Autism…now what? Living a Quality Life –Part 2
May 24, 2013
Hosted by Trish Forante and Lisa Stewart
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Part 1 of our discussion about autism addressed some of the feelings, concerns, and decisions that families experience when faced with a diagnosis. In Part 2, Patty Smith talks with Lisa Stewart about the importance of a team approach in every aspect of living with ASD. The key is to choose a path that matches the needs of the person with ASD, and the needs of the family. Whether you are a parent, professional, family member, friend, or neighbor you have the ability to positively impact the life of someone with ASD.
Talk Time with Trish
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
Talk Time with Trish helps to improve communications for men and women. It's about all kinds of relationships; personal and professional. It's about every day interactions, the STUFF that makes up our lives, the STUFF that allows, or doesn't allow us to function in our everyday lives.
We are all comprised of parts that make us who we are. Parts we know, that others know. Parts we know, that others don't know. Parts that others know, that we don't. It's about the variables that impact and affect our lives.
How we manage in relationships is based on communication. The key to manage effectively in relationships, is effective communication.
What makes the difference is the communicator has to be genuine. Everything has to be real. Most important, it has to be proactive vs. reactive.
This show is about the human element. It's about all the parts that make us human.
Trish Forante and Lisa Stewart
Trish Forante is an accomplished writer, researcher and entrepreneur. She is the Director/Owner of a thriving consulting firm. Her knowledge, creativity and dedication to excellent customer service inspires loyalty from her client companies that is unheard of in today's business climate. Many of her clients have been with her for more than fifteen years. Executives call on her for consultation regarding workplace violence; relationship issues; sexual harassment; critical incident debriefing and many other workplace issues.
Trish began her professional career at Winter Haven Hospital, Central Florida. She studied Psychology; Organizational Development and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Florida. She is a "die hard Gator fan!"
Lisa Stewart is the Clinical Director of Managed Care Concepts Employee Assistance Program and the Executive Director of Creative Consultants, Inc. Dr. Stewart provides supervision, consultation with staff, and assistance with program administration. Other responsibilities include coaching, organizational development and training with EAP corporate clients. Dr. Stewart has been licensed as a Mental Health Counselor since 1997. She obtained her education at the University of Florida earning her M.Ed., and Ed.S. degrees in 1994, and her Ph.D. in 2000. She has maintained a private counseling practice in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, since 1999. She works with clients of all ages and specializes in crisis intervention, trauma, grief counseling, and assisting clients who struggle with a variety of medical and chronic pain issues. Dr. Stewart also has expertise in working with bariatric weight loss surgery patients both pre and post-surgery.
- 5/31/2013: Happy Children, Happy Home Listen Now
- 5/24/2013: Autism…now what? Living a Quality Life –Part 2 Listen Now
- 5/17/2013: If you don’t love being alone with you, how can you expect anyone else to? Listen Now
- 5/10/2013: Sweethearts and Heroes Listen Now
- 5/3/2013: Life Mastery...Can it be so Simple? Listen Now
Jessica "Jag" Aguilar
A type "A" go girl who is on a mission! Jessica is an amazing individual in terms of her priorities in life, passionate work ethic, how she is continually seeking out others to help, is greatly appreciated for her huge heart; and in addition to just being incredible warm and caring human being – Jessica is also an extremely fierce competitor, and demonstrates this every time she steps onto a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) mat or into a fighting ring or cage. The transformation from her "girl next door" demeanor into her "warrior fighting" mode must be seen to appreciate, as it all starts with the perpetual twinkle in her eyes morphing into a laser focused determination that can best be described as a pure predator mode. Hard to imagine, even when you are observing this 1st hand, as Jessica perpetually beams and radiates positive energy that is 2nd to none, then as if a switch has been flicked on, this petite 115 pound sweetie instantaneously becomes an absolute fighting machine as her eyes alone tell you that there will simply be no escape from her explosive aggressive fighting style. Yes, when it is time for Jessica to unleash what she has un-relentlessly trained for, her fighting skills simply become reactionary and instinctual. Sounds a bit surreal, but once you know more about Jessica and see her in action, it all becomes just something to take in and admire. To put things in perspective, Jessica's life experiences would have been too much to bear for most, but given the strength of her spirit, life's challenges have simply made her stronger, more sensitive to other's challenges, and have clearly taught her that anything can be accomplished with hard work, dedication, and always striving to be the best person you can be in every facet of life. Jessica is a Mexican American, raised in Houston TX. by just her mom and two older