Donald Meichenbaum on Coping with Loss and Traumatic Bereavement

Donald Meichenbaum on Coping with Loss and Traumatic Bereavement

by Lawrence Rubin
Join renowned clinician and researcher Donald Meichenbaum in a riveting and very personal conversation with our editor, Lawrence Rubin, on grief, trauma, bereavement, and resilience.


Get Endless Inspiration and
Insight from Master Therapists,
Members-Only Content & More


Lawrence Rubin: Hi, Don. Thanks so much for joining me today. You are most widely known for your foundational work in developing CBT but it is equally important that our readers know that for these last 35 years, you have been the director of research at the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment in Miami, Florida.
Donald Meichenbaum: (DM) Thank you for the invitation.
LR: You had previously requested that my first question be about the tragic and unexpected death of your wife, Marianne?

The Irony of a Trauma Specialist’s Tragic Loss

my wife was tragically hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing
We were married 58 years. My wife and I were vacationing in Clearwater, Florida, escaping the snows of Buffalo, where our permanent home is. My wife was tragically hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing. You know they have flashing lights, and this is sort of a warning sign. She was hypervigilant about not trusting people to stop, so obviously she would not have stepped off the curb if the vehicle had not stopped. But for whatever reason, the vehicle continued on and hit her. And in fact, she was lifted by a helicopter from Clearwater down to the trauma center in Saint Pete.

I had called her on her cell phone thinking that she was late because she had a Zoom yoga meeting that she usually attended. I got a male voice, and he indicated that she had been hit and taken by helicopter down to the trauma center, but they would provide me with a police car to drive to the trauma center. I got there and the trauma physician indicated that she had already died. I asked to see her, went in and she was covered by a sheet. I pulled down the sheet, and she was pretty messed up from the accident.

I’ve worked with head injured, so I've been involved in seeing such incidents. Remarkably, her hand was still warm when I caressed it. There was a chaplain sitting next to us and I asked her to take a picture of me holding her hand. I actually sent that picture to my daughter-in-law who made it into a pillow. So, it was a traumatic bereavement kind of situation.

The irony is that morning I was giving a Zoom lecture for therapists in China on how to cope with traumatic bereavement and prolonged and complicated grief. And by four o'clock that afternoon, I was living my lecture. So, one of the interesting aspects of all this, and I'd be happy to discuss it with you, is what is the immediate and more long-term impact on an individual such as myself, who is in some sense is an expert on the area of interventions — having developed cognitive behavioral techniques.

Interestingly, there are hundreds of these kinds of accidents, many in Florida, of people — for whatever reason, where the driver is not complying with the pedestrian crossing. And there are multiple accidents and deaths in this particular way. So, the issue of traumatic bereavement as compared to a kind of prolonged complicated grief is an issue that I have been preoccupied with. And moreover, I'll just add this final note before we open it up for your further questions. There are two aspects that are really quite fascinating in the aftermath of such traumatic bereavement.

One has to do with dealing with the grief. And the other aspect that is not readily discussed by clinicians is the sequelae that follow the sudden death of a loved one. And I will give both you and the readers to this presentation, a keyword that will change your life forever. This is the most important thing you should take away from our discussion. And the one word that you need, Larry, that will change your life if you do not already have it in your repertoire, is “passwords.” If you do not have the password of your significant other who died in a traumatic fashion, you are screwed.   
if you do not have the password of your significant other who died in a traumatic fashion, you are screwed
You'll lose access to everything.
DM: Yeah, right. So, at a moment of intimate repose for your listener, they should lean over to their loved one and say, “I love you, but do you know our passwords and how to retrieve them?” So, you know I can fill you in and turn this into a kind of therapy session? And tell you the kind of trauma events, both dealing with the aftermath of the loss of my wife, but also the police reports, the autopsy reports, the life insurance, the banking, all of the credit cards — everything that goes with it.

