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This training was developed by people who have learned from their own experience how to get through an emotional crisis and integrate the experience into a broader understanding of themselves and others. Our approach is based on time-tested, basic common-sense principles of deep listening and interacting in a respectful manner. The developers of eCPR have been users of the mental health and/or substance use service system and have also provided services themselves. Based on lived experience, they have learned what kind of help can be most useful in the short and long-term.

Some of Our eCPR Trainers

Shontelle ProkipcakKimberly D. Ewing joined the National Empowerment Center as the new Coordinator/Consultant of Emotional CPR in October 2021. As a person with lived experience and one who crosses many paths of intersectionality, Kim is passionate about mental wellness, racial healing, social justice, racial equality, human rights, bullying prevention, empowering allies and educating humans of all ages. Kim is an international eCPR Trainer, Implicit Bias Trainer, Anti-Racist Trainer, Diversity Trainer, a Certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer, and a Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) Facilitator. Her favorite hashtag is #ImStillHealing and she believes that we all are doing some version of it. She believes in speaking truth coupled with compassion and that eCPR is the very foundation of being human. One of her only regrets is that she wished she knew eCPR as a young person because it would have a made a huge difference with those she encountered along the way. Kim holds a BS in Communications from the University of Indianapolis and a MS in Higher Education from Indiana State University. 

Maria OstheimerMaria Ostheimer translated the eCPR program into Spanish, which has been embraced by Promotores (Community Outreach Workers) and in Puerto Rico. Her passion for her work comes from her own personal background as both a survivor of trauma and a family member. Maria is committed to support, strengthen, and promote projects like eCPR that promote community-based education of mental wellness. “I believe in dialogue to build a common path of humanity. eCPR gives us a voice individually and collectively and opens a sense of wonder and humility.”

Oryx Cohen, M.P.A.Oryx Cohen, M.P.A.: Oryx is a leader in the international consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. Currently he is the Director of the National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center. Oryx is featured in Agnes’s Jacket, a book by Gail Hornstein, where Oryx and fellow Freedom Center co-founder Will Hall are compared to the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Before coming to NEC, Oryx was the Co-Director of the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community.

Sam AhrensSandra (Sam) Ahrens, BSW, MA, CSP: Sandra (Sam) Ahrens: A certified eCPR trainer for the National Empowerment Center since 2010, Sam she has conducted eCPR certification and facilitator trainings across the United States as well as abroad. In her home state of Wisconsin, she has worked on peer-led initiatives for mental health recovery and wellness, with a focus on training. She has also worked as a teacher, social worker, and advocate in the areas of mental health, poverty and homelessness. Sam is recently retired and happy to have more time to devote to eCPR and other community-based projects.

Jenny SpeedJenny Speed
Sisters Inside Inc.
Jenny Speed has worked for more than thirty years in health administration, planning and policy, disability and mental health advocacy. Since her own experience of severe distress, she has been an energetic mental health consumer activist locally, nationally and internationally. She is currently working at Sisters Inside, an organisation providing support and advocacy for criminalized women, eighty per cent of whom experience mental illness, overseeing the development and delivery of services to criminalized women and their children. Jenny is committed to the restoration of the rights of people with a lived experience of mental and emotional distress to enable them to participate fully in their communities.

Jode Freyholtz-LondonJode Freyholtz-London is the founder and Executive Director of Wellness in the Woods (WITW), Minnesota’s largest mental health consumer organization. Jode lives in Todd county Minnesota a few miles from where she grew up on a dairy farm. She has her AA in Business Management. Her vocational life includes human service in senior living, coordination of a rural detox unit, 15 years in supported employment, housing support, mobile crisis stabilization services as well as her present identity of social instigator, advocate, and mental health educator.

Wellness in the Woods now has a staff of 40; it began in March of 2013 with a dream of being a voice for individuals with mental health challenges and advocating for improved services with a focus on rural MN. Jode is an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, Emotional CPR trainer, Suicide prevention trainer, and public speaker across Minnesota. She was chosen as the Rural Health Hero of 2017 by the Rural Health Conference Committee.