brothers, as she lost her Father when she was just 6 years old. Tragedy struck again 10 years later when she lost her brother in an auto accident. Whether it was by choice, by fate, or lack of options, Jessica had to grow up quickly, accept major family responsibilities early in life, and quickly learn that the best coping solution is to always focus on the positives, work your hardest at the things you can control in life, and always treat others with respect – lessons that have served her extremely well. Jessica learned at a very early age that she was gifted when it came to sports. Unfortunately, Latin culture at that time, and more important, her mother's belief - is that girls and competitive sports should not mix. Not surprisingly, Jessica was relentless, and begged until her Mother let her play sports. Jessica was a natural as she excelled at basketball, track, soccer, softball, and basically any sport she committed herself to. Jessica's athletic accomplishments through childhood and high school yielded her many personal and team championship awards, as Jessica proved not only to be a great competitor, but constantly proved that she could do anything that she set her mind to do. But her Mother never embraced her athletic interests, and instead wanted Jessica to just be the best student she could be. Not a problem – As Jessica's work ethic, ability to focus, and ravenous desire to continually learn consumed all facets of her life –she completed high school one year early – but instead of leveraging her academic and athletic accomplishments into a college scholarship, contributing to immediate family financial needs became her higher priority and Jessica instead went to work as a Lab Tech/Specialist at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank working there 5 years and contributing to her family's income needs. Jessica's good looks, smooth athletic style, and positive energy resulted in her friends convincing her to move to pursue a career in acting, a challenge she accepted immediately and found a new job in LA. Jessica soon learned that while she loved acting, earning a respectable living would be all but impossible for a rookie actress that had no formal training. During one dry acting patch, Jessica decided to move to Oregon and found steady work – this time as a correctional officer in the state prison system – another life experience that enabled Jessica to take on major new challenges in life without any fear. But within a year and a half, her former acting experience actually yielded a unique opportunity as Jessica was sought out for Spanish actress roles and a film job in Miami which she accepted which led to other roles in an Italian film, with Dexter (a Showtime Series), and Johnson & Johnson commercials filmed in the Philippines. Jessica embraced acting work when it was available, as full time work and adequate pay were a perpetual challenge. But in her free time, Jessica kept in great physical shape always spending as much free time as possible in the local gyms and fitness centers. On a lark, in December 2005 Jessica signed up a local Gym called Punch Fitness that happened to also offer Boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) classes – a new challenge – one that gave Jessica a special rush and she proved to be an absolute natural. Just one month into her new BJJ training, her instructors convinced her to compete in a regional North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournament as they and her both wanted to see what she was really capable of – and natural abilities severed Jessica well – as she won 1st place in her division. Jessica was pumped – and could not wait for her next tournament – and was disappointed to learn that the woman's division was not included. As luck would have it, a local MMA professional fight promotion just lost one of their female fighters and needed a quick replacement to fight against Lisa Ward who was then a top 10 ranked female professional fighters in the world. Jessica immediately sought out the opportunity, even though her 2 months of total BJJ experience was nothing compared to Lisa Ward's many years of professional fighting and her 2 time FILA World Grappling Championships. And conventional wisdom was right, Jessica lost her first MMA fight which she had a week to prepare for, but more importantly – Jessica proved to the world that she was the real deal and with just a few months of BJJ and a week of MMA experience that she could very effectively compete at a world elite level. During the rounds of battle Jessica's heart and determination won her countless fans as she refused to tap out, even when her arm was nearly broken. Jessica's new challenge – how to become a world MMA Champion? Jessica was now 110% committed to becoming the best. Fight promoters were seeking her out – and then some very good fortune came her way. A dear girl friend from one of the gyms she trained at also happened to train BJJ and golden glove boxer – she gave her a simple message – "If you want to be the best you need to train with the best"– and introduced her to American Top Team – the single largest and best known professional MMA fighter gym on the planet. Jessica was apprehensively welcomed, as becoming a true professional MMA fighter takes years of training starting often at very early childhood ages. So the likely hood of Jessica becoming a true highly skilled MMA fighter would be a huge long shot, especially considering that her 1st (and perpetual) impression with everyone in life is that she is the ultimate girl next door – Just too