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 is coming to an end. My relocation to Florida has gone well. I am officially semi-retired and 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 in June 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
Gil Institute continues to thrive and is widely recognized as an important, high-quality community service in the Northern Virginia area. We have added many new services and we have a growing staff of well-trained, dedicated mental health professionals. Please visit the website at www.gilinstitute.com
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. 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.