My heart shattered
broken into millions of pieces,
The day you died.
And because there was nothing else to do,
I let those shattered pieces land
softly in the world.
Then, when I could, again, breathe,
with a regular rhythm,
I noticed, quietly, painfully
the places where splintered shards of my heart
came to a rest.
Somewhere amidst the fragments of your too-brief-life,
reflecting ineluctable grief, I know
that your love is, by comparison,
so much more vast and infinite than my shattering.
-Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
Our carefarm is the first in the world for those enduring traumatic grief. It's only only one of a handful of carefarms in the entire United States. We use "carefarm" instead of "care farm" because none of our rescued farm animals are utilized for their products or for work. This is a sanctuary for them, and so we practice compassion and ahimsa through veganism and nonviolence toward all beings at the carefarm. The carefarming piece of the Cacciatore & Gorman (2016) model includes therapeutic agriculture and gardening, care for and connection to our 30 animals rescued from torture, abuse, and neglect, engagement with nature and ecotherapies, and green recreation. We do plenty of sweating, crying, and lifting here at Selah Carefarm. We also practice plenty of self-compassion, laughing, and putting things down in their places. This is a holy place and what happens here is ineffable.
The beautiful natural milieu of the carefarm is a wonderful place to begin a contemplative practice. Those who work here already have their own committed mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative prayer practices. Our team's practices allow for the open, compassionate, and non-judging experiences of our clients here. Those who want to learn are able to receive instruction on contemplative practices, grounding, unconscious process meditations, bibliotherapy, rituals, yoga or mindful movement, and individual and group counseling for traumatic grief and the ATTEND Model (Cacciatore, 2011) of care.
Psychoeducation is an important part of what we do. And taking good care of the body is part of the process of traumatic grief because it's such a physical experience too. When ready, clients of the carefarm will learn to eat clean and play dirty. We sweat, we move our bodies, and we work hard. Our counselors teach good sleep hygiene and stress resilience to help care for the body, mind, soul, and heart. When the body is healthy, coping with painful emotions is done with more ease. Compassion toward all, including the self, as well as the cultivation of self-awareness, integrating somatic health, exercise, sunshine, and the natural world, helps grievers feel more connected to self, to others, to all beings, and to the earth. We help our clients learn when they are ready.
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is a bereaved mother and the founder of the MISS Foundation, an international NGO that serves families whose children have died. She is also a tenured research professor at Arizona State University, spearheading the Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement. Her book, Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, is a national award winning best seller that has helped revolutionize the way our culture thinks, and feels, about grief. She works with and counsels families from around the world who have experienced catastrophic deaths. Dr. Jo is a vegan and hasn't eaten meat since 1972. Her ahimsa practice has helped her save the lives of many animals since she was a child. She also teaches meditation, mindfulness, and compassion practices to students and clients from around the world.
Dr. Gorman is a geographer and professor at Exeter University in the UK with particular interests in health, care, and medicine, and how these intersect with human-animal relations and more-than-human worlds. Rich’s research at present has involved exploring the dynamic interrelations between health and place, particularly, the roles of animals within various caring and health-promoting practices, seeking to understand how human-animal relations can affect people’s and animals' capacities to thrive and flourish.
Roshi Genmitsu holds a Swiss masters degree in Adult Education, is certified in Psycho-Somatic Counseling and is a certified Provider in Compassionate Bereavement Care. She is an esteemed meditation teacher and specializes in Pastoral Counseling, mindfulness practices, and rituals.
Paul has provided 30 years of leadership in NY and NJ developing quality, hospital-based and free-standing mental health programs for underserved populations. He was appointed as a team member to write treatment standards for the State of NJ on co-occurring conditions of mental illness and addiction. For the past 25 years he has had a private practice in psychotherapy specializing in trauma, and also is certified in Compassionate Bereavement Counseling. Additionally he is a pioneer in Zen Buddhism, known as Roshi Paul Genki Kahn, a Buddhist priest, a lineage holding Zen Buddhist teacher, and co-founder with his wife, Roshi Monika Genmitsu Kahn, of the Zen Garland Order.