Erin TuckerErin Tucker is Executive Director of On Our Own, Charlottesville where she has worked for 10 years. Erin is a Trauma-Informed Care Trainer and TIC Trainer for Peers through SAMHSA and the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care. She is a Certified Advanced Level WRAP facilitator, Advance Directive facilitator, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist trainer, and an eCPR trainer. She is on the steering committee for the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition. She advocates for peer recovery and equity and believes that recovery is possible for all assuming equity and access are present.

Sean PerrySean Perry was born February 1st, 1977 in Wallingford CT. The oldest of four biracial children, Sean felt the effects of being different at a young age. Now a father of five and in his early 40s, Sean has taken his life experiences and transformed them into changing how we all address the mental health crisis. Sean began working for a residential treatment center in 2011; during that time Sean learned all that he could about anxiety, depression, OCD, suicidality and ongoing mental health issues. Sean is now the President / Co-Founder/ Executive Director of We R H.O.P.E. and host of We R H.O.P.E. Breaking The Stigma Through Change on the Voice America Empowerments Network. He hopes to create change in the public schools by bringing support at a much younger age and breaking the stigma of mental illness. Sean’s program is currently in nine schools in Vermont and New Hampshire and continues to grow. Sean has spoken at a variety of universities and he has hosted his own radio show on the Voice America Empowerment Network. Sean captures his audience with truth, passion, and the commitment of creating real change in the lives of children.

Latosha TaylorLatosha Taylor is a childhood trauma and psychiatric survivor who has transformed her lived experience into a passion for building community-based approaches to support others in finding value in their own experiences. She is an eCPR trainer and has 10 years of community building experience. Latosha is a founding member of the Personal Empowerment Recovery Coalition of Arkansas and now works as the Recovery Support Specialist Coordinator and Facilitator for Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. in Connecticut. She sits on many boards and committees to ensure that people with lived experience help direct and change policy in systems of care. Latosha is committed to making sure that people are supported and understood through all human experiences.

Carla HeathCarla E. Heath has twelve years’ experience in the peer field, developing, providing, and overseeing peer services. She feels her experience and skills acquired in serving as a cofounder and Executive Director of a non-profit center, combined with her work at Community Service Boards, gives her a unique perspective regarding peer and recovery-oriented services.


Dianna TaylorDianna Taylor is a survivor who passionately believes that eCPR is a way of life and has become one of her sustaining guides. Prior to coming to Virginia a few years ago, Dianna served in several peer and leadership capacities and engaged in program development, grant writing, and administrative collaboration at the state and regional levels in California. She also worked closely with business leaders and other stakeholders in a number of capacities to gain support for program start-up and peer development.

In her current role as Region 4 Peer Recovery Specialist Coordinator, for Richmond Virginia Behavioral Health Authority, she is tasked with growing and developing the peer workforce. She is an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, CPRS Trainer, ECPR Trainer, and a Digital Peer Support Certification Trainer. Dianna was privileged to be quoted in a Forbes Magazine article about Digital Peer Support.

Karen Iverson RiggersKaren Iverson Riggers is a writer, survivor, advocate, entrepreneur, and community volunteer. She owns her own nonprofit consulting practice and was the founding director of Iris Place, the first peer-run respite in the state of Wisconsin, as well as the co-founder of a local food start-up Reinvent Ferment. Karen is passionate about using writing and storytelling for healing and believes that eCPR holds incredible power to shift the framework of the way we connect with ourselves and others by sharing our stories. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, with her partner and their three children.

Shira CollinsShira Collings is a Master’s student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Growing up Jewish and queer in a conservative part of Birmingham, Alabama, she was bullied and struggled with mental health challenges throughout her childhood and teenage years. As a result of her own experience, she is passionate about supporting people who are struggling with the effects of marginalization, bullying, and other kinds of trauma. Shira’s goal is to create spaces in which people can express their thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences without fear of judgment. She is an advocate for trauma-informed, person-centered approaches to mental health care.

Donna Pollard-BurtonDonna Pollard-Burton, MA, retired in 2017 from private practice as a Trauma-specialized Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Indiana and moved to Arizona with her husband and four senior rescue dogs. Donna worked many years as a Board-Certified Chaplain on the staff of a large Level One Trauma Center. As a seminary graduate specializing in psychotherapy and spiritual care, her work has been with survivors of violence, adults recovering from childhood abuse, traumatic injury, and post-disaster care. She has spoken nationally on topics of disaster response, stress and anger management, grief and bereavement (including pregnancy loss and infant death), coping with chronic and terminal illness, and adoption-related issues. Her passion now is introducing people to the gift of Emotional CPR.

