The death of my husband in the summer of 1991, when my son was eight years old, facilitated my interest in Thanatology (Death Dying and Bereavement) and my graduate school counseling education. My experiences as a volunteer companioning grieving youth inspired me to create The Sanctuary (2000 ) and subsequently The Sanctuary National Grief Support Network® (2015).
For the past 27 years, I have provided grief support and counseling, bereavement education and outreach services for children/teens, adults, families, communities and businesses in Westchester County, New York City, Long Island, northern New Jersey, and at trainings and conferences across the United States.
After completing studies in the Graduate Program in Counseling and Personnel Services at Fordham University, I attended The Dougy Center International Summer Institute (1997) in Portland, Oregon where I completed their Program Development and Facilitator Training Programs.
I continued my grief counseling education with course work at the New England Center for Loss and Transition – founded by Mary Ann and Jim Emswiler – which included the study of “Advanced Treatment Protocols for Complicated Mourning” with Dr. Therese A. Rando.
While raising my own grieving child and facilitating adult, children and teen bereavement groups at The Den for Grieving Kids in Greenwich, Connecticut, I discovered the unmet need in schools to help children and teens who were grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.
I subsequently completed the post graduate Thanatology certificate program at The College of New Rochelle Graduate School, where I did extensive research in childhood and adolescent bereavement under the supervision of my esteemed mentor Dr. Kenneth J. Doka.
My current professional memberships include ADEC (Association for Death Education and Counseling – Certified in Thanatology), Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) and the NAGC (National Alliance for Grieving Children).
I am one of the founders of the National Alliance for Children’s Grief (NACG)
From (2003-2008) I served as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the College of New Rochelle Graduate School as an Internship Supervisor of all students in the Gerontology/Thanatology program. I have previously served as a provider for both the New York State Child Care Educational Incentive Program and P.A.S.E. (Partnership for After School Education), conducting workshops and trainings throughout the state.
After the September 11th World Trade Center tragedy, I was an on-site grief counselor and provided crisis response services for the AON Corporation in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. I also served as a temporary caseworker for the American Red Cross of Greater New York Family Gift Program Long Term Recovery Project.
From 2002-2016, I served as a founding board member, Granting Director, Managing Director and the Program Strategist of A Little Hope, Inc. a non profit charitable foundation, with the mission to help provide bereavement support services and grief counseling to children, teens and young adults who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or loved one, regardless of the circumstances of the death. A Little Hope is the 1st national foundation dedicated to raising money to advance the growth of children’s grief support and the expansion of bereavement centers, camps and school outreach programs across the United States.
In early 2016 I launched the non profit foundation ALEX CARES INC.