Certified Alumni Directory


This directory reflects a list of Studio Alumni who have completed the Certification process of the Creative Grief Support Practitioners Program with us.

Listings are shared here showing United States listings first, then World wide listings by country, and alphabetically by the last name of the practitioner. If the practitioner is open to public contact, their contact information is shared just under their name. If you are an Alumni who wished to update your listing, please email Tamara.

United States

Jen Baranovic bio photo head and shoulders looking into camera with green floral pattern on wall behind

Jen Baranovic

Click here to email Jen

About Jen: Jen is an intuitive healer, soul midwife, and ritual healing practitioner who specializes in bridging the liminal spaces of grief, transition, and overwhelm by grounding into the wisdom of the body. Her practices are rooted in animism and right relationship, walking the pathless path into connection with Source, and opening into a deeper Knowing that can sometimes feel severed during upheaval. She utilizes a combination of subtle energy assessments, breath work, creative grief support, movement practices, yoga, Ayurveda, and the accessing of non-ordinary states of reality to guide participants into practices for more fully inhabiting their bodies and their moments. Her supportive approach works with What Is, and can help reignite vitality, resonance, and full presence of being by reinforcing connection between mind, body, and spirit. In her community, she hosts ceremonies, gatherings, and workshops for end of life education, grief integration, and sensual, embodied living.

Tamara Beachum

Atlanta, GA
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.

Elizabeth Berrien

Charlotte, NC

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.

Head and shoulders bio picture of Lori Boyer, white woman, light hair, jean jacket, patterned shirt, taken outdoors with tree and sunlight in background.

Lori Boyer, MT-BC

Aurora, OH
Click here to email Lori

About Lori: Lori (she/her/hers) is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner with over 25 years of trauma informed, mindfulness based clinical experience. The early years of her career were spent as a Children’s Bereavement Coordinator with Hospice. She earned her Reiki Master Certificate in 2019. She has experience in counseling all ages, running grief support groups, and public speaking on the topic of death and non-death losses. She is also a member of the Creative Grief Studio teaching team. Through the use of creative exercises, Reiki, and music, she helps clients live meaningful lives after loss. Lori is experienced in working with those who are living with grief, depression, anxiety, PTSD, spiritual or religious challenges, self-esteem concerns, chronic illness, infertility, pre- and postpartum struggles, life transitions, and stress management challenges.


Deb Brandt

Indianapolis, IN
Click here to email Deb

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.

Sheri Adams Briggs

San Diego, CA, USA

About Sheri: Bio coming soon…

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Whitney Cain, PhD

Raleigh, NC, USA
Click here to email Whitney

About Whitney: Dr. Whitney Cain is a psychotherapist in Raleigh, North Carolina. She specializes in helping adults explore their best, most authentic selves, and negotiate challenges associated with change, transition, and grief. Whitney holds Masters degrees in Applied Psychology (Boston University, 1994) and Mental Health Counseling (North Carolina Central University, 2014), as well as a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology (North Carolina State University, 2000). She received certification from the Creative Grief Studio in Spring of 2017. Prior to opening her practice, Bloomsbury Therapy, Whitney was an Associate Professor in Psychology at William Peace University. Over her 23-year teaching career, she explored the intersection between the stories we tell about ourselves, our sense of self, and how unique challenges inform these. Whitney’s research has been published in journals including Merrill Palmer Quarterly, Discourse Processes, and VISTA. Learn more about Whitney by visiting her website or contacting her via email or phone.

Paula Cary

Salem, MA USA
Click here to email Paula

About Paula: Paula is an Allied Health professional and certified meditation instructor. She discovered the power of creative meaning making quite by accident when her sister lost her husband at a young age with small children. Paula wanted to support her but was unsure how to do that. She wondered what she could say or do that would make a difference. Ultimately, she made a blanket of her brother-in-law’s favorite t-shirts, working feverishly for two weeks immediately after his passing to create the gift. The experience was gratifying and Paula felt empowered to notice the “elephant in the room” of all hurting people. Many people come from family backgrounds that do not support or validate painful emotional expression. She believes that everyone has the inherent capacity to feel their feelings and to transform their grief into something of great relevance and meaning for themselves. Paula attends to what is being said and sensitively offers creative activities and thoughtful questions to guide clients into learning how to go deep and find their own resources to validate and support themselves.

Head and shoulders bio photo of Sindy taken outside wearing dark jacket with light shirt under

Sindy Cassidy


About Sindy:  bio coming soon…

Rev. Dr. Debra May Cerra

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.

Gloria A. Charlier, RN, BSN, CH, MA

Ohio, USA

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.

Mary C. Conte, MA, MBA

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.

Gail Darlington, MA

Warrington, PA
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.

Dr. Jennifer Dearing-Rubens

Nashville, TN

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.