Cathedra WinstonCathedra Winston is a local “Wellness Expert.” Cathedra has a bachelor’s degree in biology, is a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist, a Florida Certified Wraparound Trainer/Coach, an Emotional CPR Practitioner, and an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator. Cathedra facilitates wellness workshops where she teaches individuals how to manage stress. Through the utilization of WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) individuals create personal wellness plans to help them stay physically and emotionally well despite life’s daily challenges. Cathedra has worked with both youth and adults in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties, FL. She has been recognized professionally by FADAA (Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association) for her work with youth and families in Orange County, FL. Cathedra specializes in youth engagement with a focus on emotional wellness. Cathedra lives a life of wellness and uses her own lived experiences to show others how they can “intentionally” live better lives. Cathedra believes “Good Emotional Hygiene” starts here!

Krzysztof HenczakKrzysztof Henczak is the coordinator of the Polish Open Dialogue Institute and the eCPR coordinator in Poland. He is studying at the Institute of Applied Psychology in the Department of Psychotherapy. He is a speaker and works for change in the Polish mental health system. He runs a crisis support telephone line for individuals and families. He was a co-organizer of the 24th International Network Meeting for the Treatment of Psychosis which brought together - for the first time in Poland - practitioners and enthusiasts of Open Dialogue from all over the world. He promotes both Open Dialogue and eCPR in Poland.

Susanne ArmstrongSusanne Armstrong, MTngDev, DCA, is a peer support worker and holds lived experience advisory roles with Australian national suicide prevention organisations. She has a background as a grief counsellor, nurse, and adult educator. Her Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) research focused on intergenerational trauma, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and family violence; exploring the utilisation of creative writing and art to generate recovery and post-traumatic growth. Her Master of Training and Development (MTngDev) research investigated workplace performance improvement. Susanne has held senior management roles in government, private sector, community-based health and welfare organisations. She is passionate about people, social justice, holistic health, the arts, and protecting our environment for future generations. 

Braunwynn FranklinBraunwynn Franklin is a proud, Black single mother, a certified peer specialist in three states, and a Train-the-Trainer for NAMI’s Peer to Peer Workshop and for Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Personal Action Towards Health course as well as a Second Chance Reentry Master trainer and an eCPR facilitator. Using her lived experience of overcoming childhood trauma and incarceration, she has worked in the field of mental health for over 13 years. Braunwynn has trained over 200 Peer Wellness and Peer Support specialists, helping to develop and grow the Peer Wellness program at Cascadia Behavioral Health and a NAMI curriculum on Gender Based Violence for Peer Supports. She co-championed the Trauma Informed Committee of the Oregon Consumer Advisory Council and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Operation Nightwatch (Portland), Folktime (Portland), and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. She is also an active member of the Michigan Peer Recovery Coalition and Surviving Race: Intersection of Injustice, Disability, and Human rights.

Jose SalinasJose Salinas is an eCPR trainer and also a trainer for the State of Michigan for Certified Peer Recovery Coaches. He is also certified as an International Recovery Coach and has been working for the Kent County CMH Network180/Access Center for over six years. Jose works with individuals who come in with crises related to substance use as well as mental illness. He has struggled with heroin addiction among other drugs, mental health conditions, and homelessness. Jose is passionate about sharing his story of resilience in an effort to inspire hope and motivate others in their personal recovery. He is very involved in giving back to the community by volunteering for various community organizations and events.

NaKaisha Tolbert-BanksNaKaisha Tolbert-Banks is an Advocate for self-care and a sought after Mental Health and Wellness Speaker. She believes in equitable mental health care for all, to afford individuals the ability to live the best mentally healthiest lives possible. She is the Founder and CEO of D.U.O. EmpowerMEnt Services, a mental health counseling and life coaching firm in Indiana, USA. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Certified EmpowerMEnt Coach, and eCPR Youth and Adult Trainer. NaKaisha cherishes her diverse work for over 22 years in the social services field and embraces opportunities to speak to, empower, and engage communities in becoming mentally healthier by fighting stigma attached to mental illness, especially within minority communities. She is a two-time Published Author, volunteer in her community, and enjoys the time in which she is able to spend with friends and family, graciously serving as a loving wife and mom of two beautiful angels.