nice to be a "Fighter". But, based upon her recommendations and sincerity, Jessica was given the chance to prove she was capable of training at ATT as a professional fighter. No one has ever looked back – Jessica has convinced everyone that not only does she have the work ethic, the heart, the fierce competitive spirit that is needed to be a professional fighter – she has simply earned everyone's respect. To put this into perspective – Ricardo Liborio, a Master Carlson Gracie awarded Black belt and now the highest ranking awarded BJJ Red & Black Belt and operator of American Top Team proudly tells anyone about how great Jessica is and how much better she becomes every day. Liborio, also happens to be the head coach of the USA National Grappling Team which just won the 2009 FILA World Championship – with 11 gold medal winners – the 1st Gold Medal was won by Jessica as she is now the defending Woman's No-Gi World Grappling Champion. Jessica is now trained by the best trainers in the world. Jessica's boxing coach is Howard Davis, a world acclaimed boxing coach and Olympic Gold Medalist who was named the most Outstanding Boxer of the 76 Olympics, her Muay Thai Coach is Fernando "Fefe" Falkenbach– a highly accomplished trainer who also trains Thiago "The Pit Bull" Alves, Mike Brown among many others along side one of the other Muay Thai coaches Katel; and she trains side by side with some of the world's best black belts and MMA Fighters such Mike Brown, Rafael Rebello, Chris Manuel, and her corner men include champions such as fighters Gesias 'JZ' Cavalcante & Jorge 'Jorginho' Santiago. View Guest page
Jodi Ambrose describes herself as an ex-80s rocker chick, former high school teacher, and in your face author, all rolled into one. Having survived many wild experiences with a strong sense of self and a wickedly saucy sense of humor, Jodi ended up with an axe to grind and a story to tell. Luckily, through all the craziness along the way, she took notes, and it’s those notes that helped her to write her first two books: Intimacy: How to Get more of it, and Sex: How to get more of it. These books help unlock the mysteries to relationship success in 20 simple steps. Since Jodi’s books were released, she has been a frequent guest on over 20 radio shows, is a relationship correspondent for a popular internet radio show and writes a monthly column for the Acquiring Man Magazine. View Guest page
Kenneth Barker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Supervisor in the State of Florida. Kenneth has worked in various settings including inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, partial hospitalization programs, and Department of Juvenile Justice Detention facilities. He has also served the State of Florida in the capacity of Legislative Aide in the Florida Senate. Currently, Kenneth is an Instructor in Psychology, Sociology, Ethics, Leadership and Communications at Johnson & Wales University. He is also an independent contractor with Managed Care Concepts, an Employee Assistance Program, where he provides corporate training on issues related to employee improvement and development. Kenneth is also pursuing his PhD. Organizational Psychology. View Guest page
Dr. Virginia Crist
Dr. Virginia Crist is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist in private practice in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida. She enjoys seeing individuals and couples who are motivated to lead happier lives. Dr. Crist offers the “LOVE RE-IGNITED” Intensives for those couples who are looking to transform their relationship in a very powerful way and have the Ultimate Outcome. She passionately commits herself to creating a life transforming experience for every patient she sees. Dr. Crist is known for her research on romantic love and encourages the enhancement of intimacy in interpersonal relationships. In addition to healthy romantic love relationships, she also enjoys working with parent/child issues and other forms of relationship issues, as well as individual issues. She has studied and attended numerous conferences on migraine headaches and works with those and others in chronic pain, and has also studied breast cancer and sees victors of breast cancer. One of the things Dr. Crist has done to give back to the community is to have facilitated a weekly breast cancer support group for women and their husbands or partners at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital for one year, and then the West Boca Medical Center also for one year. After two Masters Degrees, Dr. Crist was identified as one of the “Top 15 Counselors in the USA.” Then she pursued a five year doctoral program, and attended Harvard Medical School through the Department of Psychiatry for additional training. Dr. Crist then received Diplomate credentialing by The American Psychotherapy Association. She has been invited as a guest speaker for appearances on TV and live news as the expert, and radio talk shows over 50 times, and as a live speaker countless times all over South Florida at such prominent venues as the only featured guest speaker at the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort for quite some time. She also facilitates a popular group in her office entitled “The Search for Intimacy.” The title of her signature speech is: KEEPING LOVE ALIVE – AT ANY AGE! View Guest page
Matt Ghezzi, MS, LMHC, ACHT
