Expert Details

Expert in Thanatology, Grief, Loss Issues, Emotional Suffering, Psychological Pain & Suffering, Trauma

Expert ID: 730154 California, USA

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Expert possesses a Ph.D and two Master's degrees. She is nationally certified in Thanatology, the study of death, dying, and bereavement. Her certification was conferred after she earned her first Master's -- an MS in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Loss Issues and Bereavement -- and several years of experience as a hospice therapist and an interfaith chaplain, a significant number of continuing education units in the field of thanatology, and passing the national exam for certification. Her certification is renewed every 3 years and requires 45 units in death, dying, and bereavement.

Expert's private practice specializations are: grief, loss issues, trauma (including PTSD, sexual assault, incest, abuse), depression (incl chronic, unremitting), anxiety, and dissociation (including DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder).

Loss issues can best be described as those experiences in life that have left a sense of having lost something or someone, including the hopes and expectations that were not realized in a relationship or in a life. For example, in the premature death of a spouse, a young widow(er) would be expected to feel cheated, angry, and deprived of the potential that the relationship was unable to manifest; the death of a child would be expected to leave a void in this generation and the next, as grandchildren are unrealized; a lifetime of mental illness can result in the loss of earnings potential, stable relationships, love, sex, and whatever the person believed would be their happiness and their destiny. Pregnancy issues (e.g., abortion, miscarriage, infertility) can result in the actual loss of an unpotentiated child and negatively impact a person's self-image. Traumatic death (e.g., murder, suicide, plane crash, disaster) puts into motion a series of events that can deprive a person of their job, relationships, physical health, and sense of well-being. Divorce, pet death, parental loss, sibling loss, all bring at least a passing moment of self-doubt: "Who am I without that person (or that pet)?" All losses disturb our denial of our own mortality, which can cause a downward spiral into clinical depression, if left untreated.

Losses are categorized as uncomplicated (which rarely requires an Expert Witness or a therapist), compounded, complicated, traumatic, disenfranchised, and long term/unresolved. Expert is well educated and highly experienced in each of these types of loss/grief.

Expert prefers to practice therapy, rather than publish. She prefers to stay current with the most recent research in the field of thanatology, rather than conduct research. Consequently, her CV is not chock-full with published articles and research. However, her knowledge is effectively and vividly conveyed in her thorough written narratives. Examples of her writing and assessments are available upon request (redacted for confidentiality, of course).

Ph.D. Pastoral Ministry with a specialization in Interfaith Chaplaincy.
M.A. Psychology with an emphasis on Marital and Family Therapy.
M.S. Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Loss Issues and Bereavement.
Nationally certified Parent Educator.
Certified in Clinical and Medical Hypnosis.
Nationally Certified Thanatologist.

The above, in addition to over 40 years of experience in the field of psychology, makes Expert a highly experienced and highly educated practitioner of the art of psychotherapy. Her theoretical discipline is best described as Psychodynamic with a tendency toward the Psychoanalytic, which is informed by Attachment Theory, Existential Philosophy, and trauma theory. Theology and spirituality have been strong focuses of her education and work; consequently, she is extremely adept at uncovering the spiritual issues underlying most therapy issues, especially as related to grief, loss, and trauma.

Expert has treated patients ranging in age from 1 to 104. These patients have been bereaved, terminally ill, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, addicted, deaf, and gifted. An overview of the issues she has treated includes grief, loss issues, trauma, dissociation, Dissociative Identity D/O (DID), Combat PTSD, Bi-polar D/O, OCD, anxiety, Panic D/O, phobias, domestic violence, rape, gang rape, incest, ritual sexual abuse, childhood abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, alcohol/drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, dementia, chronic depression, chronic illness, terminal illness, sexual orientation, erotic minorities, encopresis, enuresis, attachment issues, spiritual abuse by clergy, religious abuse, earthly reconciliation, spiritual disintegration, and issues of the chronically mentally ill.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Los Angeles, California - San Diego, California - Long Beach, California - Santa Ana, California - Anaheim, California - Riverside, California - Glendale, California - Huntington Beach, California - San Bernardino, California - Chula Vista, California