And the interesting thing is, if you are a clinician, one of the things you do in helping me is assessing, what is the lingering impact of this, what was the aftermath like? But it's unlikely that you would have done that and asked does your social life change, and then a whole bunch of other questions that I've put together. In fact, the lecture that I was giving that morning to Chinese therapists, that entire 80-page handout that I provided them with is available to your listeners.

So, if they go to Google – Meichenbaum, Donald, Melissa, Institute – they will be able to download my 80-page tool plus other items on how to treat individuals who have traumatic bereavement and prolonged and complicated grief. So, if there's anything I say that might be of help, I'm glad for that. And moreover, if there are people who want to contact me, they could do so through the Institute.   
LR: I'm fascinated by the one word that you said clinicians, spouses, partners, family members should know, which is “password.” What's the significance of imparting that piece of wisdom of knowing your partner's password? And how did it play out in your journey?
dealing with loss, grieving, traumatic bereavement, and mourning has to be on the top agenda of every clinician
To access a number of accounts, my life was such that my wife Marianne was a wonderful wife, a very competent person. She was an actress, and she was a June Taylor dancer. She looked after all of our finances. I'm not a very competent person other than psychology. I'm a really good psychologist. I know a lot.

But when it comes to life, she was what I would characterize as my surrogate frontal lobe. And therefore, I never knew how to run appliances or bank machines or any of these kinds of things, and she looked after it. So, to gain access to that information, you really need the passwords. Fortunately, I have four wonderful children who are competent and loving and supportive, and that helped a great deal. So, we were able to, over a lengthy period of time — trust me, it took more than an entire year — to settle accounts related to adaptive functioning and financial issues and the like.

I won't trouble you and your audience, but to highlight how unfriendly, how totally unfriendly the system is, to the 1,000,000 people who lost loved ones due to COVID. You know, the 20,000 individuals who died by interpersonal violence. You know, the incidence of mass shootings and all the other kinds of episodes, you know, the 48,000 who have to survive the suicidal death of a loved one. So, this discussion is absolutely remarkably timely, let alone the loss of natural disasters. I mean, just think of all the people at Maui whose lives are just upturned, and the many wars and the like. So, dealing with loss, grieving, traumatic bereavement, and mourning has to be on the top agenda of every clinician.  

Difficult Therapeutic Conversations

LR: Working with adult children of elderly parents, clinicians have to enter conversations about what their plans are with and for them. And it seems to really behoove clinicians to engage these clients about the possibility of traumatic loss and unanticipated loss without pre-traumatizing them. How can we do that?
we, as therapists, need to be person-centered rather than protocol driven
We have to remind ourselves that what makes us effective therapists is the quality and nature of the therapeutic alliance that we establish, maintain, and monitor with our clients. So, to answer your question, I would advise clinicians to not enter that discussion without the permission of their clients. If I were in that situation, I would say something like, “I recently had a personal loss and I had a lot of lessons that I learned. And I was wondering if you would be interested or willing for me to share those.” So, my notion of being a good therapist is always to solicit permission from my clients, no matter what it is I want to ask. The third thing I would do is to say that, “you should feel free if this is not a good time or this is what we want to do, to put you in charge.” Remember that we, as therapists, need to be person-centered rather than protocol driven.

So, it sounds like, Larry, you had a whole bunch of to-do tasks that you think this elderly client or loved one should go through, right? You said you don't want to traumatize them. Well, I agree totally. You know, so treat them with the same respect that you would want.   
LR: How do we have conversations with our clients who may not even have elderly parents, but who are aware that they live in a world where there are dangers around every corner. How do you help clients prepare for the unpredictable without pre-traumatizing them?
DM: I have a kind of style of therapy, and I've actually highlighted this. I just put together a legacy course on what makes people expert therapists. As it turns out, 25 percent of therapists get 50 percent better results and have 50 percent fewer dropouts. So, my legacy course is, what characterizes those 25 percent of people and how can I elevate clinicians to that level? I have a kind of interpersonal style of respectful curiosity. And I really want to convey that to the client and wonder if they're curious as well.

