I would like to emphasize that our first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other, to determine if we are comfortable with each other, and for me to hear your story. I also encourage you to ask me any questions and discuss any concerns you may have regarding counseling, my qualifications, and your comfort level in working with me. That way, we both can determine if this is the right course for you to take. If the “fit” between the two of us is not right, I’ll be glad to assist you with finding another therapist.
To give us the maximum amount of time together, I have made the Informed Consent and Service Agreement and the Counseling Client Intake Form available online. This offers two benefits. First, you can read and fill in the forms without having to worry about messing with paper forms. Furthermore, I can look over what you have filled out before you come in and our time together can be even more productive. Please read, complete, and submit them before our first session.
The missing Malaysian Airline Flight 370 has still not been found and all of the passengers are rightfully assumed dead. Stehpanis Pappas from LiveScience contacted me on March 25, 2014 and asked my opinion about the rumor that the loved ones of the missing passengers and crew had been contacted by text message to informa them of their losses. Here is my resulting interview as it appeared on Yahoo News: Malaysia Airlines Text: How Not to Break Bad News.
After the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT, I was interviewed by Tia Ghose for the LiveScience News website about what we could all expect from the children who witnessed the event. The article—How kids and adults face grief after school shootings—was also picked up by FoxNews.com and Yahoo! News on January 4, 2013.
Biker Living is an Austin-based publication that "... present a motorcyclist's view of the rider's biker lifestyle - for, by, and about the riders of a local area... our purpose is to assist in promoting upbeat, healthy, safe, and personable riding communities." In an article on bereavement in the October/November 2012 issue, I was quoted from an article that I write for the ALS Association newletter A Reason for Hope:
Mourning is not a solitary activity; it requires social interaction and integration. Providing compassionate, caring support to mourners suffering from the death of a loved one is one of thr most important acts of kindness we can give each other. The presence or absence of that support is a major determinant of how well the grieving preson works through loss and puts his/her world back together._______________________
According to its website, StepMom Magazine is an online resource for women whose partners have children from a previous relationship. In the November, 2010 issue is a movie review of You Again by Carrie Collins Fadell. The article ends on page 33 with the following paragraph:
Art imitates life, life imitates art and there is a lot to learn from all of the types of families all around us. For me, “You Again,” drove home the fact that if we don’t deal with our hurt, it can change who we are for decades to come. In 2008, J. Worth Kilcrease, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Austin, Texas, wrote an article for “Psychology Today,” in which he noted that the old adage of “time heals all wounds” is misleading. It is more what we actively chose to do with that time that has the potential to heal us._______________________
In the April 2010 issue of Men's Health, Jacob Levenson wrote an article—Farewell to Father—about grieving the death of his father. In a sidebar, I was interviewed about what to say and not to say to someone in grief.
Austin American-Statesman ran an article on August 22, 2006 entitled Celebrating life by getting in touch with death. The article describes a class, called Dead for a Day, where participants could experience a transitional state between living and dying. The article included comments I had about the class.
Law Talk with Brad - This audio recording is of Brad Weiwel interviewing me on Talk Radio 1370 in Austin, Texas on February 2, 2008. The subjects of the interview were grief and mourning.
Austin Now - This interview of me by Tom Spencer was aired on KLRU, the PBS station in Austin, TX, in October, 2005. The first part of the two-part interview is about being with the dying, the second part is about grief and mourning.
Austin Faith Dialogue - This interview of Renee Garcia and me by Rich Thompson is about Grief and the Holidays. It was aired on KNVA Channel 54, a public access television station in Austin, TX, on December 10, 2005.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in both Texas and Louisiana, and certified as a Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying, and Bereavement by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). I am dedicated to counseling those who are suffering mental, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual pain related to death, dying, and bereavement. I provide bereavement/trauma counseling/therapy to adults who have lost a part of themselves because of a chronic or acute traumatic experience, or lost a parent, spouse/partner, sibling, child, or unborn baby beause of death or spearation; those who are facing the end of their life journey; and those who are their caregivers. I have also led bereavement groups for Hospice Austin, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas, The ALS Association Texas Chapter, and United Tissue Resources (formerly The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas). Having counseled and comforted many caregivers and their dying loved ones, I am thoroughly familiar with the dying process and the stresses of being a caregiver.
