in your hand, vibrating with emotion and reeling with questions. The ground has given way and you are free-falling through space. Here are seven things you need to know after losing a loved one to suicide; they can help you re-find your feet and piece together your broken heart.
09/22/2016 12:10 EDT
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13 Everyday Ways To Help Prevent Suicide

Saturday is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide must surely be out of the closet by now. It happens. It happens every 40 seconds, on average, around the globe per the World Health Organization. Even more startling are the numbers of those who have attempted suicide.
09/09/2016 03:43 EDT
Understanding Teen Suicide Helps Make Sense Of The Shutterstock / altanaka

Understanding Teen Suicide Helps Make Sense Of The Heartbreak

Understanding suicide helps. It does not take away the horrific pain, but it can help make sense of the unimaginable. When we learn more, we have a basis for comparison. We learn, perhaps, that our situation, alas, is not so unusual. We comprehend more fully the biochemical or psychosocial elements that led to our teen's suicide.
09/07/2016 07:48 EDT
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You Can Survive The Torture Of Big Grief

It's hard to imagine there is life beyond your exploded heart. How can you possibly merge back into the cacophony of dailiness and demands when your life has been captured by grief? The hollowness, the memories, the break-downs, the images, the gut-wrenches, the what-ifs have kneed you into a tight, dark corner. You can, and will, get out, but it cannot be rushed. Here's how.
08/08/2016 09:01 EDT
Shattered Hearts: Explaining Suicide To monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

Shattered Hearts: Explaining Suicide To Children

Children of suicide are trying to understand a loss that brings grown-ups to their knees. It's a very challenging path to walk, both for the children and their remaining parent or caregivers. And not only are the children trying to understand the suicidal death of their parent, there is the additional stress, possible abandonment and rejection due to social stigma, shame and taboo around suicide.
02/17/2016 05:44 EST