The story of Pet Loss Help.Org really begins with my late canine Dickens, aka Blue Skye Christmas Triumph, a uniquely special and empathic golden retriever. Dickens, who was Delta Certified and remains in the American Veterinary Association Hall of Fame for his pioneering psychiatric therapy work, helped establish programs in three Bergen County Hospitals. His legacy remains in the hundreds of people still being helped by these programs today. As the first canine entrusted with this role, Dickens worked with patients and staff in individual and group capacities in nursing homes, with veterans, and families affected by 9/11. During his life, he appeared on many national TV segments educating the public about animal assisted therapy including "Inside Edition", "Pet Stop", "NBC News" and other cable channels.
I founded Pet Loss Help. Org to continue Dicken's life work - supporting individuals mourningn companion animals through the honoring of their lives and stories. I was the initial facilitator of the longest running animal companion bereavement program in Northern NJ at Oradell Animal Hospital for 14 years.
A former Delta Instructor, Evaluator and Pet Partner, Dickens and I proposed and implemented Animal Assisted Therapy Programs in the psychiatric units of three Bergen County healthcare facilities which are still active today. For our work, Dickens and I were presented with a President's Community Service Award from New York University, a NJ Medical Veterinary Association Hall of Fame Award, and a Delta Society national award for their work as a therapy team.
In the human realm, I am an award winning psychotherapist with a practice in Englewood Cliffs NJ, an author, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at my alma mater, the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. In their graduate and post-graduate programs, I present courses and workshops on CBT, DBT, IPT and grief/loss. I am a former Public Reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health. I was a recipient of a Golden Bell Leadership Award from the Mental Health Association in NJ for my work as a clinician and advocate.
Additionally trained in trauma, EMDR and bereavement, I have been providing grief counseling for those mourning human and animal companions for over two decades. I have spoken at major veterinary conferences on the human animal bond, consult with veterinary practices on compassion fatigue and lead workshops on forming and maintaining animal companion bereavement programs. My forthcoming book on animal companion bereavement Mourning Companion Animals; from Loss to Legacy will be available from Routledge Publishers in the fall of 2022.
For the near future, individual counseling sessions are offered via Zoom or telephonically.
560 Sylvan Ave, Suite 2045Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
2004 - presentBlue Skye Consulting LLC Managing Director/Owner – Clinician providing mental health services including assessment, psychotherapy, and educational workshops. Practice includes specialty in animal companion bereavement.
2008 – present Silver School of Social Work, New York University, Washington Square South, NYC, NY.Adjunct Assistant Professor – Cognitive Behavioral Interventions including, IPT, DBT, Practice III and IV and Field Instruction III and IV. Instructor in Post Masters Certificate Program (DBT and IPT) and presenter for the Office of Global and Lifelong Learning (IPT, Mindfulness, DBT).
2008 – 2016 National Institute of Mental Health Public Reviewer – Periodically invited to review grant submissions for federal funding in mental health and evaluate them based on current mental health needs and creation of access including consideration of modalities for maternal mental health.
2011 – 2016 Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ. Clinical social work - assess new mothers for perinatal mood disorders on newborn unit; assess patient needs in ER, arrange appropriate referrals to community services, including behavioral and rehabilitation facilities.
2001 - 2004 Clinical Social Work Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ Clinician in Quest, PHP-IOP program and Community Outreach for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Assessment and treatment of dual diagnosed and chronically mentally ill clients. DBT Consultation team member, co-led DBT Skills Training Group and provided individual DBT Therapy. Co-founded postpartum depression support group utilizing DBT skills for new mothers.
1999-2000 Social Work Intern Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood NJ – assessment, skills groups, discharge planning rotating to all units. Member of Bioethics Committee, initiated Animal Assisted Therapy program, developed social work conference.
