“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to slowly be born.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I am a licensed psychotherapist (MD/license #11878) who specializes in grief and loss. I partner with bereaved people to help them discover how to live wholehearted lives after endings, transitions and losses.
My clients are those who have experienced loss and have a desire to access resilience and have a safe space to remember. Losses can occur through life transitions or death. I provide compassionate support and tools through the journey of grief and endings. When working with me, clients discover a safe place to remember and discover how life can still have purpose and possibility.
- Master’s degree in Social Work (LCSW-C) from the University of Maryland Baltimore, with a specialty in medical social work
- Training as a Grief Coach through Creative Grief Coaching
Most notably, I’ve been schooled through deep losses and equally deep healing in my own life
- Supported families and patients in Pediatric Oncology at University of Maryland at Baltimore Hospital
- Supported patients and families with End of Life issues at Hospice.
- Facilitated psycho-educational bereavement groups for individuals on the journey to healing and discovery after the death of a loved one
- The last 7 years, I have provided Health Coaching for clients dealing with co-morbid behavioral health and chronic illnesses. In this capacity, I have worked in partnership with clients in offering supportive counseling, resources, education and encouragement of goals to improve health and overall wellness.
Did you know that it is no accident that some people feel and take on others moods? That it is no coincidence that some individuals can walk into a room and notice the most subtle of differences? Did you know that kids and adults are not exaggerating when the fabric of their clothes or the smell of food is too much for them? Furthermore, did you know that what may seem benign and uneventful to some may feel extremely critical and threatening to others? It is all true, and more, for those with the personality trait known as Highly Sensitive Personality, or HSP.
I am a licensed psychotherapist specializing in grief and loss; with an additional specialty in Highly Sensitive Personality. Through life experience and in raising her own children, Bonnie comes with a special skill set in the area of Highly Sensitive Personality, otherwise referred to as HSP. I work with clients in identifying this innate set of characteristics that makes HSP’s the intuitive compassionate people that they are, while also educating HSP’s in managing their sensitivity in a world of harshness and scrutiny. In particular, I educate parents about their HSC (Highly Sensitive Children) so that they can adapt in a world where others may not nurture their sensitivity.
Those that connect with the traits described, and many others, will be supported in learning what it means to be HSP or HSC (Highly Sensitive Child). You will learn what HSP is and is not. Through our work together, there will be an understanding of how this personality trait is manifested in adults and children, as well as what that means in dealing with relationships, work, school and parenting. In our work, you will gain an understanding of the gifts and challenges of being an HSP.
Additionally, education and support will be provided in relation to how this looks in the classroom and tips for teachers in supporting a Highly Sensitive Child. My clients leave with resources and skill sets that will allow for a clear understanding on how to navigate life with this personality trait. Specific markers of the trait will be shared in order to be fully aware of whether or not this trait is applicable to you or someone you love.
To see if this trait may apply to you or someone you love, visit HSPerson.com and take the self test.
- “The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive when the World Overwhelms Them”; Elaine Aron; Ph.D
- “Highly Sensitive Person”
Elaine Aron, Ph. D
- “The Strong Sensitive Boy: Help Your Son Become a Strong Sensitive Man”
Ted Zeff, PH.D
- “Highly Sensitive Person in Love”; Elaine Aron, Ph.D
- “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Workbook” ; Elaine Aron, Ph.D
- Teen & Preteen Parenting – Unique, Sensitive and Empathic Support
I’ve had many losses in my life; losses that range from suicide, deaths of significant family members and endings of old patterns and dynamics. Thus, one could say I’ve also had many new beginnings.
My passion for grief work was sparked 20 years ago after the suicide of my brother. During this time, it became apparent people seemed generally uncomfortable and unavailable when discussing grief. I learned that it was better to keep emotions to myself. I developed a sense of shame related to death based on others (often well meaning) words. Expressions like: “He is no longer in pain and he is in a better place,” left me feeling like my grief was minimized.
This loss was compounded by other’s beliefs and thoughts about suicide. My grief became very private and lonely. Through this experience, I realized I don’t hold judgments about death, rather I am completely at ease talking openly and honestly about death.
In adulthood, my journey through grief and loss continued. My family life turned my life upside down several years ago. The future I had envisioned abruptly ended. Additionally, I experienced two major deaths within six weeks of each other. First, my beloved and adored grandmother and secondly, my well-intentioned father. All were very different losses with different circumstances but all had the common thread; something and someone was lost to me. My world looked completely unfamiliar and I was lost without a compass.
