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!! Check out my work family at www.gilinstitute.com
2015 brought some important changes and transitions: I relocated to Florida and my new schedule allows me a full work day each week for consultations and supervision. I have some terrific teaching moments with professionals interested in expanding their horizons with my unique perspective about integrated play therapy (and working with trauma). I have a much reduced training schedule and will meet my 2015 and 2016 commitments which were made several years ago. This year, I will be traveling to Arlington, VA for our Third Annual Play Therapy Conference on April 10-12, 2015. This Annual Conference which focuses on expressive therapies and trauma, have prospered each year, and hopefully, will continue for years to come with the sponsorship of Gil Institute and Starbright Training Institute. I have just released the schedule for 2015 Starbright Trainings and will participate in one master class each year, along with other terrific trainers from Gil Institute. The remainder of the year I will travel to Wyoming in June and GA in October where I will present at the National Play Therapy Conference. In February 2016, I will be in the Michigan area for their annual Play Therapy Conference. I continue as an active, virtual partner with Gil Institute and meet with my awesome partners (Jen, Myriam, and Heather) regularly. Gil Institute is thriving and we have added several new services (please visit www.gilinstitute.com). All these changes afford me the luxury and privilege of dedicating myself to my mother's care as she continues into her late nineties. Finally, I have plans to develop several webinars this year in order to continue to provide the teaching and training I love to do.
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.
This year I am proud to announce the birth of my FOURTH grand-child, Payton. 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. I am currently participating in an Arlington County team named Harry's Destroyers. Our wonderful coach Harry died last year and the thrill of my life was winning our local league championship while we all felt Harry watched from above!! The joy of sports holds a special place in my heart.