PI Team

Director

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, and maintains an active consulting and coaching practice.  He also directs the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition (www.portlandinstitute.org), which provides online training internationally in grief therapy.  Neimeyer has published 33 books, including New Techniques of Grief Therapy:  Bereavement and Beyond, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies.  The author of over 500 articles and book chapters and a frequent workshop presenter, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.  Neimeyer served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement.  In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, made a Fellow of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both ADEC and the International Network on Personal Meaning.

Associate Directors

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Carolyn Ng, PsyD, FT, MMSAC, RegCLR, maintains a private practice, Anchorage for Loss and Transition (www.anchorage-for-loss.org), for training, supervision and therapy in Singapore, while also serving as an Associate Director of the Portland Institute.  Previously she served as Principal Counsellor with the Children’s Cancer Foundation in Singapore, specialising in cancer-related palliative care and bereavement counselling.  She is a master clinical member and approved supervisor with the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC) and a Fellow in Thanatology with the Association of Death Education and Counselling (ADEC), USA, as well as a consultant to a cancer support and bereavement ministry in Sydney, Australia.  She is certified in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Narrative Therapy, and holds an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary in the USA.  She is also a trained end-of-life doula and advanced care planning facilitator.

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Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT, is a board-certified and licensed clinical professional art therapist and Associate Director for the Portland Institute.  Her art therapy private practice, national presentations, trainings and practitioner supervision/ mentoring focus on traumatic loss, specifically with parents who have lost a child, suicide bereavement, and military loss/ Gold Star Families.  The theoretical foundations of her group and individual art therapy work are grounded in meaning reconstruction, attachment informed grief therapy, continuing bonds with the deceased and restorative retelling. She is author of Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing, (www.artfulgrief.com) written twelve years after the suicide of her seventeen-year-old daughter.  She is co-founder of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation (www.krsf.com) a non-profit dedicated to supporting programs that increase awareness of mental health through education and the arts.

Faculty

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Luis Botella, PhD, is a Professor at Ramon Llull University (Barcelona, Spain).  His research focuses on human meaning making processes and the construction and reconstruction of self-identity.  His theoretical sources of inspiration are Constructivism, Social Constructionism, Personal Construct Psychology, Narrative Therapy, and Postmodernism.  In his research projects he combines quantitative and qualitative methods to study not only psychotherapy, but also meaning making in other realms of human experience such as spirituality, mindfulness, cognitive complexity, body image, loss and grieving, music and rhythm, fuzzy cognitive maps, and self-narratives.  His approach to psychotherapy is integrative: a theoretically coherent combination of technically eclectic therapeutic tools.

Laurie Burke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains an active practice in Portland, OR.  Burke has published extensively on grief and its complications, with a special focus on violent death loss and spiritual struggle in bereavement.  She developed and validated the Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief 2.0 (ICSG-2.0) which assesses spiritual crisis following loss. She also co-edited the book The Restorative Nature of Ongoing Connections with the Deceased: Exploring Presence within Absence. Dr. Burke’s therapeutic work engages her with a wide range of losses, with a particular concentration on the experience of traumatic and violent death loss. Readers can learn more at burkepsychological.com.

Darcy L. Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT, is a Professor in the Thanatology Department at King’s University College in London, Canada, where she has maintained a private clinical practice for 20 years specializing in issues related to change, loss, and transition.  She is a co-editor for Routledge’s Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series.  Her publications include Counting our Losses: Reflecting on Change, Loss, and Transition in Everyday Life, Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice, Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling, and The Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief: Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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Janna Henning, J.D., Psy.D., FT, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Fellow in Thanatology, certified by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is a Professor in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Adler University – Chicago, and the creator and coordinator of its Traumatic Stress Psychology Emphasis. Her clinical practice focuses on complex trauma, grief, loss, and life transitions, adjustment to life-threatening illness, and preparation for death. She provides training and clinical consultation with respect to death, dying, bereavement, and loss, constructivism, and traumatic stress for mental health professionals, academic and professional development training programs, medical centers, first responders, and restorative justice programs.

Olga Herrero, PhD, is Professor at the Faculty of Psychology FPCEE Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, where she combines teaching and research.  She is a General Health Psychologist and Psychotherapist, accredited by the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EuroPsy, EFPA/COP) and the Spanish Association of Cognitive Psychotherapies (ASEPCO). She provides psychotherapy, consultation, and supervision in private practice.  Co-author of the book La muerte y el duelo en el contexto educativo (Death and mourning in the educational context), Herrero has published on meaning-making and grief, with a special focus on narratives and qualitative analysis, and has also articles and book chapters related to constructivism, narrative and psychotherapy.