Maribeth Doerr

Reno, NV

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.

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Clare Duplace


About Clare: Bio coming soon…

head and shoulders bio picture of practitioner Sarah Durham looking into the camera

Sarah C. Durham


About Sarah: Sarah Durham coaches agency, small business, and nonprofit leaders to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. She integrates creative practices and her training in grief, loss, and trauma support in her executive coaching work and as a volunteer. 

Beth Erlander, MA, LPC, ATR

Denver / Boulder, CO

About Beth: Beth Erlander calls herself a “Grief Geek.” She’s worked with grief since graduate school where she did a dual internship in hospice and disability issues. In 2012 her interest in grief became her life’s passion when life went upside down: her partner fell off his mountain bike, broke his neck and became a quadriplegic. Having dealt with this life change, she now loves helping others navigate their way through all kinds of grief. She uses a body-centered approach combined with creative arts. Her work is informed by her own healing journey-she dove into community grief rituals and walked part of the El Camino to process her grief. When not seeing clients she can be found walking, dancing, gardening, cooking, tending her partner and his needs and doing anything she considers “radical self-care” which is crucial to maintain her ability to caregive and fully enjoy this precious thing called life.

Head and shoulders bio photo of Shelley Ewing wearing glasses and red scarf with dark color shirt

Shelley Whichard Ewing


About Shelley:  bio coming soon…

Bio photo of Kylee wearing blue shirt and dark hat, leaning against a tree, smiling into camera

Kylee Gies

Click here to email Kylee

About Kylee: I am the owner of Sacred Dwelling which is the land where I host community wellness and healing events to support the mind, body, and soul. Events are held throughout the year in the yurt nestled in the woods. This sacred space in nature provides a wholesome container for exploration and growth. Three years after my son Oliver passed over, the calling to help others suffering from deep loss and grief became transparent. I am now a Creative Grief Guide who holds space with love and compassion. I grief tend through guidance towards meaning making and self-healing. The journey of grief integration is encouraged by using modalities such as expressive heART therapy, ritual/ceremony, and Eco psychology ­­­­to cultivate presence in one’s journey. My role is enhanced by my former work in the field of international education as a; teacher, cross-cultural field instructor, and advisor along with my life-long studies of Aikido, yoga, mindfulness/meditation, and emotional growth.

Julee Gell, LCSW

Tucson, AZ

About Julee: bio coming soon…

Ann N. Gustely

West Haven, CT

About Ann: bio coming soon…

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.

Heidi Jackson

Portland, Oregon

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.

Amber K. Jacoby

Tucson, AZ
Click here to email Amber

About Amber: My personal journey with grief began with the sudden death of my husband. I found traditional grief support helped, but the “not so traditional” path was most inspiring and held more value for me. I wanted to grieve in a way that spoke to the way I live and love, not by a structured model. I wanted to approach my own grief experience with curiosity, intention and creative exploration. I welcomed whatever emotion came knocking; always inviting it in to seek its purpose. I now offer safe and supportive exploration to others. As a Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner, Certified Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider® and Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Practitioner, I help others explore and design their personal relationship with grief.

Karen O. Johnson, M. Ed.

Salt Lake City, UT
EveryDayGrief on Facebook
Click here to email Karen

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.

Laird Landon, PhD

Montrose, CO
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.

Janice Lodato, MA, RMT

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.

Yvonne Lucia Certified Alumni Bio Pic

Yvonne Lucia, RN, M.Div

Binghamton, NY

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.

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Jessica Martinez

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

About Jessica: bio coming soon…

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Kara L. Massoletti


About Kara: bio coming soon…

Laverne McKinnon Certified Alumni Bio Pic

Laverne McKinnon

Los Angeles, CA
Click here to email Laverne.

About Laverne: Grieving losses other than death is the focus of Laverne’s work as a certified life coach, executive coach and grief counselor. Whether it’s from loss from career/job, divorce, moving, or other forms of safety and stability, Laverne works with clients to master the art and power of transformation. Her approach is holistic, encouraging clients to see themselves as creative, resourceful and whole; it’s also cognitive, focusing on growth through purpose and values, on “being” as well as “doing.”

Head and shoulders bio photo for Carol Miller

Carol Miller, LCSW

Tucson, AZ
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.

Karen Mittet, BA, BEd

Bellingham, WA
Click here to email Karen

About Karen: Karen learned about the heartache of grief in her early twenties when her mother died of cancer. She experienced first hand the deep emptiness that comes with the death of a loved one . The strong feelings that are associated with loss placed Karen on a journey of discovery. She returned to school, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education to become an elementary school teacher. Karen began volunteering at the local Hospice House. Over time, she became a Grief Group Facilitator for Hospice and for a local non-profit. After certifying as a Grief Companion in September of 2016 with Dr. Alan Wolfelt at his Center for Loss in Colorado, Karen opened a Grief Companioning Practice called Luminescence Creative Grief Support. In March 2017, she certified with The Creative Grief Studios and with The Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy. Luminescence means “moving towards the light,” and Karen’s practice provides a non-judgmental, caring, loving space to companion people along their grief journey from darkness to light. Karen’s strengths are her curiosity about other peoples’ lives, a listening heart and an empathic spirit. She also loves to knit, color, play the violin, garden, walk, hike, mountain bike, play ice hockey and spend time with her family and two cats.

