I am available to speak to or conduct a workshop with your group or meeting on “Coping with Loss,” “Write to Heal,” or “Emotional Well being.”

Call 203-536-3531 or email Fran Dorf

Rates available on Request


“Enlightening”…”Inspirational”… “Touching”…”Informative”…
“Engaging”…”Fran should be a regular speaker at this university.”

– Attendees and Students

“Dear Fran….I am so very grateful for your generous spirit and your encouraging presence on Monday evening. Those who gathered really learned a great deal from you. Thank you so very much for being with us.”

– Pat M., Bereavement Group Facilitator

“I found the workshop to be very cathartic. Every class has triggered something. More than just words, it’s helped me to get inside myself, writing things that I normally wouldn’t write about…helps you move toward resolution.”

– A Participant


Support Group for Bereaved Parents – Center for Hope, Darien, CT

Support Group for Seniors who’ve lost their significant other  – Center for Hope, Darien, CT

Contact me for info.


“Emotional Well Being” Workshop October 27th, 2014, in Westport, Connecticut.  Details to follow.

Support Group for Bereaved Parents in Westchester County, NY, begins again in September.  If interested, contact me at frandorf@aol.com.

October, 2013

“Emotional Well Being” Workshop:  Jewish Family Service Wellness Symposium, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Darien, CT.

May -June 2013

“The Healing Art of Writing:” Westport Writer’s Workshop, Westport, Connecticut

October, 2012


Shining a Light on Grief   Tuesday, October 23 • 7 p.m.
Helping Children and Families: Carole Geithner, LCSW and author of If Only, a fictional story of dealing with grief through the eyes of a thirteen year old girl. PrEditesented by Jewish Family Service in partnership with Stamford JCC, Den for Grieving Kids and the Center For Hope. Presentation and panel discussion with Fran Dorf, MA, MSW; Linda Weatherseed, MSW, and Amanda Romanello, LPC. Questions and answers to follow.
Writing to Heal by Fran Dorf –  Wednesday, November 7 • 7:30 p.m.
Writing to Heal, a workshop for the bereaved, professionals, or those struggling with any trauma or difficult life experience. Presented by Jewish Family Service in partnership with the Stamford JCC, the workshop will be facilitated by Fran Dorf, MA, MSW who is a writer, bereaved mother and therapist. No previous writing experience is necessary. Free and open to the community.The panel and the writing workshop are open to the community free of charge. For more information, please email me, or Eve Moskowitz at 203.921.4161 or emoskowitz@ctjfs.org.

Loss comes along with each and every human being on this planet on the journey of life.  Fran Dorf, using her unique set of skills, first hand knowledge of major grief, long time study of psychology, formal education and experience as a psychotherapist, has prepared a 1 hour to 1 hour and 1/2 interactive powerpoint presentation designed for a general interest audience to provide an overview of the types of losses we all face and a toolbox of skills to help people recognize and identify loss for what it is, prepare the mind to accept loss as a part of life, prevent people from denying their feelings, and teach coping techniques and strategies. Losses people face might include:

  • Loss of someone close (through death of family member or friend, or through circumstance, also pet loss and miscarriage)
  • Loss of significant other or spouse (through death, divorce, breakup, or circumstance)
  • Loss of health (through accident or illness, or a loved one’s accident or illness)
  • Loss of culture (through immigration)
  • Loss of cherished dreams or ambition
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Loss of safety after a trauma
  • Loss of job, income, lifestyle, or financial stability
  • Loss associated with life-stage changes (including loss of childhood, transition to adulthood, “midlife crisis,” aging, loss of “beauty”
  • Loss of privacy or autonomy
  • Loss of innocence

Write to Heal Workshop/Statement of Purpose

A process-centered writing workshop suitable for either a general audience or a loss-oriented audience. Fran has presented the “Write to Heal” Workshop with parents who’ve lost children, addicted individuals, homeless, chronically mentally ill, and general audiences. The workshop, while not a literary craft seminar, employs exercises and literary techniques, and includes some fiction techniques Fran explored in “Saving Elijah,” a novel that uniquely distills the psychological process of grief. “Write to Heal” is designed to help people cope with the complex emotions surrounding grief, loss, illness, addiction, aging, and other traumatic or difficult life experiences. Can be combined with the general presentation, for a half day event


My personal story is testimony to the power of writing to heal. When my son, Michael, died in 1994, I was already a successful writer, a paperback version of my second novel having just been published. For about three years I stopped writing, angrily rejecting all counsel to do otherwise. Paralyzed with grief, I firmly believed that I would and could never write again. One desperate day, I bought a composition book, secretly, because I didn’t want anyone to know that I had taken that step, which along with my continued existence seemed like a betrayal to my son. Did I still want to be a professional writer? No. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to live without my son. Since publishing was the furthest thing from my mind, I didn’t have to think about content, form, or logic, let alone tact or accuracy. In that composition book I began to give voice to my deepest emotions through uncensored writing, and it was through that extraordinary process that I found what I’ve come to call my healing muse, and began the long journey that enabled me to reinvest in my life, even without Michael. Eventually I turned that incoherent, raw journal into an unconventional novel called “Saving Elijah.”

Writing is a process by which the human soul can reveal itself and find expression. When we are deeply wounded, writing can help us turn the chaos of emotions into narrative.  Real scientific research, has shown that this process, which involves a transfer from the emotional/reactive part of the brain to the logical/reasoning part of the brain,  is remarkably effective in promoting both physical and mental wellbeing, and can reduce debilitating and destructive emotional reactivity, especially that which results from trauma, grief, illness, loss.

Be in the present.  Turn emotion into a story.  Write.