The following Alumni have completed our their training in Creative Grief Support and passed our certification submission requirements. They are listed according to their country of residence and in alphabetical order, based on their last name.
Certified Alumni in the USA
Click here to email Tamara
About Tamara: I help people who are grieving a loss use their creativity and natural resilience to move through their grief and live forward after loss. My process allows them to examine the learning that their experiences have brought to them – both positive and negative – and understand how that contributes to who they are today, embracing both. I work with people on all kinds of grief but death of a life partner, caregiving and job loss are my specialties.
About Elizabeth: I’m a co-founder of The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope. My specialty is helping people who have experienced the death of a loved one, with a focus on young widowhood. I became passionate about helping others through grief after experiencing the loss of a stillborn child and a spouse by the age of 27. Grief and loss are universal yet grieving in today’s society can feel very isolating. This can lead to feelings of shame or guilt. I believe that grieving is a natural process that should be honored and nurtured. When traveling through grief, one can learn to reach for the other side in order to once again live a wholehearted life. Through compassionate support, deep listening, and creative tools, I would love to help you access your inner resiliency – guiding you to a place of hope and empowerment as you rediscover life after loss.
Click here to email Lori
Ginny’s Circle on FB
About Lori: My career in grief began 17 years ago when I began leading support groups with Hospice. Helping people grieve the loss of something or someone treasured immediately became my passion. Five years later, we had our first miscarriage and the journey with grief got bigger. Multiple losses later, I’m committed to walking with clients amidst the darkness and discovering the impossible light on the other side. As a Board Certified Music Therapist, and now a Creative Grief Coach, you’ll find that I have personal and professional experience in helping people open up opportunities for making new meaning in their lives. I fully believe that we need a trusted partner or coach to help us define who we are becoming in light of our loss. When I’m not reflecting on life’s big questions, you can find me barefoot in my kitchen, cultivating yogurt, growing basil, making pancakes or melting wax for candles.
About Deb: Growing Beyond Grief ~ I have always been curious about people’s stories. Life lessons, love, loss, courage and hope have inspired me as a reader, writer and as a certified creative grief coach and funeral celebrant. In these roles, I listen to, hold and honor people’s stories. As a creative grief coach, I offer companionship on your travels through loss in the shape of one on one coaching, writing support and classes with an emphasis on wholehearted living. As a funeral celebrant, I help families plan create meaningful rituals to tell the story of their loved one’s life. Together, we craft a memorial service that honors the loved one who has died and lifts up your experience of them. My role as a creative grief coach and funeral celebrant is enhanced by my Master’s degree in religious studies and certificates in organizational development and mediation. My own losses combined with my education enable me to be a compassionate and supportive presence to others.
Raleigh, NC, USA
Columbiana, OH, USA
Click here to email Debra.
About Debra: Debbie received her Doctorate of Ministry (DMin) from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA in Spring 2012. Her doctoral paper is entitled “Grief and Community: How the Incarnate Christ can work through community to comfort and heal those who grieve.” In July 2015, she earned a certification in Creative Grief Support through CreativeGriefStudio.com. She has also completed a certification in Contemplative Leadership with Oasis Ministries.
About Gloria: Gloria is a registered nurse with an extensive background in the field of mental health. She received her master’s degree in wisdom spirituality and specializes in holistic approaches to healing in addition to her certification as a Creative Grief Coach. Gloria studied with Jeanne Rose a leading expert in the world of Aromatherapy and all things herbal and became an Aromatherapist in 2002. In 2004 Gloria completed a 2 year course of study with Dr. Caroline Myss and became a professional Sacred Contract Consultant. Since completing the program with Caroline Myss Gloria has gone on to become a Certified Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach. She has used workshops as well as one-on-one consulting to help her clients achieve their goals through the healing process. Gloria has more recently been studying under Dr. Raymond Moody PhD world-renown author, psychiatrist and expert in the area of Near Death Experiences.
Los Angeles, California
Click here to email Mary
About Mary: “Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” That’s what Joan Didion wrote on the first page of The Year of Magical Thinking. Having always been in the advisory and counseling professions in law and business and dispute resolution, it wasn’t until I was willing to get help for my own grief and loss that I was best able to help others with Grief Coaching after the traumatic losses of my partner and my mother. I also assist in the areas of job loss, moving, and work with people and families in the throes of alcohol addiction recovery. I am an attorney, mediator, accountant, and producer and have a law degree from Rutgers, an MBA from Fordham, an MA in French Studies from NYU, and am a Fulbright Scholar who studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. I am a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and a certified Creative Grief Coach who coaches with horses upon request.
