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Speaker to Share Information on Bereavement and Traumatic Loss

3/30/2011 —

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, an internationally-known expert on the issues of bereavement and traumatic loss, will speak at Penn State York on Wednesday, April 6 in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community. The program begins at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“Since I know many on our campus have experienced traumatic losses of loved ones from siblings and children to friends, I thought it would be a good idea to bring Dr. Cacciatore to campus,” said Cynthia Cox, Ph.D., who works in counseling services at the campus and in private practice. “Her research has been focused on helping to manage life following losses and I thought she would be a great resource to introduce our human development and family studies (HD FS) students and other health care professionals to the research on the topic.”

Caccatorie is working with a group in Lancaster called the Sweet Pea Project and the founder of that group, Stephanie Cole, contacted Cox to see if the campus would be interested in having her speak. The Sweet Pea Project was created by Cole after the death of her daughter Madeline, as a way to honor her memory and reach out to other bereaved parents. The Sweet Pea Project (http://www.sweetpeaproject.org/ ) offers comfort, support and gentle guidance to families who have experienced the death of a baby.

Caccatorie specializes in counseling those affected by traumatic losses, most often the death of a child. Her life changed profoundly in 1994 when her infant daughter, Cheyenne, died. She is board certified in bereavement trauma by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the National Center for Crisis Management. She is also board certified through the American Psychotherapy Association. Her therapeutic interventions are all mindfulness-based including MCBT, narrative therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, logo therapy, and various post-traumatic stress therapies, such as repeated exposure therapy. She is an assistant professor and researcher at Arizona State University (ASU).

As the founder of the Center for Loss and Trauma/MISS Foundation, she is an advocate of “green” mental health care and holds memberships in: the American Psychotherapy Association, the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the National Center for Crisis Management. She is regarded as an expert in traumatic loss and child death in families, and has been counseling and aiding individuals and families since 1996. She spearheaded and now directs the Certificate of Trauma and Bereavement graduate program and is a faculty affiliate in the Family Communication Consortium at ASU.

An acclaimed public speaker, Cacciatore provides expert consulting services in the area of traumatic loss. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as “Death Studies,” “Omega Journal of Death and Dying,” “Birth,” “Social Work and Healthcare,” “Social Work,” and “Families in Society.”

She received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree and bachelor's degrees in psychology from Arizona State University. Her work has been featured in major media sources such as “People” and “Newsweek” magazines, the “New York Times,” “Boston Globe,” CNN, National Public Radio, and the “Los Angeles Times.” She received the prestigious Hon Kachina Award in 2007 and the Sister Teresa Compassionate Care Award in 2008.

She is a mother to five children, now mostly grown, she notes “four who walk and one who soars”.

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