Founder of Ghezzi Psychotherapy Services, Matt Ghezzi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida and is certified as an Advanced Clinical Heart-Centered Hypnotherapist™. Matt is also a Certified Imago™ Couples’ counselor and a Certified Release Therapist for Breathwork. He is a Level one Reiki Practioner and a RoHun Intern through Delphi University. Matt is a teacher and trainer for the Wellness Institute as well as a Personal Transformation Intensive™ group facilitator. He is currently in private practice in Pompano Beach, and has been providing psychotherapy to individuals, families, couples, and groups for twenty years. Matt continues to provide excellent workshops/lectures for various hospitals, mental health agencies, managed care facilities and professionals in the South Florida area. His commitment and passion is to bring this open-hearted Holistic model to the healing community to further the already accelerated advances in Transformational treatment in society. GPS Therapy View Guest page
Susan James is a Self Discovery Master Trainer. Since 2002, she, her husband and their team of Self Discovery Trainers have been training people in the Self Discovery Life Mastery Process, through workshops and personal training with clients around the World. Their Vision is to create an Enlightened Civilization, one person at a time. The most important thing for you to know is that Susan is living her ideal life in every way, and that doesn’t mean she’s done or “has got there” ... there is no limit to how much a human being can fulfill their potential and be living their ideal life! Every day she practices the techniques that she trains others in, and she is fully committed to creating and fulfilling the vision of a World that works for everyone. Originally from England, Susan moved to California in 1981, to “find the American Dream”. Within two years she had started her first company as an entrepreneur, and a second followed shortly thereafter. After years of working hard and doing what she thought was the “right thing”, she woke up one day to find that she had lost the businesses, was personally bankrupt and her relationship with her boyfriend/business partner was over. At this point it became clear that the mythical “American Dream” was not to be found “outside”, but rather “inside”, and having had this revelation in the early 1990s she fully committed her life to exploring the differences between human beings, and the meaning of success and how to fulfill her potential and live her life purpose. In 1998 Susan moved to Florida and in 2001 met her husband, Rob James, with whom she shared the vision of creating an enlightened civilization, which some may call “Heaven on Earth”. Rob, a researcher of consciousness, authored what are now known as the Self Discovery Techniques, and since 2002 several thousand people have transformed their lives by practicing the Self Discovery Techniques, which could be called The Skills of the Future. The results are astounding! Along with their Team of committed full time Licensed Self Discovery Trainers, Rob and Susan’s focus has been on mastering the cutting-edge techniques that make them leaders in the field of the evolution of human consciousness. Susan has spent thousands of hours training individual clients and business teams in developing self-mastery in their lives using the Self Discovery Life Mastery Process. As the world changes, so do the skills that are necessary to be fulfilled, successful and healthy and to have peace of mind. The Self Discovery Techniques are the “foundational education” of the future! The Self Discovery definition of True Success = Well-being + Effectiveness. Whether a person is far along the self-empowerment path; has been meditating for years; is already living a great life, or if they are just starting on their own self-exploration, or are experiencing challenges in life – no matter what their present situation – the Self Discovery Life Mastery Process can support them to create a fulfilling life that is beyond whatever their minds can imagine. Co-founder & Self Discovery Master Trainer Self Discovery Group LLC www.SDLife Mastery.com Susan@SDLifeMastery.com (954) 873-0144 View Guest page
Christine Kadin, LMHC, CAP, LPC, JD
Christine is a licensed Psychotherapist, motivational consultant, executive and personal coach in private practice in South Florida. She has extensive experience in EAP services, case management and crisis intervention. As a therapist, Christine chooses an eclectic approach, designed to assess and best serve clients’ needs. She specializes in chemical dependency, trauma work, and relationships. She uses a rapid trauma reduction technique with PTSD, and abuse survivors, that she has discovered, called OGRT, which typically alters traumatic memories in an instant. She is interested in individual and corporate performance and growth, wellness coaching, transpersonal psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cross-cultural mysticism, holistic healing, consciousness and miracles. View Guest page
Among his many accomplishments, Joel Lerner believes his successful marriage and and two wonderful daughters, are his greatest legacy. While a Bachelor’s degree in Communication was his foundation for achievement in retail operations and management, he claims it was more useful in his inter-personal relationships. Joel says the key to effective communication is 95% listening and 5% talking. Originally from Long Island, NY, Joel currently resides with his family in South Florida. He is a Communication enthusiast in theatre, voiceovers and radio broadcasting. When he's not behind the microphone, he is a fierce tennis competitor. Feel free to contact Joel at (954) 707-2425 or firstname.lastname@example.org View Guest page
