Marla is both an explorer and a guide. She understands that deep self-inquiry is necessary to meet the challenge of overcoming debilitating grief, and she knows how to gently and expertly guide you to your own healing discovery.
Marla’s skill in leading you to a sense of renewal comes not only from her specialized training but also from her personal journey of exploration, discovery, and healing from the significant losses in her life.
She not only survived but learned to thrive and fully embrace life again after the loss of three of her five children – baby Shane, Nicole, and Ryan - all at different ages and under vastly different circumstances. In spite of these crushing, life-altering losses and the subsequent end of a difficult 27-year marriage, with acceptance, willingness and forgiveness, she learned to re-engage in life and find the gifts that infused her world with joy again. When she asked herself, “what is all this life experience for?”, she knew the answer was to help others.
Providing healing guidance from the painful experience of loss is at the center of Marla’s work. Her mission is to guide you to your own innate ability to heal from any grief event; to regain a sense of peace and wholeness; to know that you are worthy and capable of happiness in spite of difficulties or the negative influence of others. She is passionate about helping clients tap into their own inspiration to reclaim a life of joy and fulfillment, whether the loss has been from the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, a professional loss, or any of 40 different types of loss and change that result in grief.
Marla was a contributing writer in the recently published book, Loss, Survive, Thrive, an anthology of inspiring stories written by those who have found healing and peace after loss. She has also been a guest on Suzanne Giesemann’s Messages of Hope podcast on Unity Radio.
Marla’s formal education includes a BA in Organizational Studies with a minor in Human Development, which included studies in counseling strategies and death and dying. Her professional career has involved mentoring and training individuals in the corporate world, managing volunteer teams as a non-profit professional and consultant, and organizational management in small to medium-size businesses. Marla has described her focus on coaching human potential and teaching how to live one’s best life as the sweet spot of her former work, helping individuals achieve success and satisfaction in their personal lives and professional roles.
Marla began her current work in 2016 when she founded the Tampa Affiliate of Helping Parents Heal, an international organization whose mission is to help grieving parents find healing, recovery, and peace after child loss. She was the Director of Affiliate Leaders in 2018. The Tampa Affiliate has grown to be the largest local affiliate in the organization. In 2019, after becoming an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist certified by the Grief Recovery Institute™, her work expanded beyond child loss to include a broad array of grief events experienced by diverse individuals. In addition to her One-on-One Grief Recovery Method™ work with clients, she teaches Helping Children with Loss, a program to educate adults on the most productive way to help children in their care who are experiencing the effects of loss or grief.
To help her clients sustain the healing they’ve achieved through grief work, she teaches Mental Fitness Mastery as a Positive Intelligence (PQ) Coach. Clients learn to intercept the judgmental thoughts and emotions that often sabotage our lives, while at the same time learning how to boost wise Sage powers that lead to living life from a place of empathy, focus, clarity and peace. The combination of these two powerful programs makes it possible to achieve a positive quality of life and the ability to awaken each day with a sense of aliveness and joy.
Marla considers it a privilege to help you tap into your own inspiring ability to achieve a life of joy and peace. She knows the path. She understands the challenges. She will walk with you on every step of your journey back to a peaceful heart.
Helping Others Through Grief
Because of my success in recovering from child loss, I have worked with many parents who have also experienced the devastation of losing a child. It has been such a joy to watch as parents realize that they need not resign themselves to a life of desperate sadness. Whether it's a child or another loss that challenges your heart and limits your life, I know this is possible for you, too, regardless of what has turned your life upside down.
Over time, I developed the PAW concepts as the foundational principles that guided my personal healing. Because of my success in transforming my life after child loss using these concepts, I began working with others who have also known this life-altering grief event. I became an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist because years ago as I worked through multiple losses, I had experienced the effectiveness of the concepts on which the Grief Recovery Method is based; emotional honesty and personal responsibility for recovery. When I was introduced to the Grief Recovery Method, I was able to engage in even deeper work, acknowledging deeply buried emotions and truly healing from the last of my three losses, the suicide of my youngest son.
It has been such a joy to watch my clients realize that they need not resign themselves to a life of despair, resignation, and isolation. Whether it's a child or another loss that challenges your heart and limits your life, I know this is possible for you, too, regardless of what has turned your life upside down. Through its progression of effective, action-oriented steps taught with compassion, attentiveness, and uplifting support, I will help you learn the often-misunderstood concepts about grief, the power you have to heal your most painful experiences, and the tools you can use for life.