1998 - 2001 New York University, NYC, NY MSW May, 2001
1968-1972 Regis College, Weston, MA BA English
CERTIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS, BOARD APPOINTMENTS
New York University Antiracism Pedagogy Seminar Champion 2020
NASW Member 2001-2021
Advanced Intensive Training, DBT 2013
Former President, Postpartum Support International, 2006 – 2008
PSI President’s Advisory Council Member, 2009 - present
2012 Flannery Animal Hospital, Secondary trauma in the professional care of companion animals
2010-2016 Oradell Animal Hospital, secondary trauma and debriefings for staff
2010, Interview regarding MOTHERS Act with Dr. Petriella of Hackensack University Medical Center
2009, NJN News, interview on PPD
2007 A Place of Our Own PBS Los Angelos segment on postpartum depression.
2007, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliett, FOX segment on postpartum depression
2006, speaker at Senate Press Conference with Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Bobby Rush, actress Brooke Shields maternal mental health and postpartum depression
2007, Presented at Congressional Briefing on Melanie Blocker Stokes Research and Care Act at invitation of Congressman Bobby Rush, present in Congressional galley when legislation passed
2007, The New Morning Show, Hallmark, segment on postpartum depression.
2006 CBS The Early Show – focusing on postpartum depression and CBS Cares PSA’s.
2006 NJN News, segment on postpartum depression.
2005-2018 Oradell Animal Hospital, facilitated monthly pet bereavement group.
AWARDS AND HONORS
March, 2011 - Advocacy Award presented at Capitol Hill luncheon by Congressman Bobby Rush for work on maternal mental health legislation now included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
November 2009 – Represented PSI appearing onstage with Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Alma Powell to announce launch of Mission:Serve: organizations committed to hiring U.S. Veterans.J
une, 2009 Golden Bell Leadership Award for Excellence in Clinical, Educational and Advocacy Work from the Mental Health Association of NJ including work with NJ’s mothers.
March 2007 – Represented PSI for receipt of Connie Woodruff Award for best program serving maternal child health in the state of NJ.
April 10, 2001 – New York University President’s Service Award for volunteerism and community service, in Animal Assisted Therapy received from L. Jay Oliva, President of New York University.October,
March 2000 – Certificate of Commendation, County of Bergen, “for providing encouragement and inspiration to individuals with disabilities and special needs.” through animal assisted therapy at nursing homes and mental health facilities.
November 2006, Health Law and Politics, National DC Based radio show, featured guest, postpartum depression.
August 2007, Dr. Vidushi Babber Radio show on postpartum depression
Website www.petlosshelp.org top 10 websites for animal companion loss on the web
ARTICLES AND PPT PRESENTATIONS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
Empowering PPD Recovery with Dialectical Behavior Therapy, article in New Jersey Psychologist, August 2006, now on NIMH funded PPD website
Telling the Birth Story, PowerPoint Presentation on initiating perinatal support group programs, available on PSI website and NIMH funded PPD website.
Selected by EmpowHer.com to present postpartum depression podcasts and columns.
Contributed DBT chapter to Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Clinical Social Work Practice (Freeman & Ronen, Springer, 2006) entitled “Dialectical Behavior Therapy,: client empowerment, social work values”Co-editor and author:
Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Healthcare Practitioner (Stone & Menken, Springer, 08).
Stone, S. (2022 [Forthcoming]), Supporting Clients Through the Loss of Companion Animals. New York; Routledge Press.
Consultant for federal legislation on PPD, contributor to Governor’s Task force Educational Webinar on postpartum depression, many additional interviews, including Wall Street Journal, PR Weekly, Bergen Record, Fit Pregnancy, presentations at local and national conferences on incidence, development and treatment of Perinatal mood disorders, including Rutgers University, Columbia University, New York University, U.C. Berkeley, Northwestern University, NASW NYC and, involved advocate in PPD legislation. Developed strategic partnership with CBS Cares resulting in nationally broadcast PPD PSA’s. Presenter for NASW NYC on variety of clinical issues including CBT, IPT and DBT.
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