Dr. Jennifer Huberty is a bereaved mother and a research professor at Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions. She is part of our research team, assisting us in data collection and analyses. She is also a yoga teacher and is helping plan and build Raine's Walk, a meditative river path, on the Selah Carefarm.
Dr. Kara Thieleman received her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 2005 and her MSW from Arizona State University in 2011 with a specialization in adult health and mental health. She also completed ASU’s Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement in 2011. She has experience as a grief counselor for bereaved parents at the MISS Foundation and as a hospice social worker.
Grace Jackson, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist who graduated summa cum laude from California Lutheran University with degrees in political science and biology, as well as a Masters in Public Administration. She earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado in 1996, followed by specialty training in psychiatry while serving in the U.S. Navy. For more than eighteen years, Dr. Jackson has approached her work from the perspective of a clinical toxicologist in recognition of the harmful effects of prescription drugs. An avid researcher and occasional writer, she is the author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent and Drug Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime. Dr. Jackson’s professional experience has included national and international testimony as an expert witness, as well as clinical service in a wide variety of treatment settings. As the interim director of the inpatient behavioral health unit at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, Az, she acquired invaluable experience in geriatric psychiatry and dementia, experientially confirming the benefits of her philosophical approach known as PharmARRU: Pharmaceutical Avoidance, Reduction, and Responsible Use. Dr. Jackson currently provides hospital and ER consultations to a wide range of healthcare systems across the country.
Gabor Maté, M.D. has worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site for more than twelve years. With more than 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research, Dr. Maté is a sought-after speaker and teacher, regularly addressing health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America. He has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. He is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a non-profit that focusses on addiction. Dr. Maté received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
Beth DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S., A.B.O.I.M., is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in diseases of the breast, with additional board certification in integrative medicine. She is a nationally recognized breast cancer expert who has chosen to bring her 26 years of experience and surgical expertise to the Verde Valley. Dr. DuPree earned her medical degree from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and her undergraduate degrees in behavioral neuroscience and the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. Her first book, “The Healing Consciousness: A Doctor’s Journey to Healing,” was released in 2006 to excellent reviews by Christiane Northrup, M.D., and Bernie Siegel, M.D, among other well-known experts in the women’s health field. She has traveled throughout the United States and globally to train countless physicians in breast surgical oncology techniques.Her numerous honors include the Clara Barton Humanitarian Award from the American Red Cross for her ongoing contributions to the treatment of breast cancer. She was selected by her peers for Philadelphia Magazine’s TOP DOCS in Surgery in 2016 and 2017.
Sarah, bereaved mom of Noah, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a practicing school social worker. Sarah received her B.A. in English from the University of Vermont in 1997 and her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work in 2000. For the past 20 years, Sarah has worked with children, adults, groups, and families, in a variety of settings, providing therapeutic intervention, crisis response and support. In her therapeutic work with those she serves, Sarah integrates expressive arts, mindfulness, and meditation. Sarah has been a facilitator and volunteer for the MISS Foundation for several years and in 2014 became a Certified Provider of Compassionate Bereavement Care. Sarah facilitates a MISS Foundation support group in Arizona for bereaved parents and grandparents.
Terri Waibel, MSW, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and a certified provider of Compassionate Bereavement Care®. She has been working and volunteering in the field of social work for more than 14 years. As the founder and owner of the private practice Center for Compassion, LLC she specializes in providing therapeutic support to individuals, children and families enduring traumatic grief after a sudden, unexpected, or out of order death of a beloved family member. She is simultaneously honored and heartbroken to be present with grievers and proud to call herself a grief activist. In October 2018, Terri was recognized with the prestigious Athena award in the Young Professional category with the Greater Phoenix Chamber, being honored for her commitment to leadership, community service, and mentorship. Terri’s civic engagement and volunteerism extend to several local community organizations as she is an integral volunteer with the MISS Foundation serving bereaved parents and families, Justa Center as an Executive Board member, and ASU School of Social work as a Community Advisory Board Member. She also teaches advanced direct psychotherapy practice courses at ASU. She is a bereaved mother and bereaved sister and facilitates a MISS Foundation support group in Arizona.
