Pet Bereavement Counselors:
There are literally hundreds of people who are now counseling in pet bereavement, and it is not possible for the APLB to register them all. Some hesitate to be listed in any directory, others are first discovering the benefits of this wonderful service, and many more are still unknown to us. We welcome all new applicants to contact us directly by mail or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. This listing is arranged according to geographical location. We are pleased that every counselor registered here is a member of the APLB.
Kathleen Ayl, Psy.D.
5737 Kanan Road, Suite 108
Agoura Hills, California 91301
After receiving my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I became certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist. I have dedicated my practice to Grief Recovery, with my primary emphasis on Pet Loss Support since 1997. I function as a consultant, lecturer, support group facilitator and writer. I have written two books: Coping With The Loss of Your Pet and Grief And The Veterinary Team, and have been published in Pulse Magazine, an official publication of the Southern Califoria Veterinary Medical Association. I have lectured to several national and international veterinary organizations as well as various colleges and universities. I have Pet Loss Support Groups in and around the Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley and Ventura County areas. In addition, I offer individual consultations either in person, by phone or via the internet.
Lorri A. Greene, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Author
2058 Oxford Avenue
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California 92007
Fax: (760) 436-6798
Psychologist/Author. Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Author of Saying Good-bye to the Pet You Love, which is a self-help book for those who have loved and lost companion animals. License to practice psychology in California as well as a license in marriage family therapy. I offer twice monthly pet loss support groups. Emphasis is placed on both educating participants on the grieving process (using the Kubler-Ross model), as well as allowing participants to share their own personal story. The groups are interactive in nature, allowing everyone time to participate. I also offer individual counseling and therapy for those who wish it. Both modalities are based on sound psychological theories.
Castro Valley / Hayward
Rev. Nancy Schluntz, Interfaith Chaplain
The death of a companion animal can be devastating, and sometimes cause greater pain than the death of a human family member. Feeling guilt about the choice to euthanize a pet may add to the suffering. My own experience led me to change life direction to help others though the process of finding a “new normal” after the death of a beloved animal companion. I provide a safe environment and understanding support so that each person may find his/her unique path through grief to healing. Individual counseling is by phone and in person, and I offer a monthly pet loss support group.
As an ordained interfaith chaplain, trained to offer a compassionate presence at the bedside during the final stage of life, I subsequently facilitated grief support groups for children who had lost a parent, and completed certificates in Spiritual Psychology, Animal Chaplaincy, and APLB Pet Loss Bereavement Counseling.
Hermosa Beach / South Bay
Sandra R. Grossman, Ph.D.
I am a Certified pet loss and bereavement counselor, trained through the APLB. I hold a BA in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. After losing my beloved 17-year-old cat, Maz (Mazel Tov), in 2007, I became acutely aware of the depth of grief that the loss of an animal can cause in one’s life. My own experiences in working through the grief process in a Pet Loss Support Group and understanding that it is possible to heal from such a significant loss inspired me to change career paths and enter the field of pet loss support. I now help others who are anticipating the loss or who have recently lost a beloved pet.
I know first-hand the indelible imprint our pets leave on our hearts and how devastating the loss of a beloved pet can be. The healing effect of sharing our experience with others who are on the same path provides comfort in a safe environment and an opportunity to begin to return to a normal and productive life. I offer both Group and Individual counseling for Pet Loss/Anticipatory Pet Loss, in person, or by telephone.
Lani Chin, Psy.D.
11704 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 255
Los Angeles, California 90025-1504
I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, working with individuals, couples, and groups. While I earned my doctorate in psychology, I worked part-time at several veterinary offices. Through this, I was exposed to the experience of sitting with individuals having to make the difficult and heart breaking decision to say goodbye to their family member, in the most humane way possible. As I continued my work as a psychologist, I decided to combine my training with my experiences in the veterinary hospitals, which has led me to my work with individuals needing pet bereavement support.
My style of psychotherapy is supportive, open, engaging, and collaborative. I utilize psychodynamic approaches in an individualized and unique way, to tailor the therapy to meet your needs. Feel free to contact me via phone or by email.
Lisa Frankel, Ph.D., MFT
11850 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 201
Los Angeles, California 90025
Grief Counseling has been a focus in my private practice for almost 25 years. As an animal lover and a surviver of numerous pet losses, I have experienced how profound a connection we can have with our pets, and how wrenching their illness and death can be for us. Grief may be more difficult when complicated by guilt, regret, anger, or unfinished business. Many people get stuck in the grief process, are challenged by depression or anxiety, or may become isolated. Counseling can help people connect and communicate, develop effective life skills, and work through painful feelings, so they can heal and have full meaningful lives again.
I work with individuals, couples and groups in a supportive collaborative way, using both insight and cognitive behavioral therapy. My background in writing and art, and my yoga/meditation practice also influence my work. Reaching out takes courage. I welcome calls or e-mails regarding my practice and how I can help.
Los Angeles / San Gabriel
Sandra R. Grossman, Ph.D.
I am a Cetified Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor trained through the APLB. I hold a BA in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. After losing my beloved 17-year-old cat Maz (Mazel Tov) in 2007, I became acutely aware of the depth of grief that the loss of an animal can cause in one’s life. My own experiences in working through the grief process in a Pet Loss Support Group and understanding that it is possible to heal from such a significant loss inspired me to change career paths and enter the field of pet loss support. I now help others who are anticipating the loss or who have recently lost a beloved pet.
I know first-hand the indelible imprint our pets leave on our hearts and how devastating the loss of a beloved pet can be. The healing effect of sharing our experience with others who are on the same path provides comfort in a safe environment and an opportunity to begin to return to a normal and productive life. I offer both Group and Individual counseling for Pet Loss/Anticipatory Pet Loss, in person or by telephone.
