"The child's work is to gain the courage to go back to the frightening thoughts and images of the trauma and explore them in a safer environment when there is a better sense of control. The child must then gain the skills necessary to cope with what may be seen as a frightening world in which to grow up as a healthier adult." Karp & Butler, 1996


I have worked in the area of child abuse prevention and treatment since 1973 working in both West and East Coasts.

I am eternally grateful to Kathy Baxter, from the SF Child Abuse Council for facilitating the pursuit of my education. Kathy's husband, Dr.Tom Stern, encouraged me to pursue training as a mental health professional and served as an inspiration. I was extremely fortunate to receive training at the Redwood Center in Berkeley, California with mentors Dr. Karen Saeger and Dr. Robert Jay Green.

My mentors have been incredibly important to me, I still have their voices inside my head as reliable and steady guides.  It has been intrinsically rewarding to mentor others and to continue an active professional life as a consultant, supervisor, teacher, and trainer.  I highly value experiential learning in small settings and thus the creation and maintenance of Starbright Training Institute has been a labor of love.  In Starbright workshops I have met receptive and warm trainees, eager to help children and their families.

2013 brought some personal and professional changes for me.  I am thrilled to have a group of colleagues that are like-minded, and have a strong commitment to improving and enhancing their skill-sets to better help their clients.  I like having a family-like environment of health and stability with mature and seasoned professionals who recognize the importance of a supportive and nurturing work environment.  Our current staff is everything I ever hoped for and I feel blessed to be part of this awesome group!!  

Gil Institute continues to thrive.  We have earned a very positive reputation for the quality work that we provide.  Our therapists are well-trained and continue to enhance their preparation by learning about relevant trauma-informed work.  We have started new services in response to community needs and we are hopeful about our ability to help families and their children.Check out my work family at www.gilinstitute.com

2016 has begun with renewed energy on my part.  I now have a better sense of what it means to be semi-retired, and how to achieve a great balance between my work-related joys and the rest of my mostly joyful life.  I recognize that stressors and crises visit us regularly and I have a great support system when seas are rough.  This year, I am finishing a book on Post-traumatic play, a topic that I have studied all of my professional career.  Last year, I co-authored a book with Dr. David Crenshaw on termination issues and it was one of the best experiences I've had.  David and I developed a wonderful synchronicity and exchanged some important discussions.  I'm very proud of the work we created together.

I am enjoying central Florida, the weather, the foliage, gardening, playing tennis, attending concerts, etc.  We have live music "in the square" every night and it's fun to perfect my electric slide and be exposed to countless other forms of line dancing.  I continue to do some small trainings as well as weekly consults and supervision.  I have a few more training commitments next year (February in Grand Rapids, MI and June at the Theraplay Conference in Chicago).

Our Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Conference will be held June 10-12 this year.  We were unable to book a hotel on our usual month of April.  I am so happy that Suzanne Fincher will be doing an experiential workshop on Mandalas and that Drs. Sue Bratton, Larry Rubin, David Crenshaw, and many others will be presenting.  We have some exciting topics that play therapists and others will find appealing.  Look for additional information coming soon at www.playtherapytraining.org

My oldest grandchild is now 9 and my youngest 2.  Grandparenting is the best role in my development so far!!



Children's willingness to trust and trust again amazes me!  This reminds me of the process of photosynthesis in plants where they always turn towards the sun when it's available.  Children's resiliency is awe-inspiring.


My youngest grandchild is now TWO!  I travel to Sacramento and Boston to see them and of course love hosting them in Florida.  DisneyWorld is one little hour away and boy, do they loe Disney!!  I can't wait to spend more time with them and to watch them grow.  They are a group of smart, healthy, athletic, creative, wonderful children.  I am called "Pica" to some of them and "Nama" to another.


Tennis provides me with a great balance in my life.  I have played tennis since I was 18 years old and I enjoy it thoroughly.  Florida has tons of tennis and I have been fortunate to land in three really great groups with competitive and fun women.  I have also started exploring pickle-ball.


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"I remain in awe of the reparative process that is ignited in those who sustain injuries. I am rewarded daily by the trust placed in me to witness and accompany clients on their healing paths."

Contact us today at: (202) 257-2783