Matthew Klein, D.O. is a psychiatrist specializing in adolescent and young adult well-being. After graduating from medical school at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Klein completed a residency and fellowship from the Maricopa Integrated System in Phoenix in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry. Prior to medical school, Dr. Klein worked for years in a youth substance abuse treatment center. During this time, he experienced the profound healing power of relationships and learned of the significant role relationships play in recovery and wellbeing. He continues to learn about and has become involved in integrative and alternative medicines to be able to provide as wholistic approach to care as possible.
Dr. Jim McDonald is a veterinarian with 35 years of practice experience in the Verde Valley. He is a third generation native Arizonan. He attended Northern Arizona University and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in microbiology and chemistry. He then attended Colorado State University and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1984. He met his future wife Jana at NAU and together they owned and ran a mixed practice in Camp Verde, Anasazi Animal Clinic until 2006. Upon selling that practice they established EIEIO Professional Services, a mobile predominantly large animal practice. In addition to his private practice, Dr. McDonald has been active in both state and national veterinary organizations serving on the board of directors and executive board of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association including serving as President of that organization in 2002-2003. He was the Alternate Delegate /Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association from 2009 to 2016. In 2016, he was honored to be inducted into the Arizona Veterinary Medical Hall of Fame for his service to the profession. Jim and Jana have three grown daughters who are fourth generation Arizonans and successful professionals in their own careers. He has been taking care of Chemakoh since his rescue, and now takes care of all the Selah Carefarm animals.
Venessa is a bereaved mum of Dan and the co-founder of Journeys Upstream and the Daniel John Coleman Memorial Fund. She received her degree in education from the University of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) before emigrating to the United States in 1980. She taught pre-school through 7th Grade and served as an administrator for a private school in southern California. In her early 30’s, Venna began a path of deeper inquiry and spiritual self-discovery and created a body of work, Soul Genesis Training Programs, which she taught nationally and internationally for over 20years. She has volunteered with hospice, in shelters for women and children at risk, and together with her family created scholarship programs for graduating high school seniors. The sudden death of Daniel in 2017, has opened her to the powerful, intimate and unavoidable path of love and grief. This journey has brought her a depth of human experience no studies provided, and her desire is to now serve those heart-broken and thus forever heart-opened. Venessa is blessed to share her upstream journey with her beloved husband, her kind-hearted brother, and her magical daughter, whilst surrounded by the heart and soul gifts her son Dan has left with them.
Dr. Will Tuttle is author of the acclaimed Amazon #1 best-seller, The World Peace Diet, published in 15 languages worldwide. A visionary educator and inspirational speaker, he has presented widely throughout the world, and is a recipient of the Peace Abbey's prestigious Courage of Conscience Award, as well as the Empty Cages Award. A vegan since 1980, he is a frequent radio, television, and online presenter and writer. He is featured in the acclaimed documentary film Cowspiracy as well as the other films such as Animals and the Buddha and Vegan Everyday Stories. The editor of a recent book on the intersectionality of social justice issues, Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice, Dr. Tuttle is also the co-founder of the non-profit Circle of Compassion and the Worldwide Prayer Circle for Animals. He is the creator of several wellness and advocacy training programs, and co-creator of VeganPalooza, the largest online vegan event. Dr. Tuttle received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition and altruism in adults, and he has taught college courses in creativity, humanities, mythology, religion, and philosophy. He is a former Zen monk and a Dharma Master in the Korean Zen tradition and lectures extensively at college campuses, festivals, spiritual centers, conferences, and peace, social justice, animal protection, health, and environmental gatherings.
