The way out of grief is to go through it.

The H.E.A.L.I.N.G. program works with individuals, groups, schools, agencies, and organizations to validate, normalize, and educate their process through grief.

Ken Barringer, M.A., LMHC


Phone: 617-969-2200 x12

Grief and Loss

Grief and loss are part of every human’s experience. Grief is complex, personal and unique to our experience, loss history and what we have been taught about how we should be managing it. Who among us has never been impacted by the death of someone we cared about (and the response to that is grief), or suffered a psychosocial loss that could be as powerful as a death (divorce, catastrophic injury, job loss)? Grief and loss do not recognize age, race, religion, culture, gender, or socio-economic group.  However, these are factors in how grief and loss are processed.


At the time of loss there is a natural tendency to protect ourselves by denying or repressing our feelings. We may hope that by moving on we will outlast the period of mourning and bereavement. However, grief over any meaningful relationship does not end. What we are tasked to do is remake the relationship and integrate the loss into our lives going forward. When we neglect our feelings around grief the impact of the loss may surface in us behaviorally, cognitively, physically, socially and/or spiritually. 


Ken Barringer, M.A., LMHC has worked in the field of mental health since 1984 and is the Director of the Academy in Newton, as well as an Adjunct Faculty member at Lesley University, Division of Counseling and Psychology. He is also a member of the American Counseling Association, Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Association for Counseling Education and Supervision, and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.

  • Grief practice since 1996: Individual, group, family counseling , adolescents, and adults
  • Consultant since 2001 for schools and businesses in aftermath of community tragedies (suicide, homicide) and national tragedies (mass shootings and its impact on their community)
  • Clinical consultant Camp Erin® Boston: National bereavement summer camp /children & adolescents
  • Adult support facilitator – Heartplay℠ , monthly bereavement program
  • Developed grief support groups at several high schools private and public
  • Monthly consultations for hospice workers
  • Host of the Grief in Brief Podcast
  • Author: Monthly email newsletter on grief and loss
  • Speaker at professional and community events



How Managers Can Collaborate with Grieving Employees

A Grief and Loss Responsive Community


Ken offers assessment and planning for businesses, schools, or other organizations in the aftermath of loss. 

Services Offered

Blooming flower
  • Individual and family counseling and consultation
  • Grief support groups (please see below)

  • Assessment and planning for businesses, schools, or other organizations in the aftermath of loss or in developing a more compassionate, grief responsive work environment (Learn More)
  • Teaching and training
  • Free monthly newsletter with articles, resources, book and film recommendations, and more. CLICK HERE to subscribe and join the email community of nearly 200 others!


Ken currently offers 3 different grief support groups. Read below to learn more and see if participating in one is right for you. 

Monthly Caregiver Group

The term caregiver encompasses a range of people. One could be a parent caring for their child or parent; grandparent raising a grandchild; aunt and uncle raising their nephew; a friend who has been asked to look after a teen; a foster couple with temporary custody of a child. Whatever the situation caregivers can find themselves working in the aftermath of trauma and loss. This monthly group creates space for caregivers to receive validation, support, camaraderie and normalization of their experience. 

Participants are asked to commit to 4 meetings. There are both in-person and virtual options for this group.

Confirm your interest to Ken Barringer

Monthly  Early Adulthood Group

Age 22 – 34

While some important tasks of those in early adulthood can be achieving financial independence, committing to a significant partnership, or negotiating life choices, it doesn’t make them immune from grief. However, viable appropriate groups often are not available. Group services tend to be specialized for children in school, hospice related or for a specific type of loss. There are few spaces for people in this age group to get supported by their peers regardless of the type of loss they have experienced. H.E.A.L.I.N.G.’s Early Adult Group is just such a place. This monthly group creates an opportunity for early adults to receive validation, support, camaraderie, and normalization of their experience. 

Groups meet one time each month, in-person and are limited in size. Participants are asked to commit to 4 meetings.

Confirm your interest to Ken Barringer.

Monthly  Health Care Professionals Group

Healthcare professionals have always been on the front line. Being present, available, and responsive to others in their time of need is often what has drawn people to their chosen professions. However, where do you get your support? Where and how do you get your experience and the range of emotions validated? How has the cumulative effect of COVID impacted your resolve? Health care professionals ranging from hospice workers to nurses, private counselors to agency directors, can find respite and reward through the normalization inherent in a group experience.

Groups meet one time each month, in-person and are limited in size. Participants are asked to commit to 4 meetings.

Confirm your interest to Ken Barringer.


The Holidays Will Be Hard

No question. The holidays can/will always be different after the loss of someone important in your life. I have heard many times, “we just have to get through the holidays”,…

How You are Going In is How You Go Through

A great deal of attention, and rightfully so, has been given to the current child and adolescent mental health crisis. Staggering statistics are offered daily detailing the high…

You Can Be Both

Concepts like duality and being able to hold contradictory thoughts simultaneously are very difficult to embrace. In fact, it can be so challenging many don’t consider the idea a…

The Limited Image of What We Assume Grief Looks Like

Time magazine recently published an article titled; How Grief Upsets Your Gut Health. I was pleased to see (as I always am) when the impact of grief is discussed on levels other…

Tongue tied on certain words

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is for people to say “death”, “dead” or “died”? When did it get so hard to say a one syllable word? I teach a course in Understanding Grief…

Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth

What is the deal with resilience? I struggle at times with resilience as a concept. Resilience as a stand-alone feels like a tasty food that is missing one key ingredient. As we…


Listen now!

Grief in Brief is a podcast hosted by Ken Barringer, LMHC a mental health counselor with a specialty in grief and loss. In each episode you will hear a conversation with an expert about the management of grief and loss. Most episodes are between 15 – 20 minutes in length. There is also great irony in the title as Grief is NOT Brief. In fact, it’s a marathon in a world that loves sprints!

Listen to the podcast now by searching, "Grief is Brief with Ken Barringer" on Spotify, Apple Itunes, and most other networks!

You might like to check out these episodes...

Ep 8: Candid Conversations About Loss, Beginners Welcome, with CEO of Modern Loss, Rebecca Soffer

In this episode Ken sits with the Cofounder and CEO of Modern Loss, Rebecca Soffer.  Rebecca blends a warm, caring and a straightforward (at times humorous) approach to moving through grief. 

Ep 6: Incorporating Music Therapy into your healing; an interview with Jon Hazilla 

In this episode Ken talks with Jon Hazilla who is a percussionist and professor at the Berklee College School of Music, department of Percussion and Music Therapy. They discuss how music in general, and percussion instruments in particular, can be highly therapeutic and greatly influence one’s mood, whether you're 7 or 70!

HEALING is a division of The Academy of Physical and Social Development, Inc.