Yvonne WdowiakYvonne Wdowiak RMT, CDT is a certified eCPR Educator in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. With over 22 years of experience as a Registered Massage Therapist, Yvonne has felt blessed to be able to help people from all walks of life, find balance in mind, body and soul. She began on this path in her early 20's when volunteering at a women's shelter, where she realized how a little compassion could make a huge difference in someone's life. After becoming a RMT she became a qualified Doula and a Reiki Master. Upon finding eCPR Yvonne felt like she'd found the missing piece to her life's work and is thrilled to be able to facilitate a more profound connection with her clients and indeed everyone in her life with an open heart.

Amanda WaltonAmanda Walton, CBHPSS, AS-CJ, AA-GE brings a lifetime of lived experience healing from childhood trauma and intersectional behavioral health journeys. In addition to active advocacy efforts for the voice, choice, and needs of peers across her state, she also develops and facilitates various peer training curriculums, including eCPR, that innovatively advance personal and professional peer development, interpersonal connection, and healing through her work as the Training Coordinator with Montana’s Peer Network. She is dedicated to shifting cultural and system perceptions to inspire healing through empowering connections with others. She sees eCPR as a liberating game-changer for overcoming stress, crisis, trauma, and suicidal thinking that overwhelms, disconnects, disenfranchises, and marginalizes people and populations. 

Chris RothbauerChris Rothbauer, MDiv, MA (they/them), is a Unitarian Universalist minister currently serving in Auburn, Alabama. Chris is known as a leader in social justice in the area and has been an advocate for racial, environmental, economic, and LGBTQIA justice. As a eCPR Educator, Chris uses their lived experience as a queer mental health consumer and survivor to help people find ways to connect with others in an empowering way in times of crisis. They are passionate about finding ways to bring eCPR into the larger communities they serve.

Jill KrisnitskyJill Krisnitskyis the Executive Director of On Our Own of Frederick County, Maryland and is a strong advocate for those in any type of recovery. She believes in putting out as much “good” into the world as possible; her motto is “Pay it Forward.” Jill has been in the health and wellness field for over ten years. "As the Executive Director, I strive to lead by example. I view our peers as the customer and always put their needs first. I strive to teach this in our trainings as well. We are here to help others in our community and make it a better place."

Andrea NoelAndrea Noel, B.Eng., M.Div., M.A. (she/her) is a visual artist, spiritualprenuer and civil servant, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and pet kids. Andrea has committed her life to learning and teaching practices that promote deeper connections to self, divine essence, and other living beings. In 2001, Andrea moved to the Washington D.C. metro area (DMV) to attend Howard University and never left. Andrea has served several educational, spiritual, religious, and non-profit organizations across the DMV with program management, instructional design, group facilitation, and spiritual/pastoral care. Andrea’s experiences with overcoming childhood traumas and mental health challenges impassion her vocational endeavors as a helping professional.

Xochitl PalomeraXochitl Palomera is an Activist, Healer & Educator specializing in Child Development, Family Support, Ancestral Healing & Wellness. Her healing work focuses on Intergenerational-Healing, Trauma-Informed Care & Decolonizing. Her Family & Community inspire her to create connections through Cultural Arts & building community by connecting people to valuable resources & creating spaces for community empowerment.

Stign van GriensvenStijn van Griensven, Drs. (he/his/they) Stijn has embodied lived experience for over thirty years. He is a coach and project leader in mental health care in the Amsterdam-Haarlem area for reducing coercive treatment. Deconstructing shaming culture and creating space to be yourself and recover of emotional crisis is important to him. He uses eCPR in his work in mental health care, to be with others in eCPR trainings and just to lead his life.

Shelley FletcherShelley Fletcher is a certified trainer for eCPR in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For the past 20 years, Shelley has been the executive director for People First of Canada, a national non-profit organization representing Canadians labelled with an intellectual and developmental disability. Having worked at the local, national, and international level, Shelley is acutely aware of the exclusion, discrimination, and barriers people face every day in their lives. Shelley was introduced to Emotional-CPR in 2020, and instantly felt like she had found her place as the intentions and principles of e-CPR are completely aligned with her core beliefs and values. eCPR introduced Shelley to deeper ways of providing support when dealing with someone in crisis. 

