Amy Liebman Rapp has helped transform not for profit organizations and businesses utilizing collaboration, innovation, mentorship, strategic thinking and her commitment to life long learning. She is a nationally recognized authority in childhood and adult bereavement (including loss and grief due to death, incarceration and foster care) with extensive hands-on experience in a variety of settings.
Amy’s personal loss and professional experiences led her in 2000 to create The Sanctuary, dedicated to providing grief counseling, bereavement education and outreach services for children/teens, adults, families, communities and businesses having experienced the death of a family member, colleague or friend in Westchester and Putnam Counties, Long Island, northern New Jersey and throughout the five boroughs of New York City. With 25 years of experience in the field of Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement) and childhood bereavement, she has collaborated with diverse organizations and has expanded The Sanctuary into an extensive national grief support network.
After attending the Graduate Program in Counseling and Personnel Services at Fordham University and The Dougy Center International Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon where she completed their Program Development and Facilitator Training Programs, Amy continued her education with course work at the New England Center for Loss and Transition which included the study of “Advanced Treatment Protocols for Complicated Mourning” with Dr. Therese A. Rando. While raising her own grieving child and facilitating adult, children and teen bereavement groups at The Den for Grieving Kids in Greenwich, Connecticut, Amy discovered the unmet need in schools to help children and teens who were grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.
Amy subsequently completed the Thanatology program at The College of New Rochelle Graduate School, where she did extensive research in the area of childhood and adolescent bereavement under the supervision of her mentor Dr. Kenneth J. Doka. Her current professional memberships include ADEC (Association for Death Education and Counseling – Certified in Thanatology), and the ACA (American Counseling Association). She is one of the founders of the National Alliance for Grieving Children.
Amy has served (2003-2008) as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of The College of New Rochelle Graduate School , where she was an Internship Supervisor of all students in the Gerontology/Thanatology program. She has 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.
Amy was an on-site grief counselor and provided crisis response and debriefing services for the AON Corporation in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut after the September 11th World Trade Center Tragedy. She also served as a temporary caseworker for the American Red Cross of Greater New York Family Gift Program Long Term Recovery Project.
Amy is a founding board member (2002), Granting Director (2002-2006), Managing Director (2006-2012) and Strategic Planning & Program consultant (2013-2016) of A Little Hope, Inc. – The National Foundation for Grieving Children, Teens and Families, a 501(c) (3) not for profit publicly supported charitable foundation, whose mission is to help provide bereavemennt support services and grief counseling to children and 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 out reach programs for grieving children and teens across the United States. They have funded and partnered with 94 organizations in 39 states, impacting the lives of more than 250,000 children.
Prior to entering the bereavement field, Amy was a highly respected custom Bath and Kitchen cabinet designer, Sales and Marketing professional, CEO and Management consultant in the Residential Construction industry in New York City and throughout the Northeast United States. Her second career developed as a single parent, after the death of her husband Sidney in August, 1991.