EDUCATION AND REGISTRATIONS:

 Bachelor of Social Work, King’s College, 1977

Master of Education in Counselling, Althouse College, 1983

Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

Registered Art Therapist and Honorary Life Member with Ontario Art Therapy Association 

Registered Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Credentials Board

Trauma and Loss Consultant Specialist with National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (Consultant Supervisor of the Year 2008)

 EXPERIENCE:

Currently working in private practice utilizing a wellness approach for children, adults and seniors

Worked as a social worker for multiple local agencies for the last 30 years including: Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex,  Madame Vanier Children’s Services, University of Western Ontario

Worked as a school social worker at the London District Catholic School Board (since 1990) and am a Team Lead of the tragic events support team.

 PRIVATE PRACTICE and VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE:

Worked as a private practitioner since 1990 working with diverse populations and ages specializing in trauma and loss issues not limited to but including sudden deaths, suicides, car accidents, homicides, physical traumas to the body, and terminal illness. 

In September 2005, I spent eight days in San Antonio shelters debriefing, doing crisis counselling and brief art therapy intervention in both a Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita shelter.  

In March 2006, I spent a week offering debriefing and art therapy to residents of St. Bernard Parish (just outside of New Orleans) who had returned to rebuild in this area totally decimated by Hurricane Katrina. The setting was a volunteer community kitchen. 

In July 2006, I returned for a week to Ocean Springs MS, just outside Biloxi MS, to offer debriefing and art therapy to returning residents rebuilding in this area. Hurricane Katrina caused major long-term damage in this location.

 In March of 2007, I offered “safe place” workshops to children in two Catholic elementary schools for children affected by hurricanes in Mississippi. 

 In August 2007, I worked in a children’s camp, and developed a photo project with children in the ninth ward of New Orleans to help raise money to continue with rebuilding efforts in Louisiana.  

 By July 2008, I had completed seven trips in total to hurricane affected areas and offered debriefing.

 PUBLICATIONS:

 I have written two chapters for two different art therapy books known as Hand In Hand.  One chapter focused on a systemic art therapy assessment to be used with children and the other on introducing art therapy to adolescent girls in a high school setting.  Both of these chapters were written in the late 1990’s.

 Five personal journal publications (October 2005, March 2006, July 2006, March 2007 and August 2007) have been made about the hurricane debriefing experiences and are available through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. 

I am currently a blog writer for National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, focusing on current issues and trends in brain science, trauma and counselling.   http://www.starrtraining.org/trauma-and-children

PRESENTATIONS:

March 2006:  Presented to a student social work audience of 150 people on trauma debriefing using a model by Lennis Echterling on Trauma Intervention and how it was implemented after Hurricane Katrina. 

 July 2006:  Presented on hurricane experiences immediately after the hurricane and also seven months later at the Childhood Trauma Presenters Assembly.

August 2007- present:  Public speaking in a number of settings in regard to hurricane work and debriefing experiences, including hospital, school and agency settings, locally, nationally and internationally.