Tewksbury Business Profile: GriefTeach
Each week, Tewksbury Patch will profile a local business and its owner.
Business Name: GriefTeach
Owner/Manager: Cheryl Amari
Business Address: P.O. Box 60, Tewksbury MA 01876
Business Phone Number: 978-457-3040
Web Address: www.griefteach.com
Number of Employees: 1
10 Questions With Cheryl Amari
How Long Have You Been In Business:
What Is Your Experience/Business Background:
I have a Bachelor's degree in Business and a Master's degree in Pastoral Ministry/Counseling. I started teaching high school about 15 years ago and for the past 8 years have been teaching at a mortuary college. I also taught adults through community education programs. With GriefTeach I am able to run grief education programs for people of all ages in all types of settings. I also speak at conferences and am Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying, and Bereavement from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
What Is Your Business Philosophy?:
To offer hope and healing through education. I strive to create professional, personalized, creative, informative and engaging presentations that benefit the bereaved as well as the family members and professionals who care about them. I work with groups of people because I love the energy of a group and witnessing the power of group interactions. I believe that we can all work together in a community to offer unique programs. For example, I am trying to locate a garden center that will host a "grief and gardening" presentation. I want to talk about grief in the unexpected places!
What Is Your Favorite Part Of Your Job?:
When I see from a participant's facial expressions that their grief experience has been validated and normalized. I can see a look of relief….that what we are talking about makes sense to them and will help with their healing process and/or allow them to help others. That is very fulfilling!
What Are The Biggest Challenges You Face?:
People often confuse me with a grief counselor. It can be challenging to explain the difference between grief education and grief counseling and for people to see the value and healing power of grief education in general (not just when a major loss occurs). Too often people don't think about grief until some terrible tragedy occurs. I'm trying to change that mindset and offer a new model of grief education that allows us to have conversations about loss and grief with everyone at every stage of life from young children to the elderly and dying. Learning about loss and grief isn't about being morbid; it's about knowing that we can get through anything in life. We don't have to get stuck in our grief. We can learn how to live joyfully and with hope, even in the midst of loss. I find it ironic that we don't learn about grief in school and yet EVERYONE experiences loss in their life! Good Grief!!!
What Makes Your Business Unique In Your Industry?
There are many counselors who will also run educational programs, but not too many people like me who are experienced educators with counseling skills and training. I am an educator first, and I use my counseling skills to teach with compassion. I also studied theology in graduate school, so I can run faith-based programs as well. Very few support groups and grief programs integrate theology and spirituality. My skill set which includes business, psychology, theology, education, and thanatology (the study of death and bereavement) is very unique. I also use my creativity and enthusiasm to develop programs that are down-to-earth and understandable. Many participants will laugh and cry at the same time!
What Is The Most Unusual Experience You’ve Had With a Client/Customer?:
While working together to create a title for an upcoming presentation, my client (from the facility which would host the program) suggested I make the title "sexy." I thought that was pretty funny!
What is One Word People Use To Describe You?:
Passionate (about teaching)
When You Were a Young Child, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?:
A teacher and an actress.
If You Were Given $100,000 To Invest In Your Business, How Would You Use It?:
I would rent a lovely place with beautiful gardens (or maybe by the ocean!) so I could run plenty of half-day or all-day grief programs with lots of delicious food! I would also use the money to attend more conferences to help me keep up-to-date on the latest research in thanatology.