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An Hooghe, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Marital and Family Therapist in Belgium.  She combines clinical work with teaching in her private center, ‘Verbinding in Verlies’ (Connection in loss).  Today, more than 200 professionals are connected to this community, Connection in Loss.  Her main domain of expertise relates to parents who have lost a child and complicated grief processes in families.  She has published several articles on couple communication in national and international journals, and a book she wrote with bereaved parents, Anders Nabij (Being near in a different way).  She is a member of several organizations, including the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG).  More information: www.verbindinginverlies.be.

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Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, FT, is a clinical social worker in private practice and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut, where her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma.  She has conducted trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and problematic grief.  Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, and the book Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal (McGraw Hill, 2007).  Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications, was published by Routledge in 2016. 

Lara Krawchuk, MSW, LCSW, MPH, is Co-founder and Clinical Director of Healing Concepts, LLC in West Chester, PA.  Her clinical work is focused on individuals and families facing a diverse range of death-related and ambiguous losses including; life threatening illness, end of life, bereavement, attachment injuries, trauma, and professional compassion fatigue.  Krawchuk teaches Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice, End of Life, and Loss Across a Lifecycle classes for the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.  She has written chapters for two Techniques of Grief Therapy texts, by Robert Neimeyer.  To learn more about Krawchuk go to www.healingconceptsllc.com.

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Reinekke Lengelle, PhD is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Athabasca University in Canada.  She is a researcher in the area of narrative career development, writing for personal development, and writing the self in bereavement.  She has been teaching and developing this type of writing for 24 years and is also a researcher with The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands.  Her book Writing the Self in Bereavement: A Story of Love, Spousal Loss, and Resilience (Routledge, 2021) has been acknowledged with the Best Book award for ethnography: the H. L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr. / Nick Trujillo “It’s a Way of Life” Award is for work that exemplifies story-telling excellence informed by scholarship and is written for both scholarly and public audiences.  Learn more at: www.writingtheself.ca

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Evie Lindemann, ATR-BC, ATCS, LMFT, is a board-certified art therapist and credentialed supervisor, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified archetypal pattern analyst.  Evie is associate professor emerita at the Albertus Magnus College: Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, and taught at the Yale University Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute of Bioethics.  She has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Israel, and India and implemented humanitarian art therapy projects in India, Jamaica, and the US.  She is active in hospice care, offers courses on mortality, the use of visual arts to facilitate the inward journey, and has worked with combat veterans with complex trauma.  Evie has exhibited nationally and internationally as a printmaking artist.  She has written six book chapters on the applications of art therapy for grief, hospice, pediatric medicine, and healing after loss, as well as journal articles on spirituality and pilgrimage, that can be found in The Arts in Psychotherapy, Nursing ResearchDictionary of Religion and Spirituality, Clinical Excellence in Nursing, Journal of American Art Therapy Association, and The Arts in Psychotherapy.

 

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Evgenia (Jane) Milman, PhD, is a psychologist and adjunct Assistant Professor at the National Crime Victim’s Center in the Medical University of South Carolina, and a lecturer and clinical supervisor in the Department of Counselling Psychology at McGill University.  She serves on the professional development committee at the Association for Death Education and Counseling and is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple international research journals and conferences.   Jane has published book chapters introducing novel grief therapy techniques, assessment tools, and therapeutic protocols, and research in established international journals within the fields of trauma, thanatology, counselling, and clinical psychology.  

 

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Valeria Moriconi, PhD, is an Italian Psycho-oncologist and Gestalt Psychotherapist who practices in Pediatric Oncology at the Hospital Universitario Infantil Niño Jesus in Madrid, Spain. She serves as Director of the Bereavement Program with the Aladina Foundation in Spain, and has conducted research on meaning making in bereaved parents.  Her clinical practice focuses on adjustment to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, preparation for death and bereavement counseling.  She provides individual, couple and family psychotherapy.  Valeria also conducts therapy groups for bereaved parents focused on work with emotions in the search of legacy, continuing bonds with their children and the construction of meaning in loss.  She functions as supervisor, coach and professor in different universities in respect to death, cancer, bereavement, and child loss.  

Simon Shimshon Rubin, PhD, maintains an active clinical practice providing psychotherapy, consultation, and supervision. bHe is the founder of the International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience, Chairman of the Postgraduate Psychotherapy Program, and Professor at the University of Haifa in Israel.  Dr. Rubin, a graduate of Boston University, has held visiting appointments as professor at the Harvard University and Northwestern University Medical Schools.  Drs. Rubin, Malkinson and Witztum are the authors of Working with the Bereaved: Multiple Lenses on Loss and Mourning (2012) and The Many Faces of Loss and Bereavement: Theory and Therapy (2016).  His website can be found at https://sites.hevra.haifa.ac.il/rubin/.