I might say things like, we live in — how should I describe it — precarious times. With the COVID epidemic, with unpredictable violence, with multiple disasters and I must confess that I personally wondered to myself, and I wondered if you wondered to yourself about, given the unpredictability of life ever occurring, are we and our loved ones prepared for that? I mean, that's my style of interacting. So, what I'm doing in that is actually sharing the rationale, and I'm extending an invitation.

My client might choose to take that invitation or not. And moreover, if I am going to see that person again in the future, all I want to do is plant the seed, then I will be able to follow up. I would say maybe this isn't the right time or I'm not the right person. But as I look around, I think it might be advisable. And even something as simple as knowing the password of your loved one might be a good starting point. So that's my way of engaging people.   
the key, or perhaps the challenge, is to deal with difficult issues in a non-traumatic engendering fashion
As simple as that. Simple, but complete.
DM: The key, or perhaps the challenge, is to deal with difficult issues in a non-traumatic engendering fashion.

Lessons on Grieving through Personal Loss

LR: In what ways, looking back, has your own clinical work and research helped you in your journey of grieving?
DM: Now that I've talked about the sequalae, let me take a moment and talk about the grieving thing. One of the things that's really important for your audience to know — and there's good research by George Bonanno and others that in the aftermath of loss — is that whether it's due to traumatic, violent episodes like this, or whether it's due to more prolonged, complicated grief as a result of having someone who's been ill for a long period of time; there's an expectation and different kinds of deaths have different kinds of impact.

The bottom line is you need to recognize that most people are highly resilient. If you look at the data, most people don't develop prolonged and complicated grief. So, the key aspect is, what distinguishes those who do versus those who don't? And I even wrote a book called Roadmap to Resilience, that examines this and deals with it. In fact, your audience is welcome, in honor of my wife's death, to view this and also my legacy course in her memory. So that's one way of transforming pain into something good that will come of it.

And in fact, the Roadmap to Resilience has been downloaded for free on the Internet by 45,000 people in 138 countries. So now, let's get to the heart of your question. In fact, George Bonanno wrote a really nice book called The Other Side of Sadness, which I recommend. It's a nice little extrapolation on the kind of resilience engendering behavior. Therese Rando has also developed a concept that I'd like to comment on, that she calls “STUGs,” Sudden Temporary Upsurges in Grief.”

And in monitoring my own behavior, since I'm a psychologist and good observer, I've tracked my own STUGs. These kind of substantial or sudden kinds of upsurges of grief. And there are two kinds of STUGs in my life that I've discovered that have important clinical implications. The first STUGs are sort of sudden and unexpected. A song comes up, an invitation comes up to go to dinner with someone who doesn't know about my wife's loss. A couple walks by holding hands and lovingly convey their intimate connection.

And that hits me in an unexpected way. I'm moved to tears, and I have a sense of loss and the like. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I've come to believe that each tear that I experience in loss is not only a reflection of the loss and the grief and how much I miss her and the like, but it's also a tear of appreciation. Of how lucky I was and grateful to have her in my life all these years. And then, I would have never had this career and all that without her. I'm a cognitive behavior therapist, so the whole thing is not that you cry, not that you feel losses.

It's what is the story you tell yourself and others about that emotion? Each of us, each of your readers of this interview are not only Homo Sapiens, but they're Homo Narrans. That we're actually all storytellers. And the nature of the story we tell will determine — I'm going to suggest — whether you fall into the 20 percent who develop prolonged and complicated grief, or you're part of the 70 to 80 percent who, in spite of the loss, everlasting loss, your STUG is this kind of sudden reminder.   
the bottom line is you need to recognize that most people are highly resilient
DM: I sort of expect them, but they come out of the blue, right? The other kind of STUG which is interesting is something that's a reflection of a prolonged type of routine or activity that we would have engaged in. So, I'm in Cape Cod, one of the things we would do is go down and have our sunset drink on the beach. A saxophone player would often be playing in the background from their beach house, you know, some Cape Cod song that we would have toasted to, kind of thing.