Carla Preston BoyerCarla Preston Boyer is a certified eCPR trainer and has spent the last 20 years in the mental health and addictions field as a peer leader and advocate. When landing in the industry, Carla felt like she was home. As someone who has recovered from both mental health and addiction issues, her career has always been her passion work. Then came emotional CPR, which was has become an even greater passion for Carla. Embodying the eCPR intentions and principles has helped her to serve others in an even deeper way. 

Jennifer Randal-ThorpeJennifer Randal-Thorpe, PSS, is President and CEO of Meaningful Minds United, Inc. Jennifer is a member of the Mayor's Pastor's Alliance, The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Trainers, The College of Behavioral Health Leadership, The Health Equity Taskforce in Lafayette, Louisiana, Louisiana Peer Action and Advocacy Coalition, and Louisiana Association for Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers. She is a trained facilitator for Target Health, Seeking Safety, Hearing Voices Network, Alternatives to Suicide, and a Trainer-in-Training for Emotional CPR. She attempts to encourage everyone she meets, and she believes that we are all connected.

Sandra McQueen-BakerSandra McQueen-Baker has been facilitating meetings and trainings for over 10 years. Sandra is a Recovery Educator and one of the first Advanced WRAP Facilitators in Florida; she is also a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist. Sandra is a leader in promoting mental health transformation initiatives representing individuals in numerous meetings and trainings throughout the United States. She has been honored with several awards including the 2006 Voice Award from SAMHSA, the 2007 Heroes in the Fight Award from the Mental Health Association, and the 2007 Consumer Advocate of the year from the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County. She received the 2014 EPIC award from Broward County MHA and a plaque from Disability Rights Florida in 2015.

Gilbert W. WhiteduckGilbert W. Whiteduck is (Anishinabe) Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation community. Mr. Whiteduck holds a B.S.W (Honours), a B.Ed, an M.Ed, and an Honorary Doctorate which he received from the University of Ottawa in 1999 for his work in field of education. Mr. Whiteduck was involved in the field of First Nations education for over 33 years. He has been working as a Clinical Coordinator and Residential Counsellor for the past seven years at the Wanaki Treatment Center (for substance use disorders) located in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation community. Mr. Whiteduck remains active in his efforts to ensure that First Nation voices are not only heard but understood. He walks with an understanding of the historical past that guides him in respecting the present moments with humbleness and love. 

Ben Cooley HallBen Cooley Hall was born an artist, formed as a chaplain and activist, trained as a psychologist, and inspired and guided by the peer movement. Ben works inside and outside of the system to promote autonomous thriving and mutual care and accountability by centering the voices, wisdom, and leadership of people with lived experience of severe emotional distress, extreme states, and oppressive treatment by the mental health care establishment.

Berny MaywaldBerny Maywald has been working in the mental health field for the past 17 years in various roles and is now a psychotherapist at Humane Clinic in Adelaide, Australia. She also works and trains in the Just Listening community, a community-led emergency alternative for people in crisis. Berny is passionate about working with people who hear voices and experience altered states or are suicidal. She loves the way eCPR facilitates connection in communication and finds it particularly helpful in supporting people who are experiencing distress.

Maji Peterx, Ph.D is in Kaduna, Nigeria and has over 20 years of experience working on peacebuilding, governance, trauma healing, social cohesion, restorative justice, and Preventing and Transforming Violent Extremism (PTVE). He is also experienced in Therapeutic Counseling and compassionate connection. His work has included content design, development, and training lay counselors as first responders to traumatized persons who are victims and survivors of mass atrocities. Maji has developed several training manuals in use in over 50 countries and has facilitated over 250 workshops. Maji is a Strategy for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) practitioner, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner, and an alumnus of the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of the US Department of State, and a Senior Fellow of the US Global Center on Cooperative Security.

