Los Angeles Police Department

After San Bernardino, crisis counselor faces her own grief

Crisis counselor Mandy Pifer has spent the last six years comforting people in the aftermath of death, including a woman whose sister killed herself with an electric chainsaw and an 8-year-old girl who found her mother shot to death on their couch.

But nearly six months ago, it was Pifer herself who was plunged deep into grief when her boyfriend was among 14 people killed in the San Bernardino attack. She left counseling to mourn, retreating into her Koreatown apartment filled with the couple's photographs.

Last week, she drove to the Los Angeles Police Department to meet with crisis-team colleagues, many of whom she had not seen since the December shooting. She wanted to...