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Welcome to griefwork.com, website of the Wisconsin Grief Education Center. Founded in 1988 by former public school teacher Patrick Dean, the WGEC is dedicated exclusively to the needs of bereaved people of all ages seeking support and guidance through their grief journey. Thank you for your interest in our services. We are devoted to helping individuals and families with grief-related issues and challenges. 


The Wisconsin Grief Education Center offers crisis intervention, grief education and support for those facing sudden or anticipated loss. We have a strong belief that much of what people experience in grief is normal, natural, and necessary, and therefore people benefit from an education about the grief process and support while adjusting to change.


The WGEC also offers consulting in the area of grief and trauma, providing public speaking, keynote addresses, workshops and educational services to business, support groups, funeral homes, and other organizations nationwide. In addition to working with people who have found help through this website, the Wisconsin Grief Education Center is currently accepting clients from mental health professionals, hospitals, hospices, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and community agencies, as well as referrals from past and current clients. Day and evening appointments are available. All sessions are by appointment.

The Wisconsin Grief Education Center was the first center of it's kind in Wisconsin focussed exclusively on meeting the needs of people experiencing grief. For the past 25 years, Dean has worked with thousands of individuals and many organizations including police departments, public and private schools, and Boys and Girls Clubs around the country.

Together we will take some time to explore new, authentic ways to live with your necessary grief. The goal is not "recovery" but rather a search for meaning and context that define a "new normal." Working together as a team, you may find the path through the chaos of your grief towards a healing that now seems elusive - maybe even impossible from your current perspective.

The Stories of Grief

Complex grief following a sudden unexpected loss (also known as complicated grief or trauma) never really goes away forever; instead - by actively engaging in the work of grief - it softens and changes into something that you can learn to live with, not against. Through conversation, creative healing processes and education, we problem solve your current and future life challenges following the death (or other losses) of someone in your life.
The Wisconsin Grief Education Center guides individuals and families through education, creative and experienced support, and training for issues and challenges related to grief.

Grief is viewed as normal, natural, and necessary, and is not thought of in terms of pathology or mental disorder. The WGEC provides grief education and support; we do not provide psychological testing, therapy, or assessments of any kind. We do network with recognized experts in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine, and can make referrals to grief resources anywhere in the country.


The WGEC is mindful of the impact of grief on the mind, body, heart and soul of the bereaved. As such, it is always recommended that your self care plan include a physical and mental health checkup in the first year following a major loss. We continue working with Dr. Russ Brethauer, Psy.D for assessments, therapy, and referrals here in southeastern Wisconsin. A peer review in a recent issue of Milwaukee Magazine named Dr. Brethauer as one of the top psychologists practicing here. We are honored to be associated with Russ. And he's a nice guy, too. That helps.

Wisconsin Grief Education Center 

   Grief Education, Support, and Consulting