Ira Levy is one of the most recognizable, respected individuals in the treatment industry. He began his career in 1992 working as a mental health technician and an admissions coordinator for National Recovery Institute. Later, as National Marketing Director for Focus Health Care, Ira distinguished himself as a leader in advocating for addiction treatment. Ira joined Sunrise Detox in 2004 and serves as the National Marketing Director and as a key liaison between Employee Assistance Professionals and treatment centers. He became a nationally known spokesman advocating for comfortable, dignified detox as the start of a successful treatment plan. Ira is also widely recognized both within the treatment industry and in the media as a passionate advocate for long-term support of recovering addicts of prescription drugs. Ira knows the subject intimately as he has personally walked the road of successful recovery from addiction for over thirty years. View Guest page
Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
Jennifer Elizabeth Masters Born and raised in Toronto, Jennifer learned early that some of our most profound experiences aren’t the ones that are the most fun. Not because they deliver treasures, jewels or joy but because they teach you so much about you! Healing from a traumatic childhood of dysfunction and molestation set Jennifer on a journey that would take her all around the world: from Europe to India, Bali and all across the United States. Living in Montreal, London, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Atlanta, Boulder Colorado and now the sunny Mojave desert of California; Jennifer has seized each moment and found sweetness in every breath. From flight attendant to Master Gardener, owning her own Landscape Design and installation business (For Heaven Scapes) for 11 years, she is a fearless woman who has done it all. She is an author, hypnotherapist, Certified Life Coach, mother of 3, Master Energy Healer and ordained minister. As a Scorpio, she unabashedly says she has enjoyed sexual expression. She assists women to find the Sacredness in Sex. Married and divorced 4 times, Jennifer is an empowerment and sex coach for women. Her motto is: If you don’t love being alone with you, how can you expect anyone else to? When we love ourselves completely and compassionately we stop beating ourselves up and gratefully appreciate each experience in our lives as another way to enrich and nurture our soul and others. Jennifer is an author and expert on Your Tango, a website for discerning women looking for answers about love and sex. She has met some amazing people along the way. Being a Spiritual Pathfinder, empowering women to find their own path, rather than follow her. A psychic medium and channel Jennifer’s coaching sessions are never dull. She doesn’t sugar coat it! View Guest page
Ron Mercer, PhD, LMHC, NCC, BCFE
Ron Mercer, PhD, LMHC, NCC, BCFE Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Corporate/Organizational Trainer, Board Certified Forensic Examiner (expert witness), Certified Family Business Coach Critical Incident Trauma Specialist (“9/11” First Responder) Nationally Certified Psychologist, Master’s Level – Practicum Training Oslo, Norway Dr. Mercer is co-director and co-owner of The Center for Creative Living, a private psychological practice in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife Susan, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Board Certified Psychotherapist and holds Masters Degrees in Counseling, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Mercer also holds a second PhD in Adult Developmental Psychology with a specialized training in family systems/men’s issues. He has studied abroad, in Norway, as well as in the U.S. Dr. Mercer provides individual, couples, group and family psychotherapy and specializes in men’s issues therapy, treating adolescents with oppositional disorder, and marital therapy. He works with performing artists and athletes to reach their optimal levels of performance. Furthermore, Dr. Mercer provides psychological and educational/intellectual testing for the same population, and he works in the corporate/organizational arena as a consultant, enhancing communication skills, minimizing stress in the workplace, achieving overall wellness, and conflict resolution. Additionally, he is a specialist in post-divorce counseling therapy for parents and children to minimize traumatic outcomes after a marital break-up. Dr. Mercer is also trained in basic and advanced clinical hypnotherapy to enhance the healing from severe traumatic experiences. He has authored four books, including “Men-In-Pause” and “Little Boy Lost.” “Men-In-Pause” explores the basis of mid-life crisis and how women can best cope with their man’s acute regression, to often times inappropriate immature behavior. “Little Boy Lost” is a semi-fictional account of the life journey of an American male and the societal family issues which occur in his life and how these same factors contribute and influence his interpersonal and larger decisions. His fourth book, “The Unspoken Language of Men,” is a journey into why men behave as they do, as well as encourage them to explore ways to discover their own hidden language, to enhance their well-being, and that of the individuals who they pass through this life with. Dr. Mercer has specialized training in critical incident debriefing as applied to counseling victims of disaster and the subsequent post-traumatic stress that follows. He was one of the first therapists sent to New York City to conduct debriefing/stress management sessions in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks on 9-11-01. His book, “9/11: Critical Incident” is a first-person account of his experience from his encounter with victims and families of the September 11th tragedy. For information on services, please call (954) 755-8247. View Guest page