Or we have our favorite restaurant, or our favorite hike or something like that. And I'm now doing those activities on my own. There's another really interesting aspect to this, and that is, is the person who's surviving the death, male or female? Okay, so most of my social contacts here in Cape Cod, and in other places, are a derivative of my being a partner of Marianne. So, she had a remarkable social network. She was just lovable and likable. There wasn't anyone who didn't fall in love with my wife.

And when she died, those social contacts sort of evaporated. People sort of give you occasional email and a “how are you doing?” But you don't get invited to the same social occasions or dinners or other kinds of activities, so your network is really an important issue. And the important predictor here, especially among men, is loneliness. Okay, and there's a higher incidence of husbands dying soon after the death of their wife, about 30 percent and so forth, and having other kinds of physical ailments than the other way around.

And then you need to distinguish between loneliness and isolation. Some people choose to isolate — they like being alone and so forth. Loneliness is yearning for this. And so first of all, in the aftermath of both traumatic bereavement and in terms of the mourning process, that becomes important. The other thing that your readers should take away is that there are no stages of grieving. So Kubler-Ross and Ron Kessler's stuff about going through stages has no scientific basis for it.  

the expectation on the part of the clinician that people need to go through stages, and the failure to do so is a sign of pathology, is indeed problematic and possibly stress-engendering
And not only do you not have the five stages, but the expectation on the part of the clinician that people need to go through stages, and the failure to do so is a sign of pathology, is indeed problematic and possibly stress-engendering. So, when people don't get angry, okay, then it's deniable or they can't handle their emotions. And I had a pretty good cause to be angry. This happened in Florida, okay? So, the guy who killed my wife got fined 160 dollars and lost his license for three months.

That was the total consequence. Not only that, in Florida — this is a wonderful state to live in if you're going to retire — you don't have to have liability insurance on your car. Okay? All you need to do is pay insurance up to 10,000 dollars. The helicopter cost of taking my wife from Clearwater to the trauma center was 68,000 dollars. So not only do I have, look, how much time do we have? You want me to go on and on? So, what am I going to do? And anger we know, gets in the way of processing trauma memories. Of all the emotions, that's the one you don't want to give up to. And that's the one that clinicians should ask about in the aftermath.

So, if you go to the handout that I have, I have put together the most important diagnostic questions that clinicians should ask. Yeah, I give workshops on grief, and I actually bring my pillow and tell people. And I ask, if I'm your client, Larry, what questions do you think you should ask me? You're a gifted clinician. What do you think are the most important questions you should ask me to see whether I'm going to develop prolonged grief disorders? Because there are now effective treatments. Shearer and others have created really good cognitive behavioral interventions, when I go on and on and review all the literature. So, I can make this a two-way street. I could ask you, what question do you think you should ask me first? 
I've come to believe that each tear that I experience in loss is not only a reflection of the loss and the grief and how much I miss her and the like, but it's also a tear of appreciation
What comes to mind is, how has your life changed?
DM: Wrong question!
LR: Okay, I could probably guess 20 times wrong.
DM: No, no. The first thing you should ask is, “how long ago has this occurred.” Okay, if this happened like last week or last month, that's different than if it occurred a year ago. Okay? You know, and then there's a whole set of questions you could ask about the circumstances, like you did at the outset. Okay, so getting to the notion of how you handle this has a kind of implied judgment on your part that I should be handling it.

