Joanne Cacciatore (@dr_cacciatore) is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University in the School of Social Work and a counselor specializing in traumatic losses, most often the death of a child.
She is the founder and president of the international nonprofit organization, the MISS Foundation, providing counseling, advocacy, research, and education services to families experiencing the death of a child, and co-founder of the Selah Care Farm, the world’s first ever care farm dealing exclusively with traumatic grief.
As well as having her research published in a various peer reviewed journals she is the author “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” which won the 2017 Indies Book of the Year Award in self-help and made it into Oprah’s Basket of Favorite Things!
In today’s episode we discuss traumatic grief, and more specifically the experience of losing a child. Joanne shares her own experience of losing her baby daughter, and how this fuelled her desire to help other families going through the same.
Along the way we discuss how losing a child affects the family dynamic and issues such as blame, the importance of grieving rituals, the DSM 5’s misguided approach to grief, and how family and friends can best support a loved one dealing with such an unbearable personal tragedy.
Center for Loss and Trauma – Joanne’s main website
The MISS Foundation – A community of compassion and hope for grieving families
Selah Care Farm – The world’s first care farm dedicated to helping those enduring traumatic grief
The National Organisation of Parents of Murdered Children – For the families and friends of those who have died of violence
The Compassionate Friends – Supporting family after a child dies
Image courtesy: Paul Sableman