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2006 Degree: Ph.D in Pastoral Ministry with a specialization in Interfaith Chaplaincy Subject: Theology, the psychology of religion, clergy abuse, and spirituality Institution: Newburgh Theological Seminary
Year: 2006 Degree: M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Marital and Family Therapy Subject: Psychology, clinical skills, marriage and family therapy Institution: California Graduate Institute
Year: 2001 Degree: M.S. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Loss Issues and Bereavement Subject: General psychology, developmental psychology, psychology of religion, loss issues and grief Institution: Greenwich University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2009 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Department: Psychotherapy Responsibilities: Expert is a practicing psychotherapist and hypnotist. Her practice focuses on psychotherapy and hypnosis for psychological and spiritual issues.
Years: 1976 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Consulting Hypnotist Department: Hypnosis Responsibilities: Expert has practiced the art of hypnosis for over 40 years, beginning in 1976, when she was the Executive Director of a rape crisis center and a victim's witness advocate helping to prepare rape victims for court.
Years: 1981 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Therapist; Interfaith Chaplain Department: Bereavement and Chaplaincy Responsibilities: Beginning in 1981 as a hospice volunteer and following advanced education and degrees, Expert worked as a grief counselor and therapist, as well as an interfaith chaplain, at various SoCal hospices.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.
Association for Death Education and Counseling.
California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT).
Orange County Chapter of CAMFT.
Spiritual Directors International.
National Guild of Hypnotists.
Licenses / Certifications
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California;
C.T. (Certified Thanatologist): Death, Dying and Bereavement
Certified January 2006: Association for Death Education and Counseling
Certified Parent Educator;
Certified in Clinical and Medical Hypnosis

2006 Nationally Certified Parent Educator: Hard-to-parent Children, The Parenting Project
2005 Certified Medical Hypnotherapist, American Psychological Association-approved course
2002 CPE….Clinical Pastoral Education, St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, Ca.
2001 Nationally Certified Advanced Bereavement Group Facilitator, American Academy of Bereavement
1999 Bereavement Facilitator Certification, American Academy of Bereavement
1991 Hospice Companion Care, Pathways Hospice, Lakewood
1981 Hospice Companion Care, St. Mary Hospice, Long Beach
1978 Domestic Violence Counselor Certification, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center
1977 Health Worker Certification: Family Planning, L.A. Regional Family Planning Council, Inc.
1976 Peer Counselor: Adult and Child Sexual Assault, California-mandated training for Victim Advocates
Professional Appointments
2012 ISST-D International Conference Planning Committee (Conference in Long Beach, Ca., 2012)
2010-2013 Peer-Review Editorial Board, National Guild of Hypnotists, Journal of Hypnosis

Expert has participated in 4 commissions or task forces.
Awards / Recognition
Expert holds 9 awards.
Medical / Professional
3,000 clinical hours as a Marriage & Family Therapist Intern.
Publications and Patents Summary
Expert prefers to practice psychology, rather than write about it. She does have one upcoming publication (summer 2017) regarding trauma and loss. She has also given 3 conference presentations. She has given multiple television interviews and has contributed to one independent documentary as a consultant and another as a guest expert. She has given 7 invited educational presentations thus far.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Expert has worked as an Expert Witness in 7 cases regarding grief and loss issues.

Additionally, she has had a 35-year career of assessments and written narratives supplied for attorneys, conservators, judges, and individual patients in the interests of foster children, the chronically mentally ill, hospice patients, rape victims, and patients with PTSD and degenerative medical conditions.
Training / Seminars
Grief and Loss Issues; The Unlived Life (Jungian psychology and regrets); Differences between the male brain and the female brain; Spirituality and Chaplaincy; Getting Through the Holidays; Hospice Volunteerism; Caregiver Burnout; Staff Burnout; Volunteer Burnout; Bi-polar D/O; Children and Death; Sexual Assault: Myths and Legal Implications; Death, dying and bereavement; created and conducted memorial services and funerals.
Other Relevant Experience
Expert can speak "psychologese" when necessary, but her real talent is in being able to talk WITH any patient or client, regardless of their educational level or life experience, and translating all that data into an intelligible and vivid narrative report or testimony that brings the person's life and legal issues into very clear focus. To put it bluntly, Expert has successfully worked with crack whores dying in hospice, has advocated for the chronically mentally ill in a locked facility, has treated abused 5-year-old foster children, under-educated strippers, lifelong drug addicts, highly degreed academics, and techno-geek multi-millionaires.

Fields of Expertise

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