Edward K. Rynearson, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist and researcher from Seattle, Washington where he founded the section of psychiatry at the Mason Clinic.  In addition to full-time clinical practice, he has served on the clinical faculty of the University of Washington as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.  He maintains a particular focus on the effects of violent death on family members, a topic on which he has published numerous papers and two books, Retelling Violent Death and Violent Death: Resilience and Intervention Beyond the Crisis.  Rynearson offers national and international training on the management of the clinical effects of violent death and founded the non-profit organization, the Violent Death Bereavement Society (vdbs.org).  Most recently he has developed a collaborative training program for Israeli and Palestinian clinicians in supporting members of their communities with traumatic grief associated with violent death.

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Lies Scaut, BSW, MFT, is a Marital and Family Therapist and Hypnotherapist in Belgium. She is extensively trained in therapy for complex and dissociative trauma, loss and separation, and complex divorce situations.  Lies has more than a decade of field experience in crisis and disaster response in schools and communities and has published several books on understanding grief and loss in children and families, helping children cope with cancer therapy and palliative care, anxiety in times of terrorism and answering questions on death in the childrens’ own language.  Her consulting work has received extensive media coverage, as she maintains an active private practice and provides training for grief counselors and first responders in several European countries.  See www.dewegwijzer.org and www.liesscaut.be.  

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Donna Schuurman, PhD, is the Sr. Director of Advocacy & Training at the Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon, where she has served in various roles since 1986, including 25 years as Executive Director.  She writes and trains internationally on bereavement issues, and has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and the book, Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent.  Dr Schuurman served as President of the Board of Directors for the Association for Death Education & Counseling, and received their Annual Service Award in 2003 and their Clinical Practice Award in 2013.  She is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, and a founding board member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children.

Edith Steffen, PsyD, is a BPS-Chartered and HCPC-Registered Counselling Psychologist in private practice and a Lecturer on the Counselling Psychology doctorate programme at the University of Roehampton, London, UK. Edith has been involved in a pilot project researching the Meaning in Loss Group protocol for complicated grief and has a special interest in continuing bonds with the deceased, particularly in sense of presence experiences and meaning-making as well as the therapeutic use of letter-writing, chair work and visualisation to facilitate and work with continuing attachment. She is co-editor with Dennis Klass of the recently published book, Continuing Bonds in Bereavement: New Directions for Research and Practice.

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Barbara E. Thompson, OTD, LCSW, is a Professor of Occupational Therapy, Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, where she also maintains an active psychotherapy practice.  She founded the Hospice Day Program and ALS Regional Center at St. Peter’s Hospice in Albany, NY and has published  articles, book chapters and two books on use of contemplative practices and the creative arts in palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care.  Her books include Grief and the Expressive Arts: Practices for Creating Meaning (2014) with Robert Neimeyer, and Prescriptive Memories in Grief and Loss: The Art of Dreamscaping (2019) with Nancy Gershman, both published by Routledge.

Doris C. Vaughans, PhD, is a licensed professional counselor in Alabama and Georgia and a Clinical Assistant Professor in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, The University of Alabama, where she also maintains an active clinical practice.  She has more than 30 years of experience working with patients and clients in oncology, end of life, hospice, and palliative care settings.  Vaughans is the recipient of multiple professional awards including the Alabama Counseling Association’s Outstanding Practitioner Award.  Her primary therapy focus is bereavement-related loss and grief, and non-finite losses.  She is a frequent presenter and consultant on grief and transitions-related topics, including coaching employees in work settings on "grief etiquette" and assisting families in making difficult transitions to care facilities.

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Sarah Vollmann, MPS, ATR-BC, LICSW, is a registered, board-certified art therapist and a licensed independent clinical social worker.  She maintains a private practice with a focus upon grief and traumatic loss, and she is the Lead Counselor at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School.  A member of the Artful Grief team of art therapists, Sarah works with Gold Star families facing suicide bereavement and traumatic loss.  Her international art therapy concentration includes work with The Red Pencil.  Sarah has published articles and book chapters on grief and loss, and she presents both nationally and internationally on art therapy, grief, and bereavement.

Jakob van Wielink is a grief counselor and executive coach.  He is founder and co-owner of The School for Transition, a training institute based in The Netherlands focusing on attachment, bonding, loss, grief and meaning reconstruction in the face of professional and life transitions. Jakob is a published author in the field of change and loss in leadership and coaching.  He works internationally for national and multinational companies and clients that are faced with major transitions.  In addition, Jakob works as an executive coach at the High Performance Leadership Program and Advanced High Performance Leadership Program of professor George Kohlrieser at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland.  For more information, explore Jakob’s personal website www.jakobvanwielink.com and the site for De School voor Transitie:  www.deschoolvoortransitie.nl