About Jennifer: Dr. Jennifer Dearing Rubens is a Behavior Consultant, Creative Grief Coach and a Trust-Based Relation Intervention (TBRI) Educator in Nashville. She received her B.S. in Psychology, M.A. in Behavioral Science and Ph.D in Educational Psychology-Individual Differences from the University of Houston where she spent time researching and working with families who had children diagnosed with Autism. Her dissertation was on the “Effects of Contextual Influences on Stress Level for Caregivers of Children Diagnosed with Autism” (2009) and she has spoken on and written papers regarding the grief reactions experienced by parents who have a child with a Developmental Disability. Jennifer loves writing children’s poetry and has published a children’s book “I’m Up and Ready To Eat” in 2007. She currently is working with children who have attachment disorders from exposure to problems during pregnancy, birthing complications, early hospitalization, abuse, trauma or neglect. She resides in Nashville with her husband, 3 girls and their 2 chocolate labs.
About Maribeth: We grieve because we love and that love doesn’t die when someone or something beloved dies. I can help you examine how you feel now, how you want to feel in the future, and then help you determine what first steps to take towards bridging the gap. When it comes to your grief journey, YOU know best. I won’t tell you how to do it, but I will help you shine a light on those dark corners helping you step forward towards wholeheartedly living. I work with any type of loss or challenging life experience including pregnancy after loss.
Carla Marie Harvey
Los Angeles, CA
About Carla: I am a licensed Funeral Director, certified creative grief coach and author. In addition, I am also a full time musician in a heavy metal band, which I believe gives me a truly unique view on healing. I have unwittingly been inventing my own creative grief coaching tools my whole life as I fought through my own losses by committing to art and music as my personal release. I’m looking forward to helping others work through their grief with sincerity, compassion and a fresh perspective. I am currently offering worldwide skype sessions and in person sessions in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
About Heidi: Traditional models of dealing with grief encourage us to “let go” and terminate our ties to the person who has died, often leaving us feeling isolated, alone and feeling judged as though we aren’t doing it “right”. Significant losses are never simple, or singular, rather they involve a myriad of complex experiences & emotions and can feel all consuming at times. Without a compassionate community in which to grieve, our grieving can become chronic or complicated, leading to other kinds of emotional, cognitive, physical or social difficulties. If you have experienced the pain and trauma of loss and are struggling, I can help. Together we can manage the pain of grief in a way that honors both you and your loved one.
Salt Lake City, UT
Click here to email Karen.
EveryDayGrief on Facebook
About Karen: Reckoning with the rollercoaster of grief, Karen embraces her mantra: Living Life Counts. She began grief groups while counseling in the schools, and works with youth, families, and adults offering individual and group counseling. Believing in the significance of grief, Karen penned “GRIEFABET: EveryDayGrief Letters to Wrap Around Your Heart” with an accompanying coloring book. Her words are indicative of Karen’s way of looking at loss with inquisitive eyes. As the founder of EveryDayGrief, LLC, Karen has developed a company offering innovative seminars for helping professionals, where she beams with passion for creative grief techniques that can ignite a despairing soul to breathe again. Karen holds a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Counseling, is a Laughter Yoga Certified Instructor, Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner, and a Certified Creative Grief Coach.
Click here to email Laird.
About Laird: Grief can occur after the death of a parent, spouse or child. However, grief isn’t only about losing a person. It can follow a terminal diagnosis of a family member, or loss of a pet, a career, a flooded home or anything that is central to who we are. Loss can shake our world. We struggle to make sense of it. Our emotions may bring us way down. Our challenge to rebuild ourselves may reorder who we are and how we relate to others and how we think of ourselves. It can even shake our religious foundation.
Laird helps grievers with emotional support and a sympathetic ear to ease the journey. He facilitates three caregiver support groups and coaches caregivers and family members who have lost a loved one. He cared at home for his wife of 50 years after a dementia diagnosis. Marilyn is now in memory care and hospice. Please write to Laird to talk about your challenge with grief.
Oak Park, IL
About Janice: Janice Lodato employs a client-centered approach to bring about the highest healing good for her clients using Reiki and creative coaching tools. In addition to her personal experiences with loss, Janice works with cancer patients who are experiencing grief around the loss of health, loved ones, and work. Janice is able to offer Reiki and coaching to help her clients on their journey to maximum health and whole-hearted living. She holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University. She completed her Reiki 1 and 2 training in 2001, Reiki Master Teacher training in 2003, and in 2010 became a Reiki Master of Masters. She is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.