Yenifer NaharYenifer Nahar and is a tenacious explorer of the cultures, skills, behaviours, and language supporting living systems to flourish. Yenifer's purpose in life is to foster curiosity, zest, hope, and compassion. Yenifer, who lives in Indonesiea, combines her learnings as Certified Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Practitioner, Certified Compassionate Systems Master Practitioner, Compassionate Integrity Training L1 Facilitator, Emotional CPR (eCPR) Educator, experienced SEL Facilitator and Green Educator to support individuals and communities, showing up as the best version of herself to cultivate ecosystems of compassion and hope for optimising the whole.

Pam Brooks-CrumpPam Brooks-Crump, an eCPR Educator, is a person in long term recovery (twenty-five years!) from mental health, substance misuse and traumas. She has worked as a certified peer specialist for Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network ( for the past five and a half years. She is an avid outdoor person- camping, hiking, boogie boarding are just a few of her favorites!


Monique CaissieMonique Caissie is a professional speaker, facilitator and coach who draws from 30 years of crisis intervention work to help others increase their confidence to feel more seen, heard, and respected. She works as an Accredited Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach to increase collaboration in the workplace. She took eCPR for professional reasons when she was a family peer support worker in psychiatry, but continued her relationship to become an Educator motivated by her lived experience and resonance with the concept. She currently fantasizes about expanding eCPR to the French population in Canada with NEC's help.

Flora RelefordFlora Releford: has over three dedicated decades of experience with Texas county, state, and federal health and wellness agencies. She uses her knowledge, experiential wisdom, and education in emotional wellness, whole health, and healing arts to support others in a conscious transformation from mental, physical, emotional, or artistic blocks by releasing trauma through a variety of traditional and alternative healing modalities. She has a private Alternative Healing Arts holistic health and wellness practice and a passion for guiding individuals to lifestyle behavior changes and providing evidence-based educational practices in Emotional CPR. Flora is an ECPR trainer, Reiki Master, Life and Recovery coach, CHW, PRSS/ ICPR /PM, MCSE, and NLP.

Daniel Fisher, MD, PhDDaniel Fisher, MD, PhD: Dan’s life purpose comes from his lived experience of recovery from schizophrenia, which inspired him to dedicate himself to helping others find their voice and recover. He earned an MD, and completed his residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has practiced as a board-certified, community psychiatrist for 30 years. In 1992, he co-founded the federally-funded National Empowerment Center and serves as its executive director. He was a commissioner on the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2002-03.

Lauren Spiro, MALauren Spiro, MA: Lauren’s work focuses on developing our capacity for compassion, appreciating the vast creativity of the human mind, and building pathways so everyone may come home. She co-founded two non-profit corporations and is a schizophrenia survivor, educator, artist, consultant, community developer, and the co-founder of Emotional CPR. She has an M.A. in clinical/community psychology. Her memoir, Living for Two: A Daughter’s Journey From Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace was published in 2014. For more information see

Caitlin Fisher (MSc)Caitlin Fisher (MSc): Caitlin is a former professional soccer player turned gender-justice activist and community organizer. She works on labor rights and LGBTQIA+ discrimination in sport. She does movement research and performance on gender (re)presentation, embodied resistance, and the commons and is currently involved in the integration of eCPR with movement and the body. She has an MSc in Gender (London School of Economics) and a BA in Biological Anthropology (Harvard University).

Carolyn Pifer is a Community Health Worker, Michigan Certified Peer Support Specialist, and eCPR Trainer.Located in Manistee Michigan, she works for various non- profits throughout the state. Carolyn has worked extensively with both DBT and ACT. She has been a leader in Michigan health and wellness trainings facilitating workshops in: Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Stanford University's Chronic Disease and Chronic Pain and Diabetes Self-Management Programs, Smoking Cessation, Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) as well as eCPR. Prior to becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Carolyn was a Corporate Sales and Training Manager and a former bank vice president. "I am a strong advocate for integrated health. I understand the devastation that mental illness and addiction can have on a life, and the resilience of the human spirit to overcome and rebuild a life worth living."

Deborah Louise TrueheartDeborah Louise Trueheart is passionate about helping to birth a new paradigm in mental health care by moving away from a pathological, disease focus toward wholeness-based perspectives. She has developed a curriculum called, “Living Into Wholeness” that teaches principles and practices to access and live from our authentic state of Beauty, Divinity, and Wholeness.

