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Sheila K. Collins Ph.D.


Sheila K. Collins, Ph.D., knows grief, having lost a son to AIDS and a daughter to breast cancer, experiences she chronicled in her award-winning memoir, Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss and the Rituals that Heal, published by She Writes Press in 2013. Since then, she has become a grief advocate and international speaker and consultant, having identified many artful ways grief transforms our hearts, minds, and souls.

Sheila's 40-year career as a therapist, professor of social worker, and author has followed her experience as a professional dancer. Including wisdom gleaned from that career, she has guided thousands of people through the tough challenges life handed them—inspiring them to turn grief into a gift. She's also delighted audiences worldwide with demonstrations of how art-based expressions, such as dance, storytelling, song, and music, can help anyone turn life’s toughest challenges into growth. Her first book, revised in 2018 for a second edition, Stillpoint: A Self-Care Playbook for Caregivers to Find Ease, and Time to Breathe and Reclaim Joy, co-authored with Christine Gautreaux, has become the basis of a popular online course for family caregivers, school nurses, social activists, and other professional helpers. Her 2016 TEDx talk, When Death Threatens Someone We Love, Life Really Matters, offers a poignant perspective for anyone facing life-threatening illness and death. Sheila currently directs the Wing & A Prayer Pittsburgh Players, an InterPlay-based improvisational troupe that helps individuals and organizations to tell their stories in transforming ways and to accomplish their noble purposes. Sheila and her partner of 43 years, international consultant and leadership coach Richard Citrin, live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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