About Yvonne: Yvonne M. Lucia, R.N., M. Div., is a multi-media artist whose practice interweaves her expertise is the realms of healing, spirituality and expressive arts as she companions others who journey with grief. She is passionate about the transformational potential of every person’s inborn creativity across the spectrum of living, loving, experiencing loss, and leaning forward.
Click here to email Carol.
About Carol: Working in the arena of death, dying, grief and loss, has been an integral part of my life for over 25 years. Two devastating personal losses led me to embrace the value of grief support groups in 1986. Subsequently I went on to receive my MSW and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Currently working as the Bereavement Coordinator and Counselor with Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson, Arizona, I have a long professional history of working with those who have experienced a variety of losses, including losses experienced through the death of loved ones (special focus on perinatal losses through miscarriage, infant death and stillbirth), chronic illness, infertility, identity, and other life transitions (individuals and in groups). I hold additional certifications as a Mind-Body Skills facilitator, a Daring Way™ facilitator and as a Compassionate Bereavement Care® Provider.
About Sarah: Sarah Novak is committed to supporting individuals who feel like they’ve lost control of their life due to adversity of some kind (health issue, lay-off, infertility, international relocation or a life transition like marriage, birth, divorce or retirement to name a few). She specializes in the non-death grieving that occurs at life’s transition moments and focuses on helping her clients process their grief in a safe, manageable way that enables them to move forward with confidence and clarity. Sarah holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and is also certified with the Coaches Training Institute (CPCC) and the International Coaching Federation (ACC). She is currently living in Washington DC with her 3 year old daughter and diplomatic spouse after completing tours in both the Philippines and Peru.
Click here to email Julie.
About Julie: I am dedicated to shattering cultural taboos and stereotypes that create conflict and toxicity in the body. Since 1991, I’ve been on a mission to cut through the dogma, myths, and jargon of the healthcare industry and uncover the foundational principles of self-healing. Our ability to heal is directly related to our ability to receive and cultivate within ourselves unconditional love. After loss, the experience of unconditional love can become particularly challenging. In relation to fertility, the compounding disappointment of not conceiving month after month amounts to a deep experience of grief for most women. This is not obvious to everyone. More obvious, is loss through miscarriage or stillbirth. Our work together empowers you to return to living wholeheartedly after loss. In our work together, we may even discover that this transformation brings about wholehearted living for the first time since childhood. It’s beautiful!
Donna M. Ritz, LCSW
Click here to email Donna.
About Donna: My professional story begins almost 30 years ago, when I decided to study the impact that death and loss have on the us. I have always been concerned about how society processes loss, i.e.: “a normal grief reaction.” Of particular interest to me in the recovery process, is how we can incorporate losses in our lives, so that we create a future that includes that loss, but is not permanently thwarted by it. In my private practice, I work with people who have experienced all kinds of losses: death of a loved one, death of a child, loss of health, chronic and/or terminal diagnoses, loss of youth, as well as ambiguous loss, which is to say, losses that are discounted in more traditional definitions of loss. This work has been the some of the most rewarding work I have done throughout my career. I have a Bachelor’ Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Women’s Studies, followed by a Master’s in Social Work. In addition to my academic degrees, I have formally studied Imago Therapy and Voice Dialogue, Creative Grief Coaching. I have also done extensive leadership programs well known world-wide, to develop myself and others.
Joan Rubano, RN, MSOD, BSN, HNB-BC, CSLC
San Francisco / Fairfield, CA
(707) 567 – 5340
About Joan: Certified Holistic Nurse / Bodyworker, Holistic / Spiritual Life Coach, Creative Grief Coach / Dying Consciously Facilitator, Alchemic Hypnotherapy Practitioner / Stress Management, Breathwork / Meditation Coach, Wellness Retreats / Workshop Facilitator
Joan serves as a professional and caring guide to help you achieve your own evolutionary wellness of being so you can live in peace and joy every day! She provides an array of integrative methodologies to assist others in achieving positive and congruent alignment of their Body-Mind- Emotions-Spirit. Joan is committed to encouraging others to live happier, healthier, more empowered and more abundant lives. She offers an all-inclusive coaching style which is one of a kind … using a variety of modalities, she “tailor makes” sessions that meet the unique needs of each client. Joan combines a variety of skills with her keen intuition and deep compassion to help you live your best life now! Additionally, she facilitates local, national and international workshops that foster: Self Care, Personal Empowerment, Holistic Wellness, Forgiveness, Creating Abundance, Finding Joy, and Healing After Loss. Joan enjoys living in California with her family and happily continues her journeys as a holistic nurse,coach, teacher, healer, seeker world-traveler and spiritual evolutionist.