Ellie Freedman, MFT
Certified Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor
1151 Dove Street, Suite 201
Newport Beach, California
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples and groups. My Siberian Husky, Jake, was my most trusted and skilled co-therapist until he had to retire at the age of 13. Together, we saw many people through their losses of family, friends and companion animals. Losing Jake when he was 15 years old had a profound effect on me, and I found comfort and support through the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) and their on-line, real-time chat rooms. I completed an internship and am now a volunteer Assistant Host. I also completed the APLB counselor training program, the only one of its kind, to become a Certified Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor.
I know first-hand the depth of the human/animal bond and the grief we experience when that bond is broken. Losing one’s pet can be devastating, and it is important to have the support of others who can help normalize our feelings and, in a safe and accepting environment, guide us through the grieving process to a return to our productive lives. I offer both Group and Individual counseling for Pet Loss, Anticipatory Pet Loss and Seniors and Pet Loss.
Julie Tenenberg, MA, MFT
4289 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 205
Oakland, California 94611
I am a psychotherapist and a Receive Your Life coach, with 14 years of experience in grief, depression, anxiety and life transition work. My approach is interactive, involving both educational support about the grieving process in a safe environment for each person to find his/her own path through healing grief. I also provide counseling and support for those who are facing end of life decisions for a pet who is dying.
Through my own personal experience since childhood I have experienced the special relationship and bond with animals, and the losses of these very special beings. I work with individuals, couples and families, and do sessions in my office, as well as on the phone.
Bonnie Goodman, MA
220 California Avenue, Suite 120
Palo Alto, California 94306
Credits: Certificate of Counselor Training (APLB); Nationally Board Certified Thanatologist/Grief Counselor (CT); Certificate of Completion: In Grief and Loss, U.C. Berkeley Extension School.
I have over 20 years of counseling experience. Individual and Couples Grief Counseling is provided in a caring and accepting environment, where people can receive non-judgmental support through the natural stages of their bereavement process. I respect and honor each person’s unique style of grieving, and offer strategies for healing, which will be individually tailored to each pet parents situation and personal style.
Melissa Lopez, MSW/LCSW
107 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 312
Pasadena, California 91105
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose speciality is bereavement — including pet loss. Having lost a beloved pet, I recognized that people whose pets die are not given the support that others get, whose family member or partner has died. Yet, pets are our family members and pets often times are partners in our life journey. The loss of a pet can symbolize the loss of unconditional love and acceptance. The void left must be healed before getting another pet. This process allows for one to honor the deceased pet and his or her impact on one’s life.
Cathy Wright, LCSW
595 East Colorado Boulevard, #423
Pasadena, California 91101
All loss can be painful. For some, the loss of a pet may equal the impact of the loss of a dear friend or relative, and the grief that results needs to be recognized and addressed. Pets can be our best friends, our source of comfort and soothing, and the main source of humor in our lives. They can also answer the need to be needed, help link us to other humans, and even serve as the silent, confidential witness to our own troubles. Therapy addresses the meaning of such profound loss, offers comfort for the pain, and helps participants acknowledge and move through the stages of grief.
I have been a psychotherapist for 20 years treating individuals, groups and couples with a wide array of problems and life challenges. I myself have lost a much-loved pet, and I bring the understanding of that loss to my grief work. I offer pet bereavement counseling in group and individual formats.
Ryan Horvath, MFT
126 Church Street
San Francisco, California 90503
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals and couples in San Francisco. I earned my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from New College of California. I specialize in working with those experiencing pet grief and loss and other pet relationships. Additionally, I do crisis work focusing on those with HIV/AIDS where loss and bereavement are a common area of focus.
Having an extensive background working with people and their pets in and out of the therapist’s office, I’m aware of the role pets play in our lives and understand and can relate to the devastation that occurs when one loses a pet. For additional information to explore if we can work together to help you cope in your time of need, please, call, email or refer to my website.
Ann L. Palik, MFT
3820 Del Amo Boulevard, Suite 208
Torrance, California 90503
Our pets give us so much: they listen to our secrets, entertain us, and give us unconditional love. When we lose such an important piece of our lives, it’s often hard to get support because others may not understand why we are so upset about losing “just an animal.” But it’s not whether our loved one was a person or an animal that determines our “right” to be upset. It’s the quality of the relationship and the level of our love. So in addition to sadness, anger, guilt, and perhaps pain from previous losses, we also may feel isolated and all alone with our pain.
If you have lost a special pet, you deserve support. There are issues unique to pet loss that do not exist with other types of losses. Facing the grief all alone can seem overwhelming. But the good news is that with the right support, you can navigate through the feelings and tasks of grieving and readjusting, and, in time, it does get better. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in grief counseling. I also co-lead a pet loss support group. I have spoken in the community on pet loss, and appeared as a pet loss specialist on the radio program “Talking Animals,” 88.9FM, KUCI, in Irvine.
Claire Chew, M.A. Grief Recovery Specialist
1129 Marco Place
Venice, California 90291
There is an unspoken bond that we share with our pets. The unconditional love, companionship, and joy they bring us is priceless. Equally hard is the heartache, loss and emptiness we feel when we lose our animal companion.
Having faced the death of her beloved companion Sophie, as well as immediate family members and other losses in life, Claire re-directed her career into one of coaching and guiding others through their grief and integrating loss with life long tools. With a MA in Spiritual Psychology, a certification in Grief Recovery, published author and speaker, Claire is a inspirational resource in one’s journey of integrating and healing from pet loss.