Deborah lives on the gulf coast of Florida and is involved in a grassroots county-wide trauma informed community development initiative called Sarasota Strong. She is promoting eCPR to enhance trauma-informed skills in this initiative. She is former Director of the Technical Assistance Center at the National Empowerment Center and holds degrees in Human Services and Behavioral Science. Debbie is the 2018 recipient of the Howie the Harp Arts award and the 2011 NYAPRS Faith & Fellowship award.

Lynn McLaughlinLynn McLaughlin is a communications professional with 25 years of experience in both the private and non-profit sectors. Lynn’s life experience, education, training in peer support systems and trauma (including her personal release of a belief system resulting from sexual abuse, domestic violence, depression and addiction) make her an exceptional peer support provider and trainer. She received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Marian University. She is a trainer of the State of Wisconsin Peer Specialist curriculum and serves on the Wisconsin Recovery Implementation Task Force. Lynn has facilitated workshops at the Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference, Wisconsin Mental Health & Substance Use Conference, and the Wisconsin NAMI Conference. Lynn embodies the principles of Emotional CPR and her passion for sharing it with others is evident in all facets of her life.

Erica_Ruvalcaba-Heredia Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia is the Program Director for the Center for Family Strengthening. She oversees the Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County and Innovative Partnerships, a regional grant funded by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP), in partnership with Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Erica is also a parent educator and mother of three beautiful sons. For twenty-five years she and husband have called the Central Coast home.

Erica is a graduate of the University of Santa Barbara and earned her Master’s Degree in Spanish and BA in Spanish and Latino and Iberian Studies. She holds a PhEd in Organizational Leadership from the University of Laverne. Her own personal experience and knowledge of Latino culture helps to bridge gaps, create effective outreach opportunities, and empower the community. Today she works in collaboration with other agencies to ensure children and parents are receiving equal access to healthcare and services/resources needed to live a healthy life. She is an eCPR trainer and her passion is to provide the support needed to the most vulnerable community.

Marki WebberMarki Webber, RN M.Ed. has decades of experience and training as an RN and experiential educator which has enabled her to bear witness to life's most poignant and moving transitions. From assisting women giving birth and welcoming babies into the world to offering care to patients and families as a Hospice RN, her work has truly spanned the full range of life's experiences. Additionally, her many years of experience working in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings has enabled her to offer deep listening and compassionate presence to those suffering with addictions and mental health challenges of every kind.

Her approach, arising in part from her early training as an experiential educator, is rooted in the bedrock of nonviolence and arises out of a profound respect for the humanity, integrity and inner wisdom of each person. She holds training and certification in multiple modalities including NLP, Focusing, Motivational Interviewing, NVC, and Trauma Informed approaches to care. In addition to her work as an eCPR trainer she works with individuals and groups teaching Guided Focusing skills and offering Transformational Coaching and loves helping people discover their own inner wisdom.

Dwayne KellyDwayne Kelly is a Michigan Certified Peer Support Specialist and peer support trainer for the state of Michigan. He currently has dual careers working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Vocational Development Specialist in Battle Creek MI. He also works part-time for Summit Pointe as a peer support specialist. Dwayne is a seven-year veteran of the United States Marine Corp. Dwayne enjoys serving his fellow Veterans sharing his recovery story to assist with their recovery journey and obtaining benefits. He is a E-CPR Trainer, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator, and Employment Training Specialist. He recently completed all the requirements for his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and will receive his degree November 2020.

Reid SmithdealW. Reid Smithdeal, MSW, LCSW, CPSS holds a Master of Social Work from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reid has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, homeless shelters, and academia. When Reid was first exposed to eCPR in 2011, he had the thought, “this training teaches people to be human again.” Through his lived experiences he realized that his challenges have been created by being disconnected from his true being, which has disconnected him from others. Reid believes that we all have the innate ability to heal ourselves from the traumas we have experienced in life and that eCPR can help us learn to tap into our natural healing abilities. Reid has facilitated trainings across the United States for the past 20 years and eCPR trainings for the past 9 years. He is fulfilled by the experience of joining with others as they grow together.

