My personal losses, grief counseling education and training and my volunteer experiences companioning grieving youth, led me to create The Sanctuary and subsequently The Sanctuary National Grief Support Network.
For the past 25 years, I have been dedicated to providing grief support & counseling, bereavement education and grief support outreach services for children/teens, adults, families, communities and businesses in Westchester and Putnam Counties, Long Island, northern New Jersey and throughout the five boroughs of New York City. I currently collaborate with diverse organizations and highly regarded professionals across the United States.
After attending the Graduate Program in Counseling and Personnel Services at Fordham University and The Dougy Center 1997 International Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon where I completed their Program Development and Facilitator Training Programs. I continued my 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 the area of childhood and adolescent bereavement under the supervision of my mentor Dr. Kenneth J. Doka. My current professional memberships include ADEC (Association for Death Education and Counseling – Certified in Thanatology), and the ACA (American Counseling Association). I am one of the founders of the National Alliance for Grieving Children.
I served (2003-2008) as a member of the Adjunct Faculty of The College of New Rochelle Graduate School , where I was 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 Program Strategist of A Little Hope, Inc. – The National Foundation for Grieving Children, Teens and Families, a 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.
Prior to entering the bereavement field, I was a custom bath and kitchen designer, Sales and Marketing professional, and Management consultant in the Residential Construction industry in New York and throughout the Northeast United States.
My second career developed as a single parent, after the death of my husband Sidney in August, 1991.