with Shanti Vani
MEET SHANTI VANI
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
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 costs, 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.
To view a brief video about my story of loss, click:
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