Gina Murrietta, Bereavement Coordinator

Yuma, AZ

About Gina: Bio coming soon…

Bonnie Neubauer Certified Creative Grief Practitioner

Bonnie Neubauer

Philadelphia, PA
Click here to email Bonnie

About Bonnie: After my husband died, even though I am a writer, it seemed that words were inadequate to describe how I felt. Fortunately, my emotional overflow found a new outlet – visual arts – where I communicated through color, shape, and texture.

I became a Creative Grief Practitioner to help others navigate their loss through creative expression and ultimately reach a place where their lives, once again, have meaning. I’m sorry it took my husband’s death to set me on this path, but what a joy it is to watch others transform.

One way I now use my words/writing is as a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant® where I officiate at nondenominational funerals. I am also the author of The Write-Brain Workbook, 400 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing; inventor of Story Spinner, a handheld creative writing prompt generator; designer of Metaphors for Loss and Resilience, a tool to initiate difficult conversations; and designer of ADJitation, a party game.

Julie A. Pierce, Fertility & Healthy Lifestyle Coach

Seattle, WA
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!

head and shoulders bio picture of practitioner Wanda Reisinger looking into the camera

Wanda Reisinger

Contact info coming soon…

About Wanda: Bio coming soon…

Donna M. Ritz, LCSW

Princeton, NY
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.

head and shoulders bio picture of practitioner Fiona Ruddy looking into the camera

Fiona Ruddy, LMFT, ATR-BC

California, USA
(707) 652-3325
Click here to email Fiona.

About Fiona: Fiona Ruddy (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist, and Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner practicing in Oakland, California. In 2013, one year after her husband died suddenly, Fiona attended a transformative Art Retreat in Mexico and realized that her purpose was to help others as they faced challenging times in their lives. Fiona created Art of Healing to help others as they are navigating grief and loss, depression, trauma and/or anxiety to find their path, and begin the art of healing. Fiona incorporates a person centered approach, narrative therapy and creative tools for her clients to rewrite the story of their lives. Fiona also incorporates coping skills and mindfulness exercises that help clients gain insight and increase awareness of mind and body connection in order to feel more empowered and reduce feelings of anxiety and feel more at ease and present.

Dana M. Russo, BSW

Noblesville, IN
Click here to email Dana

About Dana: “We have been taught all our lives how to acquire, but never how to lose.” Well acquainted with loss, Dana founded HOPE RISES to companion others in grief and provide much needed education in our mourning-avoidant culture. Dana’s degree in Social Work, two certifications in Death and Grief care, training in Spiritual Direction, and over four decades of walking alongside hurting hearts provides her a wealth of experience. She is a well-seasoned speaker having equipped and trained leaders in 27 countries around the globe. Her passion to walk with the bereaved and train others to do the same is warm, contagious, and effective. Though loss can be devastating, she believes no one should walk through grief alone AND that life and love are still possible. Drawn to beauty, music, art, gardening, authenticity, laughter, faith, and family, Dana is adventurous – all while longing to be present to this gift called today.

Jess Ryan

Syracuse, NY

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

Holland, MI
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.

Jesse Paris Smith


About Jesse: bio coming soon…

Gwen Suesse, BA, MAT

Tryon, NC

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.

Teresa Sullivan head and shoulders facing camera smiling wearing black shirt and necklace with white chair and blurred background

Teresa Sullivan, LSW

Chicago, IL
Website: dlapsychology.com/teresa-sullivan-lsw
Click here to email Teresa.

About Teresa: Teresa Sullivan is a social worker working in private practice in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in supporting adults and children as they navigate grief, loss, illness, and all of the complexities that come with these life changes. Teresa holds a Masters in Social Work as well as a Masters in Theology and Ministry. She received certification from the Creative Grief Studio in the spring of 2021 and holds a certification from the Grief Support Network as a Mindful Grieving Yoga Therapy Facilitator. Her experience includes working in a bereavement center for children ages 3+, supporting young adults in university settings, and counseling adults and seniors in hospice. Teresa provides space for clients to work through their experiences, offer new ways of looking at things and skills to cope with them, and, ultimately, to help them uncover what it means to move forward in a meaningful way.

Claudia Gray Sweet

Central CA area
About Claudia: Bio coming soon…

Gail M. Syring

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.