Sarah Hauer graduated from Bellarmine College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and attained her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College.
She has earned a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, a National Board certification in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. This board certification is awarded by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or NCCAOM. Sarah is also licensed by the State of Arizona to practice acupuncture. Sarah has been practicing traditional Chinese medicine for more than 20 years. She has owned two successful practices and has been practicing in Sedona, Arizona for the past 16 years. She treats each person individually, using well honed skills of pulse and tongue diagnosis. Sarah has been voted "Best" by her community in both practices. With 20 years experience and more than 18 years in private practice, she offers in depth, thorough, professional and caring treatment. The herbal pharmacy includes custom formulas, tablets, capsules, and granules. With over 1000 hours in Chinese herbal study, Sarah prescribes effective formulas that treat the branch (symptom) and the root (cause) of imbalance. In-depth interviews and follow-ups with herbal modifications are vital to continued healing. She practices with her husband of 33 years, Sig Hauer. They are an integral part of their community. They volunteer! Mental health clinics, veteran centers, geriatric communities. They traveled to India and treated in Tibetan refugee camps, and developed a non profit to support their work. Their experience is extensive. Sarah and Sig are passionate about their work and helping people!
Karla, bereaved mom of Theo, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), internationally certified yoga therapist, (C-IAYT), registered yoga teacher (RYT), award winning author, and a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider. Counseling and supporting those living with traumatic grief and bereavement is her main focus of work. Her book, Yoga for Grief & Loss, is a wonderful adjunct to any practice. Karla teaches the Compassionate Bereavement Care-Yoga provider certification course with Dr. Cacciatore every year and she facilitates a support group in Richmond, Virginia for grieving parents.
Jesse studied Human Development at Cornell University, and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has spent the past decade working with babies and their parents, helping moms and dads enter into parenting feeling confident and supported. Jesse also has masters degrees in both Non-Profit Management (Hebrew Union College) and Public Administration (USC). Her early career life was spent working within the Jewish community, strategizing and fundraising for numerous non profit and community organizations. Of all of her experiences, none has taught Jesse more about herself or the world than the sudden and tragic death of her youngest son, Gidi, at age 5. Jesse lives in Los Angeles where she shares her life with her wonderful husband, her incredible two living children, and beautiful Gidi’s magical spirit.
Virginia Miller is a Masters student in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. She is part of the research team and assists in data collection and analyses. Her thesis is centered on understanding the connections generated on the Selah Carefarm and what these connections mean to grieving families. She is interested in relationships between humans and nature and the interplay of impacts that humans, animals, and nature have on one another.
Angela DeBenedetto is a Masters of Social Work student at Arizona State University. In addition to interning, and now volunteering, on the carefarm, Angela provides support to children and families within the foster care system where she has worked for 8 years.She is a long-term vegetarian who, since interning on the carefarm, has adopted a vegan diet. One aspect that Angela enjoys most about her work on the carefarm has been connecting with the animals, and observing the unconditional love and tender connection between the abused animals and bereaved families.
Emma Jones is a Master of Social Work student at Arizona State University. Emma is a bereaved sister, and her passion for interning at the carefarm is deeply impacted by her love and longing for her brother and sister. Emma continues to learn about carefarming, contemplative practice, and physical well-being through her experiences at the farm. The privilege of compassionately sharing these experiences with other bereaved individuals as they navigate their own journeys with grief is one that she holds dear. Alongside her internship at the carefarm, Emma has been providing community-based support and counseling services to families from the Gila River Indian Community for 4 years.
Bambam is our resident vegan chef, caretaker of the animals, and lifter of many heavy things. He's currently learning about carefarming as a therapeutic community and mentors other grieving children and young adults. He is a former professional basketball player with the ABA and spent years coaching younger children. His sister died 25 years ago, and her death profoundly affected his life.