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MEET SHANTI VANI

Transforming Grief  Specialist

My Story

 

In life, I have suffered many losses -- loss of safety, hope, trust, self- respect, health, mental health, divorce, moving, pets, and job. Deaths in the family include six high school friends who died in a single car accident, a friend with AIDS, another friend to suicide, both parents with heart disease and dementia, two young great grandsons, daughter with depression and addiction and sister to homicide.

In 1978, I was hospitalized in a state psychiatric institution after an extended period of serious trauma and loss. I was labeled "schizophrenic" and forced into "treatment" at Westborough State Hospital in Massachusetts. I had given birth to four babies and was suffering extreme anxiety while separated from them. In '79, I moved to Gainesville Florida with my young daughters, where I eventually found refuge and peace. I worked cleaning houses, as a nanny, owning a Family Child Care Home, and as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in an area hospital.

As a single mother, I did my best to raise my children throughout the journey. It wasn't easy and they suffered, too. In fact, my daughter Naomi died at the age of 38 after a lifelong struggle with addicton and depression. 

 

Through the work of Transforming Grief, I have been able to forgive myself and others in my life for many painful events and misdeeds. I have learned about how grief and trauma are passed down from one generation to the next and I am doing my best to break the cycle in my family and community.

Even in the midst of traumatic events, there were moments when I hoped that one day, I would be able to help someone else. Now, that day has come. In November 2020, I was certified through the Grief Recovery Institute as a Grief Recovery Specialist.

 

Currently, I facilitate my own unique curricula. The 8-week programs are Transforming Grief - An Evolutionary Process and First Responders Speak

 

Also, I teach two 4-week programs. They are all titled Transforming Grief - Supporting Young People and Transforming Grief - Peer to Peer.

 

These programs can be done either in groups or individually, in-person or on Zoom, depending on the need. For more info, please visit the Programs page.

I want to thank all the people in my life who have helped me to have hope. So many people have inspired, guided and challenged me along the way. 

In these trying times, it is so hard to find effective help. In the Transforming Grief Community, we have a safe place to gather for mutual support.

    

Please feel free to text, call or email.

Text/Phone: 352-225-1385     

Email: shantivani@cox.net   

 

To view a brief video about my story of loss, click:     

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My Credentials

Megan Devine's Grief Care Professional Certificate
The After Institute - May 2023

QPR (Suicide Prevention Training)
Florida LEADS Project - December 2021

WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)
 Copeland Center - November 2021

Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist Training
Grief Recovery Institute - January 2021

Grief Recovery Method Specialist Training
Grief Recovery Institute - November 2020

Counseling Grief Clients Certificate
PESI, Inc - October 2020

Trauma and Addiction Certificate
The Meadows Behavioral Healthcare - October 2020

Hospice Volunteer Training
Haven Hospice ET York Center - 2018

End of Life Doula Training (INELDA)
International End of Life Doula Association - June 2018

Savvy Caregiver Training
Elder Options of North Central Florida - March 2017

A.S. Degree in Respiratory Care
Santa Fe Community College - December 2008

Child Development Associate Certificate

Council for Professional Regulation - February 2003

Art of Play Therapy Certificate

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work - June 2002

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