So, am I going to tell you how bad off I am or am I going to say oh, it's not that bad, right? So, you have to establish a good therapeutic alliance with me, where I'm going to be open and honest. You know, I have trust engendering things, so I don't know what your agenda is. Anyway, go to my handout.  
LR: I will. I will. 
DM: Please, I didn't mean to put you on the spot.
the field of psychotherapy is absolutely filled with bullshit
It's refreshing and intimidating at the same time. What other guidance are you offering to clinicians who maybe are sheepish about asking the questions, or will not openly receive or seek out clients who have experienced loss? 
DM: The first thing — over and above the comment on stages — is that the field of psychotherapy is absolutely filled with bullshit. I wrote an article with Scott Lilienfeld called, How to Spot Hype in the Field of Psychotherapy. The next thing for therapists to understand is that the various therapeutic procedures are equivalent in outcome, and that there are no winners in the race. So that's the next thing, just don't believe the hype in these workshops where these people are saying that, “X, Y, and Z works better.”

That traumatic bereavement is a common response, will lead to grief and mourning that leads to deteriorating performance is just not the case. So, the second thing that's really important is that you need to ascertain from the client how to do therapy in a culturally and religiously, and gender-related kind of fashion. You need to ask the person — in my case, whether I've had other losses besides Marianne. You need to make me a consultant to you. Okay. And then you need to probe. How did I handle those? And is there anything I learned from them? So, you need to see me as a client as a resource person rather than someone you're going to treat because you went to some workshop. Okay! 

And apropos of the loss and transition website by Neimeyer and colleagues, they have a lot of techniques. Some of them are expressive. Some of these are customary activities that people engage in. So, you, the clinician, need to honor the way in which I want to cope with grief. Okay? And I recently went to a workshop by Mary Francis O'Connor who wrote a book on the grieving brain. And you need to recognize that some of the losses that people experience are natural and a reflection of love.

so don't pathologize people's grief or their coping techniques
So don't pathologize people's grief or their coping techniques. If I want to avoid certain activities, I don't go and get rid of the clothing and so forth. And there was a movie that Tom Hanks made that his wife produced called, A Man Called Otto. It's a bit of a Hollywood version, but they did a really good job on talking at the gravesite. And doing the thing on the clothes. Here's a wonderful thing that happens. When I cleaned out my wife's closet, I found out that for the five years that we courted each other, we had written letters. And mind you, that was 1961. She saved all those letters. In 1961, a stamp was four cents. I read those letters as if she was present, each night I take out a couple. I'm now up to 1963, you know that stamps now cost $0.08 in 1963? Her presence, my storytelling, my doing this interview, my reading the letters, are all my own personal ways to honor her memory. The fact that I put the Roadmap to Resilience online for free in her memory.

If you go to the Melissa Institute website, if you're interested, if you like this interview, go there and make a donation in my wife's name. We've already raised 25,000 dollars for the Institute against violence prevention for her. I'm now in the midst of having done this legacy course of ten one-hour lectures on what makes someone an expert therapist, and then how to take those core principles and the transtheoretical behavior change principles and apply them to a whole host of diverse problems like grief and PTSD and anger and the like.

Each of those courses is only going to cost 150 dollars. Okay, that's 15 dollars per CEU. All that money is going to go to the Institute in memory of Marianne. So, if you want more of what we're talking about, track down this legacy course. If you do, there’s the likelihood you'll be in the 25 percent group and you'll be able to honor my wife's memory. You get CEU's for cheap.  

The Role of Resilience in Healing through Grief

LR: You mentioned something earlier on, Don, about resilience as one of the really powerful predictors of how someone will move through their grief journey. Can you say a little bit about what a resilient griever looks like?
DM: In the aftermath of trauma or victimization, and with regard to whatever form it takes, resilience has been equivalated with notions of the ability to bounce back and with dealing with ongoing adversities. And it deals with the notion of personal growth. Margaret Stroebe and her colleagues have an interesting distinction within which people oscillate. That is, they have a variety of coping responses that are loss-oriented or restorative, and future-oriented. One of the things that's interesting is that people can deal with it as a kind of Viktor Frankl type of observation.

people could deal with any kind of how in their life, as long as they have a kind of why in their life
That people could deal with any kind of how in their life, as long as they have a kind of why in their life. Some sense of meaning, making purpose. This fits into my constructive narrative perspective that everyone is a Homo Narrans, or a storyteller. So, one of the things that becomes really interesting is how people transform their loss into some kind of effort to help others. So how did the Melissa Institute come about and my involvement therein? So, in the tragic killing of their daughter, Melissa, when she was at college in Saint Louis at Washington University, they have transformed the last 28 years – her loss — into a meaning-making activity.

