Helen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Master Executive and Life Coach. In practice since 1995, Helen has expertise in grief and loss, life transitions, parenting issues, stress management, crisis intervention and communication skills. She created and implemented Good Grief for Kids, a children’s bereavement program, for Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
Prior to her career as a therapist, Helen was the financial controller for an agribusiness in Southern California.
In 2011, Helen’s husband died of cancer. Helen brings to our organization her professional skills, personal experience and compassionate presence.
Joy Smith, RN, MSN
Board Member and Facilitator
Joy is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist with 35 years of experience educating and coaching people with cancer and their families. Most recently, she has worked as the Oncology Nurse Educator at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and was instrumental in establishing the Palliative Medicine Service in addition to Cancer Center professional and patient programs.
Joy brings to Papillon her commitment and expertise in providing high quality comprehensive services and educational programs regarding loss and bereavement.
Lisa Handley is a Monterey Peninsula artist and trained SoulCollage® facilitator with a passion for papercraft, collage and expressive art. She designs and handcrafts her own line of Plumeria Papercraft notecards and gifts inspired by nature and the whimsy, beauty and simplicity of life. As a cancer survivor and participant in Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s healing art program, Lisa discovered SoulCollage®’s intuitive, insightful and beneficial impact on her personal journey and was motivated to become a professional facilitator, offering experiences in the SoulCollage® process to others. She also offers a variety of adult workshops and elementary after-school classes including papercraft, collage and MeCards4Kids™, an adaptation of SoulCollage® for young children. In addition to Plumeria Papercraft and SoulCollage®, Lisa loves being a mom, volunteering at school, connecting with family and friends, dabbling in other art forms, beachcombing, hiking, writing (some of which she shares publicly on her blog, Paper And Ponder) and aspiring to live a grateful, mindful, healthy life. For more information, visit www.plumeriapapercraft.com.
Miriam Little, M.S., MF
Miriam is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In 2015, she joined Papillon as a facilitator and continues to work with drop-in groups, individuals and Good Grief for Kids. In her practice Miriam works with adults and children on a variety of issues. Prior to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist, Miriam was an attorney with Federal Government agencies and enjoyed helping her clients serve the public good.
Miriam has experienced significant personal losses and is grateful for the amazing support she received on her own grief journey. She brings to Papillon a desire to offer that same support to others in a safe and supportive environment, along with her personal and professional knowledge.
Zosia Chciuk, RNC-NIC, MSN, IBCLC, ANLC
Zosia brings 43 years of experience and expertise as a neonatal nurse to her role as a volunteer facilitator for the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support group at Papillon Center. In her nursing role in the nursery at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Zosia participates in the Palliative Medicine Team and has cared for many families who have lost a baby always with exceptional skill and devotion.
Zosia believes that every family has a right to grieve in their own way and time. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to give this kind of grief a voice and to expand the outreach of services to the tri-county area.
Emily Nicholl, MSW, LCSW
A longtime employee of Monterey County Social Services, Emily has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2001. She spent over 15 years working in child welfare with birth parents experiencing the loss of their children through that system, as well as the loss by caregivers whose adoptive and foster children ultimately returned home to their birth parents. Since 2016, Emily has worked with Aging and Adult Services, overseeing the In-Home Supportive Services program for low-income older adults and people with disabilities.
Emily has studied mindfulness meditation for over 5 years and facilitates a weekly meditation group at her Salinas workplace. She has trained others in mindfulness through workshops and brings to Papillon her passion and dedication to helping others through the grieving process by using mindfulness techniques.
Julie Cooper Altman, LCSW, Ph.D.
Julie Cooper Altman, LCSW, Ph.D., is a Professor of Social Work at California State University, Monterey Bay, where her current research examines the use of hope in social work practice. She enjoys consulting with community-based agencies in the crafting of useful research, professional development, grant-writing, and reflective supervision. Twice a recipient of Fulbright Scholar awards, she serves as a Commissioner for the Council of Social Work Education, sits as a member of several editorial boards, and actively participates on several Monterey County Boards and Councils. She is the mother of three children, and enjoys travel, biking, cooking, and walking her dog along the beautiful central California coast.
Julie is delighted to serve as a Papillon Center facilitator, bringing over 30 years of experience as a social work practitioner to this work.
Pamela is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has served in a variety of social work capacities for more than 20 years. Her first social work job was working in child welfare with parents and children who had been separated by the Court due to abuse or neglect. She worked with the birth parents, foster parents, and children during the reunification process.
She has participated as a volunteer at the Monterey County AIDS Project (MCAP) where she provided support to people with HIV/AIDS as well as to their partners, friends and families; she provided training to new volunteers; she also co-facilitated a support group for the target population. She was a volunteer at the local hospice where she again provided support to friends and family members. She wrote grants for the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. Following her retirement in late 2018 she began to look for opportunities to support her community. She has been facilitating the Papillon Pet Bereavement Group since February 2019.
Pamela has had dogs in her household for more than 20 years. She has adopted ill, geriatric, and other special needs dogs for almost as long. She adopts these dogs knowing that they may have only a short while to live. She endeavors to provide as much care and comfort as possible to the dogs’ transition to end of life. She has lost dogs to cancer, kidney disease, accidents, and advanced age. She has provided care to dogs with dementia, mobility/hearing/vision impairments, and other assorted disabilities. She is aware of the challenges she has faced in caring for and losing her pets and is grateful to have the opportunity to share with others the skills she has acquired.
As part of Pamela’s practice she assists participants in identifying their existing coping skills and to develop new ones. She helps them identify potential triggers/challenges and be prepared to face them in healthy ways. She includes all participants in sharing the methods that have worked for them in the past.
Nancy began her grief facilitating in 1994 at The Dougy Center in Portland, OR and has been facilitating children’s/teen’s/adult’s grief groups since then for a total of 25 years. Nancy assisted The Dougy Center with their facilitator trainings, the most memorable being in NYC after September 11. She represented The Dougy Center at several community outreach presentations including multiple invitations to give a class on grief at Warner Pacific University. When she moved to Washington state, she developed a facilitator training program and implemented it for a start-up grief center.
Nancy’s commitment to offering grief support evolved after the death of her Mother when Nancy was 16. Because of the lack of social services available to support her family back then, she has championed the need for such organizations. She brings her compassion and dedication to Papillon.
Nancy has loved returning to California which she fell in love with back in 1969 when she briefly lived here. She treasures the natural beauty of our Central Coast and spends as much time outdoors as possible. Hiking, reading, gardening, volunteering and dear friends keep her busy.
Brian Wainwright, LMFT
Brian Wainwright is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience working in various community mental health settings. He has spent the past 10 years developing his craft of therapeutic conversation. Today he works as an adjunct faculty member for University of San Francisco where he is teaching aspiring MFT students. He also teaches at California State University Monterey Bay working with Social Work students looking to develop a therapeutic language for working with disenfranchised and vulnerable people. He has a private practice and trains social workers and therapists interested in collaborative and imaginative therapeutic services often referred to as Narrative Therapy. Currently he teaches Group Therapy and Narrative Approaches to Social Work to graduate level students.
OFFICE: 70 Garden Court, Suite 201 • Monterey, CA 93940 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 4075 • Monterey, California 93942 Cell: (831) 320-1188 • Office: (831) 657-9149 email@example.com