About Jess: I provide parenting support for women who are grieving losses associated with anxiety, depression, or bipolar. The grief experienced with illnesses such as these is an example of “disenfranchised grief”, a term that describes grief that is not acknowledged by society. The shame associated with these often misunderstood conditions can cause isolation and loss of community which stunts the natural grieving process. Trying to parent from this emotional state feeds shame and guilt, worsening the illnesses and continuing the cycle. I help mothers break this painful cycle, achieve and maintain emotional health, and become more confident, empowered parents.
Barbara Schipper, Spiritual Director
Click here to email Barbara.
About Barbara: My sacred leanings to notice, listen and ponder invite me to show up and be present in life. As spouse, parent, friend, educator, ministry director, facilitator, and spiritual director… it is these attributes that serve me in journeying with others, with you, through the stuff of life that begs the question, “What now?” I will notice, listen and ponder with you in drawing upon your own wisdom, resilience and creativity in service of wholehearted living. We will do this through relational conversation and engaging creative exercises for your mind, heart and spirit. Other stuff: B.A. and M.A. in the Social Sciences and Education; Authorized Facilitator for Darkness to Light, a program for prevention of childhood sexual abuse; Certified Spiritual Director; and now Certified Grief Support Practitioner.
Gail Darlington, MA
Click here to email Gail.
About Gail: For the past thirty years I have been a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, working with individuals, families and groups. I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and training in family therapy. I have always loved family therapy, describing my sessions as if I were painting a picture. “As the story unfolds, textures and colors appear and a new, exhilarating vision emerges.” Yet I longed to bring my passion for art, inspired by four years at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, into my psychotherapy practice. A number of personal significant losses (sister, parents, husbands and dog) led me into further exploring grief. Thankfully, I discovered The Creative Grief Studio, the stepping stone to the next chapter of my story. Now in addition to eating disorders, I focus on grief therapy incorporating art exercises. My passion for creating art has been rekindled.
About Gwen: My life has been a “living laboratory” for life and grief coaching. I have experienced myriad detours, unexpected twists, sublime serendipities, surprising circumstances, devastating disappointments, happy synchronicities, sundry humiliations, incredible generosities, gnarly predicaments, loss of people I love, and all manner of stubborn quandaries. These experiences have sharpened my understanding of how people can evolve through challenging circumstances. In addition to Creative Grief Studio certification, I am a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach. I hold a B. A. in Music from Wagner College, and an M.A.T. from Harvard University, as well as certification in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. I am a published author. My book, illustrated with calligraphy by San Francisco artist Renée Locks, is Womansong: Balance and Harmony in a Feminine Key. I live in Tryon, North Carolina, where I am active in music and arts organizations, as well as volunteering for the local Hospice.
West Hartford, CT
About Gail: Gail M. Syring received her master’s degree in ministry from Hartford Seminary, and specializes in the ministry of everyday life. As a Creative Grief Coach and Spiritual Director, Gail is dedicated to being a companion on the spiritual journeys of those seeking to reclaim their own strength and resourcefulness. Additionally, Gail is a Reiki Master Teacher in the Usui tradition, a trainer of compassionate communication, and a sexual assault crisis advocate. Syring’s areas of specialty include: pastoral care and spiritual direction; sexuality education and women’s health; LGBT support, advocacy, and education; mediation and conflict resolution; sexual assault/rape crisis intervention and prevention; leadership training/workshops; and diversity training/workshops. In addition, she is an instructor and student affairs professional at the University of Hartford.
Certified Alumni World Wide
+ 7 + 3207 9515
Click here to email Beth
About Beth: Beth’s interest in the areas of loss and grief started 15 years ago when she was working as a funeral celebrant especially in the area of infant funerals. Those beautiful families taught her a great deal about love and loss. At the same time, she started a nationwide marriage and funeral celebrant training company. Her original training was in business, but now solely in humanities. She has qualified as a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ® and is certified internationally as a Thanatologist. In her home state, she began holding Death Cafes and this has further reminded her how the conversation of death has to be reinvented as a natural topic of dialogue in our communities. She is looking forward to taking her Creative Grief Support knowledge into her work, and she would love to work again in the support of families who have experienced the loss of their baby or child.