It was during this period that my own journey of transition, self discovery and resourcefulness reinforced the need to provide support to others. Through my experience, I felt the continuum of feelings associated with loss while trying to make sense of how life would look given the trauma and the absence of things familiar. Furthermore, figuring out “Who am I?” without those relationships felt endless.
This process reminds me of a bud in bloom; initially so closed and small. Slowly, over time and through much work, I blossomed alongside my grief and was able to lean into new possibilities. I discovered ways to stay connected to my father and grandmother. I honored the gifts they provided to me. I found strength and hope in the face of the changes. I now know I can have periods of grief and yet carve out a life that has hope and meaning.
My passion for grief work has been steadfast since. My life’s work has always led me to supporting those facing death, bereavement and those experiencing loss and transition. I have continued to learn about the many layers of grief through my own experiences and through those who are courageous enough to share their stories with me. It is a gift to walk beside others on this vulnerable journey.
This is what I pass onto those on this path. It’s a process of balancing loss and yet still living. I teach how to sit with intense emotions and how to be creative in adapting to change. It is not a time to “get past” life changing events; rather it is a time to feel safe, to be vulnerable and share feelings and experiences. I provide hope and awareness while exploring creative ways to remain connected to those that have died and exploring new possibilities in loss.
I will support your journey as you discover your resilience and find your way in the world after loss
Permission to talk about your loved one in life
Allow space for sadness AND hope
Time of transition
Grief AND Remembrance
Use of non-traditional tools to challenge beliefs about grief/loss and consider new possibilities in your time of transition
Creating living after loss
“Recover From Grief”
- “Closure: The Rush to end Grief and what it costs us” by Nancy Burns
- “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser
- “Re-membering Lives” by Dr. Lorraine Hedtke
- “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life” by Thich Nhat Hanh
- “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by John W. James and Russell Friedman
- As a licensed Clinical Social Worker, my services qualify for patient reimbursement under most insurance plans. My fees are considered in the range of usual and customary. Although the choice to use insurance for reimbursement is yours, you may consider the following:
- Insurance companies are designed to reimburse for the treatment of illnesses. Therefore, a psychiatric diagnosis is usually required before any reimbursement will be given.
- Managed care companies control many facets of your therapy, including the medical necessity of care, the type of therapy they will cover and the duration and pace of therapy.
- All insurance companies require some personal information in order to facilitate processing your claim. Once this information is transmitted to your insurance company, there is no way to ensure that it will remain private and confidential.
Initial Assessment: $175
Follow Up: $150
All Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance accepted
Out-of- Network benefits accepted
Payment can be made with cash, credit card and Paypal.
I have known Bonnie in a professional and personal capacity for nearly twenty years.
Although Bonnie has numerous impressive traits, her most impressive is her ability to understand the personal nuances that are unique to each person with whom she comes into contact. I have personally observed her to be sensitive to the fact that sometimes a person does not always understand what or why he/she is feeling and/or behaving in a certain manner. Because of Bonnie’s education, training, experience and natural compassion to help people she takes the time to listen, evaluate, and respond appropriately, with compassion, to each person’s individual needs. Bonnie has the uncanny ability to help a person, even when that person is not sure what he/she needs.
Bonnie has helped my family through several devastating, unexpected tragedies. She was a source of information, education, and emotional support. Bonnie’s guidance, caring and “just being there” kept me from falling apart. Simply put, she is wonderful.
– Lolita James Martin, Esquire
Recently, during a tense time with a family member, I needed some guidance and Bonnie was the person I called. Listening without judging, she offered advice and insight that proved to be true, and very helpful. I wanted my side of the story to be heard, and she listened. A calm, reasonable voice in a time of turmoil, and we were grateful she was there.
– Karl Huber
Bonnie has been a valued and trusted source of comfort and support as she guided me through the depths of grief and loss from a divorce ending a 21 year relationship. Her genuine and caring approach allowed me to peel back the layers of grief that were troubling me and help my journey of self discovery and acceptance. It’s a long way to the top of the mountain from the valley of grief but her dedicated support helped me navigate a path to the summit of happiness and acceptance in my new life as a single dad.
– Sean Gallagher