John T. Mulhall III
JOHN T. MULHALL III Born in Philadelphia and raised in the suburbs of Rochester, New York, John Mulhall could never imagine growing up to be anything other than a lawyer. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather had been attorneys in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and each a reputation for “can do” lawyering. His upbringing prepared him well for the rigors of the profession. He attended St. Lawrence University, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Varsity Swim Team, and The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University. For over 25 years, John has been providing his clients with results- and resolution-oriented legal representation. He concentrates his practice in Marital and Family Law, and is dedicated to using cooperative and innovative processes that dignify rather than destroy families. John also provides representation in appellate matters. John has personally handled over 80 appeals in the Florida and federal appellate courts. John is AAV@ rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating given to attorneys by that distinguished publisher of legal directories. He has been recognized as a SuperLawyer in Florida by SuperLawyer Magazine, as a member of the Legal Elite named each year by Florida Trend Magazine, and as a Top Lawyer in South Florida by the Miami Herald. John is a co-founder of the Peaceful Divorce Project, a multi-disciplined group of professionals who have dedicated themselves to the amicable resolution of family law disputes. John brings his trial skills - education, analysis, preparation, counseling and advocacy - to each case, but with an eye toward empowering his clients and their spouses to work cooperatively - rather than antagonistically - toward resolution. John is active in the community. He has served as a member, officer and chairman of the board for the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, The Children's Place at Home Safe (a nonprofit organization that provides residential, foster and therapeutic care to abandoned, abused and neglected children), and the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. For 15 years, John has been fortunate to have Diane Marcellino serving alongside him. Diane has been serving the needs of local families since 1988. Diane is an integral part of John’s practice and, because she “knows the ropes,” adds value to any representation. John and Diane look forward to an opportunity to assisting you or someone close to you in a family or appellate matter. Feel free to contact John at (561) 416-0170 or email@example.com View Guest page
Thomas Murphy was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. At 12-years of age Tom and his family relocated to Cooperstown, NY where he graduated from Cooperstown High School. Tom went on to graduate from The State University of New York at Brockport, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in human psychology. While attending the University of Brockport Tom was inducted into The National Honor Society - Alpha Chi and The National Honor Society in Psychology - Psi Chi. Tom was also the proud recipient of the prestigious Brockport Alumni Scholarship in 1997. In 1996 & 97 Tom was awarded honors by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) when he achieved the status of Academic All-American. Tom also went on to achieve All-American status by placing 2nd in the nation at the NCAA wrestling tournament at 190lbs. Tom is currently a proud husband and father of four and resides in the city of St. Albans. After graduating form Brockport State College Tom and his family moved to St. Albans, VT where he filled a position as a rail traffic control specialist for the New England Central Railroad (NECR). Shortly after his arrival, Tom was given the opportunity to establish a nationally recognized rail traffic control center for RailAmerica, Inc., parent company of the NECR. In January 2004 Tom established the American Rail Dispatching Center (ARDC) where he is currently holding the position of corporate director. The ARDC provides rail traffic control to 45 separate railroads across the U.S. and Canada. The ARDC has brought national recognition to the small city of St. Albans. In October of 2006 Tom became the owner of The Fitness Zone (www.fitnesszonevt.com) in St. Albans where his goal is to give to others what sports and health living have given to him over the past 2 decades. As part of The Fitness Zone Tom has also started Rail City Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and hosts Tri-Town Boxing. In 2011 to also purchased Chow Bella (www.chowbella.us) St. Albans’s finest restaurant that serves fine Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Tom has also proudly established a nonprofit anti-bullying organization, “Sweethearts & Heroes,” where they present a unique message in schools. Tom is the main presenter and is extremely passionate about empowering kids with the tools necessary to fight bullying. Tom and his partner hope to share their inspirational message with every child in North America. Tom’s Martial Arts accomplishments began shortly after his move to St. Albans where he met and trained under the late Carlson Gracie Black Belt, Julio Fernandez. Tom spent several years competing in the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) where he posted an impressive 2-year undefeated streak culminating with NAGA awarding him the “overall” champion in 2000. After fighting on the amateur level briefly, Tom landed several big fights, including his pay-for-view debut, in King of The Cage’s (KOTC) Payback. Tom has also fought at the Trump Casino in Chicago and in Atlantic City. Tom then competed on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter 2, losing a chess match to former UFC Champion Rashad Evens. