#279 – Grief, Ritual, and The Soul of The World with Francis Weller, M.A.


Francis Weller, M.A., MFT is a psychotherapist and author of the 2011 book, Entering The Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and The Soul of The world. He has been in private practice since 1983. During that time, he developed a style of working with people called Soul-Centered Psychotherapy. Weller says his approach to working with the wounds and challenges we face restores soul as the primary focus. He says he has come to have a deep faith in the way soul/psyche works, its moods and movements, how it speaks through symptoms and images, how it longs for intimacy with the world and its need for beauty. I see this every day in my work with people.

Weller says, we often struggle with the muscular demands of our culture to measure up, perform and be perfect. This leaves little room for those parts of us that do not match these expectations; the vulnerable, weak, inadequate and grieving parts of soul. And yet, it is precisely these parts of who we are that bring us closer to others, to the vitality of life and the world. Bringing these rejected and denied elements of soul-life, “those places where I said no to my life,” back into our daily rhythms is what adds meaning and depth to our days.

Francis weller reports he has worked with many concerns in his practice. He specializes in grief work, shame, addiction, depression, and men’s issues. He works with individuals and couples and he offers groups periodically.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Maria Hess
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    David, Remember when we ran the grief groups for the community when the Ramon Salcido murders? Made me think about how long we have been doing stuff together!
    Thanks for the memories.

  2. Tony
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Dave,

    I loved this interview and it was just what I needed to hear this morning as I prepared to go to work. In a parallel process, I had also been listening to a lot of positive psychology type material recently and this provided a counterbalance to that “light” approach, as you say, for myself. I could see how I am (usually unconsciously) at the effect of this denial of grief in our culture, with how I relate to my own grief – but also how the world we live in is a manifestation of this denial, with all its troubles, its lack of connection (lack of communal ritual and lack of connection between our action and their effects on the “soul” of the world.) I breathed a bit easier knowing that my relation to my own grief was as much a cultural pattern, as my own stuff!

    Thanks again,

  3. omar
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    This was a special and rare interview that touched me deeply. I look forward to reading Francis Weller’s book. Such compassion.

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