Faculty Mentors

Mentors are senior faculty who share their theoretical insights, awareness of the literature, and practice wisdom on a variety of topics of interest to learners, from consultation on particular approaches to grief therapy to advice about career trajectories.  While mentors do not provide clinical supervision as legally defined, many learners present challenging cases, past and present, with appropriate protection for the client's identity and confidentiality, to enhance the "real world" relevance of mentoring on practice strategies and particular therapeutic techniques.  Many mentors also offer other services, including feedback on reading reflections, session evaluation, and onsite workshops on a range of topics.  See Faculty bios below for more details.

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Neimeyer has published 30 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy:  Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved and Grief and the Expressive Arts, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of nearly 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.  Readers interested in Neimeyer's scholarly publications concerning Meaning Reconstruction are encouraged to consult the Research page of his personal web site, robertneimeyerphd.com.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops, Mentoring, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD

Edward K. Rynearson, MD

“Ted” 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.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops, Mentoring, Session evaluation

Darcy L. Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT, is an Associate Professor and the Thanatology Coordinator 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.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops, Mentoring, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation

Darcy Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT

Kenneth J. Doka, PhD

Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, is a Professor of Gerontology at the Graduate School of The College of New Rochelle and Senior Consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America, with whom he organizes an annual Living with Grief teleconference that provides worldwide training for thousands of clinical professionals.  A prolific author, he has authored or edited over 30 books and over 100 articles and book chapters.  Doka is editor of both Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying and Journeys: A Newsletter to Help in Bereavement.  His workshops focus on disenfrachised grief, a concept he coined to address losses that lack social validation, as well as practices in end-of-life care, the use of ritual in bereavement support, and a broad range of other topics.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops, Mentoring

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

Services provided:  Onsite workshops, Mentoring

Jakob van Wielink

Languages spoken:  Dutch, English

Simon Shimshon Rubin, PhD

Languages spoken:  English, Hebrew

Simon Shimshon Rubin, PhD, maintains an active clinical practice providing psychotherapy, consultation, and supervision. He 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/.

Services provided:  Mentoring, Session evaluation, Feedback on reading reflections

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. 

Services provided:  Mentoring, Onsite workshops

Phyllis S. Kosminsky, PhD, FT

Laurie A. Burke, PhD

Laurie Burke, PhD, is a research assistant professor at the University of Memphis and maintains an active clinical practice in Portland, Oregon.  Burke has published extensively on grief and its complications, with a special focus on the role of spiritual struggle in bereavement and violent death loss.  Currently, she is collaborating on research on coping styles in bereavement, as well as investigating the role of various risk factors for prolonged grief disorder. Her therapeutic work engages her with a wide range of losses, with a particular concentration on the experience of traumatic and violent death bereavement. Readers can learn more at burkepsychological.com.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops,  Mentoring, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation, Research consultation

Maria Luisa De Luca, PhD, is Professor at the Faculty of Science of Education, Psychology, Pontificial Salesian University of Rome, Italy. De Luca is founder of the “Lutto e Crescita – Grief and Growth” Institute that provides counseling and therapy to the bereaved, as well as training and supervision for psychotherapists who work with grief and trauma (www.luttoecrescita.it). She is Trainer in Psychotherapy Schools as TSTA (Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst), and an EMDR certified therapist.  She has an active clinical practice providing psychotherapy and supervision . De Luca has published several articles and the book Psychotherapy and Research (2009).  For more information see: https://sites.google.com/site/profssadeluca/home).

Services provided:  Onsite workshops,  Mentoring, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation

Maria Luisa De Luca, PhD

Languages spoken:  Italian, English

Amy Chow, PhD

Amy Chow, PhD, is an Associate Professor with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong. She is the Co-Director of the Jockey Club End-of-Life Community Care Project of the University. She is the founder of the first community based bereavement counseling centre in Hong Kong. She was elected as the Chairperson of the International Workgroup on Death, Dying and Bereavement, a board member of Association of Death Education and Counseling as well as the Asia Pacific Hospice Network in 2016.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops,  Mentoring, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation

Languages spoken:  Cantonese, Mandarin, English

Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT, is a board-certified and licensed clinical professional art therapist with 30 years of experience working with adults in group and individual settings.  Her art therapy private practice and national presentations 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 art therapy work are grounded in meaning reconstruction, attachment informed grief therapy and continuing bonds with the deceased.  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.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops,  Mentoring

Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT

Donna Schuurman, PhD

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.

Services provided:  Mentoring, Program Development, Research

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.

Services provided:  Onsite workshops,  Mentoring, Practicum, Feedback on reading reflections, Session evaluation

Luis Botella, PhD

Languages spoken:  Spanish, English

Barbara E. Thompson, OTD, LCSW

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.

Services provided:  Mentoring, Onsite Workshops

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