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) called Tom shortly after the reality show and offered him a fight in UFC 58. Tom won his UFC debut with a TKO win over the Canadian World Heavy Weight Champion. Tom has been actively training in Montreal at Tri-Star for over 4-years and remains undefeated at 8-0. View Guest page
John Reininger Traumatic events such as 9/11, Hurricane Andrew, School shootings, Plane crashes,Robberies and Explosions all left survivors. John Reininger, a nationally certified Grief Therapist, has counseled hundreds of them. Due to John's scope of work, he has been interviewd by The New York Times Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan Magazine. John has been in private practice for over thirty years in South Florida. As a licensed psychotherapist he specializes in Grief; Critical Incidence Debriefing; Communication; Anxiety; Stress; Depression; Sexual Abuse; Self Esteem and Christian Counseling. John's Bachelor of Science Degree was earned at the University of Cincinnati. After completing a tour of duty in the Army during the Vietnam era, he finished his graduate work at St. Thomas University in Pastoral Ministry with post graduate studies in counseling psychology. For more information, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.johnreininger.com View Guest page
Patricia Smith is a wife and mother of four children. In December 1994 her second child, Ryan, was diagnosed with Autism at age 3 ½. His diagnosis led to 19 years of training and discovery to help Ryan and eventually other people with ASD improve their quality of life. Patricia has been employed with Brevard County Schools in Central Florida since 2001. In 2004, she became a Certified Associate Behavior Analyst serving eleven schools. In 2006 she enrolled in the Alternative Certification Program to work as an Exceptional Education Teacher. She has worked with elementary and secondary students in school and home programs. In 2011, Patricia also served as a camp director with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at UCF to develop a summer program designed specifically for children with ASD in the Brevard County area. Patricia is still currently employed by Brevard County Schools, but is also working to develop meaningful life experiences for people with ASD beyond the school system. View Guest page
Betsy Otter Thompson
A Philadelphia native with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for several Philadelphia radio stations and as a commercial print model, appearing in television commercials in Philadelphia and New York. After moving to California, Betsy struggled and nearly became homeless. After she recognized her tendency to blame everyone else for her problems and decided to become accountable, she began to recover. For the next eighteen years, Betsy worked as an Executive Assistant to an entertainment executive in the film industry. She retired in 2005 and is now writing full time. Betsy is a writer with a passion for communicating spiritual concepts. She's learned that all of her jobs, were lessons about how she faces herself wherever she goes. Betsy finally realized that each job and each person was an opportunity to know herself better, not an opportunity to blame others for her problems. Betsy is the author of 6 books and is now in the process of getting her early self-published books up on Amazon in newer, improved versions. In addition to The WHAT HAPPENS IF I…Book – How to Make Action/Reaction Work For You Instead of Against You, published by Ascension Publishing, Betsy Otter Thompson is the author of the following books: WALKING THROUGH ILLUSION – Jesus Speaks of the People who Shared his Journey, published by O-books, THE MIRROR THEORY: The Way to Inner Peace, Resolution, and Transformation, published by Hampton Roads Publishing, 2005 LOVEPARENT: How To Be The Parent You Hope To Be, (1991), published by Ascension Publishing LOVEHUMAN: How To Be Who You Love (1992), published by Ascension Publishing YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK: Make Your Thoughts Delicious (1993), published by Ascension Publishing Articles: Catalyst Magazine, Nov. 5, 1995, article called Mirror Mirror. Betsy Otter Thompson http://www.betsythompson.com http://www.facebook.com/people/Betsy-Otter-Thompson/1026372698 http://www.twitter.com/betsyothompson http://youtube.com/betsyotterthompson http://linkedin.com/pub/betsy-otter-thompson/23/549/a9b View Guest page
Carla Van Walsum PhD
Carla Van Walsum PhD, has created a thriving holistic psychotherapy and personal growth practice for Individuals, Couples & Families in South Florida. She is helping hundreds of clients make quantum progress through her unique combination of psychological, spiritual and metaphysical approaches. Her extensive study of European, American and Eastern philosophies provide the foundation for her work. Carla is a relationship expert who coaches parents, couples and children to create harmony in their lives. View Guest page