You can go to the Trevor Project on suicide. You can go to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. There are numerable examples, I give multiple websites of how people have transformed their pain into something good. That doesn't mean that you don't continue to have an everlasting sense of grief. There's nothing wrong with grief. It's like any other emotion. The key is, what do people do with that emotion? Do they withdraw? Do they isolate? Do they become lonely? Do they use addictions? Do they self-medicate?

So, the key question is not, apropos of the resilience, or that people grieve. The fact that people are in touch with their grief is, in fact, a sign of resilience, right? It's coming to, how do they honor? How do they memorialize? I deal a lot with returning soldiers. And the other kind of thing is that there are different kinds of losses. There's loss of people, but there's a thing called missing loss also. Like imagine people who have individuals who go missing in action. You don't know if they're dead right, or in Maui — you know, they haven't found certain bodies. I mean, does that mean, is there more?

How do I, do I sort of get preoccupied and ruminate about the loss of my loved one, and how I wasn't there? If I have guilt, shame, humiliation, if I have anger, if these kinds of negative emotions are that which drives me, then that's the person, those are the folks who are going to be more likely to get stuck, who have hot cognitions and the like. So, you can talk about resilience being the absence of negative stuff, or resilience could be the restorative process on the other end. I don't know if I'm getting close to your concerns, but...   
LR: That resilience, and there are certain personality attributes and certain experiences that predispose people to resilient ways of being, and those people are probably in a better place to move forward in their lives after a loss.
people who have had a prior major depressive disorder are significantly more likely to develop prolonged and complicated grief
Here's one of the things I failed to mention. The research indicates that people who have had a prior major depressive disorder are significantly more likely to develop prolonged and complicated grief. So, when I was asking the question, I ask, “Have you had similar losses in the past” and so forth? What we could do is look for vulnerability factors, okay, that are red flags as another tip. To see who would warrant evidence-based interventions, we're pretty good.

If you look at my core task, there's a whole way of how we, as therapists, do psychoeducation to educate people about grief. Or how do we help them develop various kinds of coping strategies? And how do we get them to follow through? The big thing is how do you get people who need help to want to come for help? And help them stay there? That's the artistry of therapists.
LR: Is it more likely that those who have historically reached out to others for help, who have built lives that are rich in community, are just naturally predisposed?
DM: Well, a lot. There's a fair amount of research by Camille Wortman and Roxanne Silver. Obviously, one of the building blocks for resilience is relationships. I mentioned I have four loving kids who really came to support, I have other people — professionally and others — who've come to support. But Wortman then really found a whole bunch of things that people do that are unproductive, that actually make people worse.

They have identified a variety of things that people provide support for, and actually make people worse. Like moving on statements. Things like, “You're still a young, attractive, bright guy. You'll find someone. How much longer before you die, You'll be able to join him. This was God's mission, He knew something.” So, there are lots of things that social support people offered, so that's one of the questions you need to ask.   