Besides counseling, I have made numerous presentations on death, dying, and bereavement to various organizations and churches; have appeared on radio and television programs including Austin Now, Austin Faith Dialogue, and Law Talk with Brad and am the co-producer and interviewer for the documentary video This Place. In addition, I have been an adjunct faculty member at St. Edward's University where I taught a graduate-level course on thanatology (death, dying, and bereavement).
Prior to beginning my career as an end-of-life and bereavement counselor, I spent 25 years as a business executive, mostly in finance. When I left the corporate world, I had been the chief financial officer and corporate secretary for two high technology companies and one private investment firm.
I have received a B.S. and M.A. in Chemistry and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.A. in Counseling from St. Edward’s University.
The foundation of my approach to counseling is existential therapy. This theoretical approach has evolved from existential philosophy and is based on the belief that a person's inner turmoil is the result of having to confront the uncertainties and paradoxes of existence: life/death, meaning/meaninglessness, isolation/connectedness, and freedom/responsibility. For many, questions related to existence on this planet are no more prominent than when they are faced with their own death—whether it is physical or an aspect of their inner being—or the death of a loved one. Built upon with an existential orientation, my trauma work is influenced by The Assumptive World Theory, and by the approaches to therapy developed by Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) and Ted Rynearson (Restorative Retelling).
When someone losses a loved one because of death or divorce, or is subjected to any other traumatic event, it can be as if that person is suddenly dropped into a foreign territory. There are no signposts indicating what to do, there is no path to follow to get back on familiar ground. It is as if the world as it was known is suddenly shattered and nothing makes sense any more. As an experienced companion, I am not present to tell someone how to live her/his life. I accompany them in their exploration to find stable ground once more, helping them over the barriers and around the craters along the way. I give each person the time, space, and experienced mentoring s/he needs to put his/her world back together. The new world won't be the same one as before, but it can be richer and fuller than might have been ever imagined.
I believe that the principal means that people explore their lives is through verbal expression. Many times when we say what we're thinking, the words can sound different, the emotions that arise are different, and the meaning of what we're saying is different than when those thoughts were swimming around in our heads. As humans we have the unique ability to verbally communicate what we are thinking and feeling. Talking, therefore, is the principal way my clients and I explore what is happening within them and to them.
On the other hand, there are also times when words are just not adequate to express what is going on inside of us. We humans are also creative creatures and sometimes we can express in writing, painting, drawing, music, drama, etc. things that words alone cannot. There are times, then, when my clients conduct their exploration using various creative forms of expression involving action, doing, and participating, as well as talking.
Welcome. I'm Worth Kilcrease, a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and a certified Fellow in Thanatology. (Derived from the Greek word thanatos, the mythological personification of death, thanatology is the study of death, dying and bereavement.) My counseling and psychotherapy practice emphasizes end-of-life, bereavement, grief, and traumatic loss counseling in the Austin - San Antonio corridor. In my counseling work, I focus on being an experienced companion to those on the final pilgrimage of their lives; those caring for them; and those on a journey of rebuilding their world after the death of a loved one.
Merging my counseling experience with 25 years of prior corporate experience, I also consult with companies struggling to respond to the business impacts of the sudden, unanticipated loss of a key company employee.
I have built this website not only to describe myself (WHAT I'VE DONE and WHAT I'VE WRITTEN) and my practice (What I Do and WHERE'S MY OFFICE), but also to be an information resource about death, dying, bereavement, grief, and mourning (About Loss and About Dying). The site has a lot to offer so please feel free to explore all of it. I also add and update information, including the blog Observations Along the Journey so be sure to check back occassionally.