About Rob: Rob is a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers, Owner/Operator of a non profit organization serving adults with developmental disabilities, certified Certification and Accreditation Surveyor, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Certified Creative Grief Coach. His entire career has been devoted to the Community Disability Service sector in the Province of Alberta, Canada. Rob’s contribution to the Community of Disability Services is extensive (including Alberta Council of Disability Services, Provincial Standards and Review Committee, Community Rehabilitation Service Provider Council of Calgary, Legislative Review Committee for Alberta Seniors and Community Support, Review of the Dependant Adults Act, Personal Directives Act and Protection to Person in Care Act, Local Area Coordinator for Alberta College of Social Workers, and Field Supervisor for the Social Work Programme at Mount Royal University). Rob’s training has included: Personal Management, Family Violence and addictions, Conflict Resolution, Understanding Depression, Social Workers within the Animal World, Social Workers as Nation Builders, Mindfulness Stress Reduction and Risk Management for Non Profit Organizations. Throughout Rob’s progressive career, it has always been his passion to maintain his professional involvement with each and every client under his company. Rob also experienced a life journey with untreated ADHD Effect and is currently in the process of developing a Creative Grief Coaching program for his clients and employees.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
About Katherine: Grief is a natural reaction to loss. We all experience grief in our lives. Unfortunately, in our mobile society, we sometimes find that we are alone on that journey. I will walk with you through your mourning, and support you in discovering the resources and resilience that are hidden in your sorrow. Together, we will tap into creative ways of moving forward to wholeness. From my experiences of grief, sudden and unexpected losses, I bring empathy and understanding, and know that each loss is unlike any other. I am an experienced facilitator and coach, having worked with men and women in many difficult life situations; prison and jail, homeless shelters, and people living in extreme poverty. My gift is hope, and deep listening skills. I look forward to sharing these with you.
Click here to email Sofia
011 593 992413877
About Sofia: Following a lengthy career in the tourism and hospitality industry, Sofia felt a call to work with people in a coaching capacity. She became a business coach, working with her husband who is a life coach. While working for South Expeditions, a tourism operator in Ecuador and the Galapagos, Sofia led more than 70 workshops on personal growth and team building for Ecuadorian Government institutions and private companies. After witnessing her father’s illness she became aware of a different need in her life, to better understand matters of death and grief, and to help others in that process. Following her Creative Grief Studio certification, she continues in her quest for knowledge and to bring that to others.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 (0)82 884 4085
Click here to email Kate.
About Kate: I am the mother of four children, one of them, my only son, John Peter Shand Butler is no longer with us. After his suicide in 2011, I started writing as a lifeline – my words became a book and in 2013 BOY was published. I have experienced so much since then – both the dark suffocating depths of grief, and the warmth and love of all those who held me along my creative grief journey. I now work with others who have experienced loss and are seeking ways to transition from before and after. My way is creative – working with clay, paint, colour, symbols and images, words, mandalas, paradox; creating memory books and boxes, shrines, masks, dolls and body – maps; stitching patchwork quilts, cushions or wall-hangings from the clothing of our loved ones – and learning to find a way back into life. When asked to, I give talks on suicide and Grief and Creativity. I also paint.
Cape Town, South Africa
Click here to email Kerstin.
About Kerstin: I work with men and women who appear to have ‘super powers’ – super competent, super responsible and super together. But what no one knows is that they often feel small, overwhelmed, out of control and even exhausted by life. This is especially true when they lose a loved one or something that is very important to them – leaving them with shattered lives and hearts. Being super human, they are more susceptible to – and burdened by – the many unwritten “should’s and should not’s of grief”. These rules keep them stuck in the thick quicksand of shame and fear. Through creative grief support, they are reminded of their natural resilience, endless resourcefulness, and inspiring creativity which dissolve the quicksand and allow them to start reassembling the pieces for a wholehearted life. Kerstin is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, Adult Child Coach and Creative Grief Support Coach. She also holds a Masters in Psychology.
I believe that we’re always learning and that there are endless opportunities to make new discoveries about ourselves and our place in the world. Sometimes these opportunities are unexpected and unwanted and they come to us in the form of a deep loss or a traumatic life event. Creating a safe place to explore these challenges is my primary goal. It is from this place of safety and connection that we can begin together to sort through the conflicting emotions that accompany both old and new experiences of trauma, grief and loss. Combining my professional experience as a social worker, midwife and Creative Grief Coach with my own journey of loss and grief, I support people throughout the world by creating a safe environment in which we can together begin to explore these challenging emotions, discovering how they have the potential to enrich the experience of being alive.