Karman Tuivai

Utah, USA

About Karmen: Bio coming soon…

Shelby Kaye Wengryn

Colorado, USA

About Shelby: Bio coming soon…

Certified Alumni World Wide


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Sandra Adams


About Sandra: bio coming soon…


Julie Jensen, BBehavSc, GradCertBereaveCouns&Int, GradDipCouns, MCouns&PsychTh

Melbourne, Victoria
+ 61 3 0411 241 005
Click here to email Julie

About Julie: I began my grief journey when I was working in the Coronial Jurisdiction as a Court Registrar in my 20s and my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died when I was 30. I finished my psychology degree and post-graduate studies in counselling and psychotherapy. I completed a post-graduate qualification in bereavement counselling with the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement followed by an internship and now work as a Specialist Bereavement Counsellor – Practitioner Associate (volunteer). I continue to study and work at the edges of loss and grief and chronic disorganisation holding a Level 2 Certificate in Chronic Disorganisation with the Institute of Challenging Disorganization.

I understand grief personally, professionally and academically. I am currently expanding my knowledge in thanatology (dying, death & bereavement), end of life doula and dignity therapy. My interest in creative grief therapy is to incorporate nature with grief (death and non-death transition). I enjoy hiking, sailing, qigong and attending art exhibitions focusing on loss and grief. I have an interest in the Danish culture.

Beth O’Brien

Brisbane, Queensland
+ 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.


Brenda J. Fraser

Edmonton, Alberta

About Brenda: coming soon…

Rob Halfyard, RSW

Calgary, Alberta

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.

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Julie Maltby

The Loss Art

About Julie:  I grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada with my parents and my sister, Laurie. In 1995, my sister died in an accident while on a dream trip to Thailand. She was just 28. Her loss forever changed our family, me and my life path.

I was studying Sociology in university at the time. Laurie’s death prompted me to take my first Thanatology course. Years – and many death and non-death losses – later, I returned to university to complete my second degree in Than. As a caring friend and volunteer, I’ve informally comforted and supported many people living with grief over the years. Since retiring from a varied career – including communications, group facilitation and event planning – I’m embarking on a part-time encore career.

My education, training, lived experience, values, compassion, creativity and curious nature form my foundation as a Creative Grief Coach. I’m structuring a business around retreats and workshops at our lakeside home complemented by writing support for end-of-life communications and rituals. I’m open to seeing where these plans and experiences take me next!

Katherine McCarron, MA

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.

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Marie Naubert

Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada
Click here to email Marie

About Marie: As a certified Grief Coach, End-of-Life Coach and ACC Life Coach, I help women find their sense of empowerment, agency, inner stability and grounding in difficult and troubled times of grief. In particular through the challenges of separation or divorce, infertility or pregnancy loss.

I also support people facing a terminal diagnosis to prepare for their best possible vision of a peaceful death.

May it be to find solutions to life issues, solace through grief experiences or end-of-life preparations, I welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with you about what is closest to your heart.

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Andriana Teslyuk

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

About Andriana: bio coming soon…

Valerie Waymark

Prince George, BC, Canada
250-962- 7298
Click here to email Valerie

About Valerie: Valerie has been a registered nurse since 1985, working in long term care and public health leadership roles.   Her passion for coaching emerged from a desire to assist her leadership colleagues with their own growth and development. She became a Certified Executive Coach in 2010 and subsequently became a licensed trainer for Coaching Out of the Box in 2011. Following the devastating loss of her husband, and being disappointed with traditional grief support, Valerie began a journey of discovery that led her to Creative Grief Coaching. Since completing the course, she has added grief coaching to her services and, in addition, has incorporated grief and loss support into her leadership coaching. Valerie provides a compassionate environment that helps grief and leadership clients reveal their strengths, resiliency and potential through their own journey. She offers coaching sessions via phone or Skype and in-person in her home community.


Sofia Plonski

Quito, Ecuador
011 593 992413877
Click here to email Sofia

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.


Alma Sipilä

Tampere, Finland

South Africa

Tholakele Antamu

Cape Town, South Africa

Vincenzia Diedericks

Johannesburg, South Africa

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Kate Shand

Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 (0)82 884 4085
Click here to email Kate.

About Kate: I offer in person and online creative grief sessions to support parents after the death of a child. I also provide support to other people who have experienced loss. These sessions provide practical support using creative conversations and art making to bring comfort, hope and meaning after premature bereavement. I have a special interest in suicide.

Bio photo head and shoulders of Nadea Victor, short blonde hair, light blue scarf around neck, smiling, lit from the side, background is slated window blind.

Nadea Victor

South Africa

About Nadea: Bio coming soon…

Kerstin Waddell

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.


Amy Schief

+ 41 78 073 31 15
Click here to email Amy

About Amy: 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.

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