if you're a really good therapist, let your patients teach you how to do therapy
What, if anything, have people done or failed to do that you found helpful or unhelpful, right? Because you want to make sure that you, the therapist, aren't doing something that I perceive as being unhelpful. So, if you're a really good therapist, let your patients teach you how to do therapy. Don't think just because you went to graduate school or took some workshop that you know how. Ask your patient, “What do you think is causing you to still have this lingering grief? And what do you think it will take to help you to move on? And what is it that I, the therapist can do to help you in that process?”
LR: You know, Bob Niemeyer suggests that therapists working in the arena of grief need to be what he calls the guide on the side, rather than the sage on the stage.
DM: Yeah. I like that. That's a good metaphor. I like him a lot. I've read all his stuff. And, you know, my thing is, don't be a surrogate frontal lobe for your patients. Don't let the person's emotions hijack their frontal lobe.
LR: And don't, as the therapist, let your emotions hijack your presence in therapy. What about those therapists who themselves have had complicated losses, or unfinished business with their own children, parents, and spouses who have died? 
DM: Well, I guess those therapists need to be honest with themselves and wonder how it impacts their therapeutic process. Those therapists need to be honest with themselves and decide whether, in fact, they need some therapy. That could help them deal with the issue. And the third kind of issue is, can they strategically use that self-disclosure in a way that facilitates or benefits the patient's recovery? Rather than saying, you think you've got problems with your wife? You want to know what living with cancer has been like? And not only that, my father has Alzheimer's, and now all of a sudden I have to listen to your shit, right?

So, you can judiciously, strategically say words are inadequate to describe what grief is like. I've been there myself. It's not the occasion for me to share the details, but I want you to know I've felt the pain. Okay, I don't know what the right words are, and you have to say it in an effective way. You can't say, you think you got problems? 
LR: In what way are you — are there any ways that you're still practicing as a therapist now?
DM: I do a lot of consulting. I work with the head injured thing when people have cases, I train therapists who are doing supervision. I'm not seeing patients now like I did in the past, because I'm not in one place. I'm kind of a peripatetic clinician, so it's hard to make a commitment to someone being there. I do some consultation with patients by telephone, since COVID. 
LR: We could talk for hours Don and I do I hope we talk again. I appreciate your kindness and generosity.
DM: Thank you for the compliment and for inviting me on this journey.


Marianne Meichenbaum


Marianne (Pizzo) Meichenbaum, was born in Scranton PA in July 1941 and was tragically killed in 2023 in an automobile accident in Clearwater, Florida, where she was vacationing with her husband Donald. They were married 58 years and have four children and seven grandchildren. Marianne was a loving mother, grandmother and wife. She was a gifted actress and began her career as a New York Rockette, a June Taylor dancer on Jackie Gleason's TV show, and she performed in summer stock and on theatrical stages in Ontario, Canada and in the Tampa area in Florida. She was a big supporter of the Melissa Institute (MI) for Violence Prevention of which Don is the Research Director. Don has put together a Home Study LEGACY COURSE and all proceeds from the course will go to MI in memory of Marianne. As Marianne would frequently announce in her best Italian mellifluous voice "Tengo Familia!" 
Donald Meichenbaum Donald Meichenbaum, PhD is Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Waterloo in Ontario Canada from which he took early retirement 28 years ago. Since that time, he has been Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention in Miami. He is one of the founders of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and in a survey of clinicians, he was voted “One of the ten most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.” Dr. Meichenbaum has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association and was Honorary President of the Canadian Psychological Association. He has presented in all 50 U.S states and internationally and he has published extensively. His latest book is entitled Treating Individuals with Addictive Disorders.

He has placed his book Roadmap to Resilience on the Internet for FREE. The book has been downloaded by 45, 000 + visitors from 138 countries worldwide. He released a free foundational article on treating individuals with prolonged and complicated grief and traumatic bereavement. Recently released is the first part of his “Legacy Course,” all proceeds from which will benefit the Melissa Institute. Dr. Meichenbaum has just celebrated his 83rd birthday. He has four children and seven grandchildren. 
Lawrence Rubin Lawrence ‘Larry’ Rubin, PhD, ABPP, is a Florida licensed psychologist, and registered play therapist. He currently teaches in the doctoral program in Psychology at Nova Southeastern University and retired Professor of Counselor Education at St. Thomas University. A board-certified diplomate in clinical child and adolescent psychology, he has published numerous book chapters and edited volumes in psychotherapy and popular culture including the Handbook of Medical Play Therapy and Child Life: Interventions in Clinical and Medical Settings and Diagnosis and Treatment Planning Skills: A Popular Culture Casebook Approach. Larry is the editor at