Cheryl Simmonds Molyneaux, EdDCheryl Simmonds Molyneaux, EdD is Co-Executive Director of Peer Support Coalition of Florida, the statewide peer network. Twenty years of her nonprofit career were spent at Disability Rights Maryland. As an adult educator she served many years in various capacities from adjunct faculty to campus dean. After moving to Florida, Cheryl founded and continues to be active in the Central Florida chapter of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. She is passionate about helping individuals involved with the criminal justice system and has provided wellness education in jail for many years. As a person with lived experience and a family member of individuals with lived experience, she is passionate about advocating for appropriate and accessible individualized supports.

Lisa E. A. Watson Lisa E. A. Watson is one of our initial Canadian certified eCPR Trainers, who has her own past history overcoming anxiety, panic attacks, depression and suicidality, which led her into a rewarding career helping others overcome similar mental health issues. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Behavioural Psychology, Lisa also holds several Masters-level accreditations in Trauma Recovery, Grief Support, Suicide Intervention, and Ambiguous Loss (MMIW/M). Lisa is also a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor, in addition to being a Canadian Certified Telemedicine Addiction Counselling Professional. She is a strong mental health professional who is a passionate advocate for Indigenous people across Canada. She was a valued member of the National Mental Health and Wellness Crisis Response Team, and in that capacity has lived and travelled extensively throughout Canada’s High Arctic, assisting many First Nation and Inuit communities and reserves in times of crisis. She now runs her own Mental Health, Wellness and Crisis Response company, Behaviour Aid, both nationally and internationally. For further information, please see

Richarde DonelanRicharde Donelan, EdD is the CEO and Founder of Turn North Now and an active eCPR Lead Trainer in Indianapolis, IN. Richarde currently serves as a Life and Wellness Coach for education professionals and college students. He also designs and facilitates seminars and webinars for mentors and mentees engaged in STEM college-degree courses. He is a “card carrying” life-long learner and Educologist with decades of experience in service to individuals, groups, communities, and organizations. Among these experiences and roles are included Ordained Pastor, Biology Teacher, School Leadership Professor, Husband, Father, and Non-Profit Board Chairperson. Richarde identifies and advocates the merits of eCPR for crossing liminal spaces and living at levels of authentic human-to-human connections and self-empowerment capable of consistently redirecting and recovering harmony possible in our shared humanity.

Susanne ArmstrongD. Yarrow Halstead, MA, CPPS has been working with the principles of eCPR as a trainer and facilitator for several years. She earned her Master of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in communication/theater arts. She works as a certified peer support specialist with Washtenaw County Community Mental Health. Yarrow facilitates DBT grad group and began the Wellness: Body, Mind and Spirit group focusing on all aspects of healing, particularly alternative healing paradigms. Through the University of Michigan, Yarrow works as part of a research team studying the importance of peers working with others, whom, like herself, have survived suicide. She is passionate about this work. She is also a person in long-term recovery from both substance and mental health challenges. As a Reiki Master, massage therapist and musician, Yarrow understands and is sensitive to the exchange of energy. “What matters to me is the sacred connection we make with each other. Being with another person experiencing crisis, I know that connecting with the heart begins the process of movement from crisis to safety. I understand the power of being listened to, being seen and being heard.”

Briana StricklandBriana Srickland is an impassioned advocate for healing and transformation. As a survivor of many traumas and adversities that began in early childhood, she has dedicated her life’s journey to various practices and disciplines that embody a heart, mind, and body approach. She believes that when we step into a true, authentic relationship with ourselves, we mend the wounds we all carry-individually and collectively. Briana is an artist, an activist, and a Peer Support Specialist at The Promise Resource Network, as well as an educator for eCPR. She is working towards completing her RYT certification for trauma-informed yoga teaching and one of the founders of a newly formed artistic center in Greensboro, NC that promotes arts, expression, social justice, community, and wellness. 

Shontelle ProkipcakShontelle Prokipcak MSW, RSW, CCAC, CCS-AC has been practicing social work and psychotherapy with individuals and families for over 20 years. Her training includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Collaborative Problem Solving, Women's Issues, GLBTQ Issues, Mindfulness, Concurrent Disorders, Trauma and PTSD as well as Addiction Issues. She owns and operates Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa in Ontario Canada. She was the first coordinator and trainer for eCPR in Canada.

Shontelle ProkipcakL.A. McCrae, DMin., CSC-AD, CPRS, RPS, RCP, CCTP, CCTSA is a clinician, certified peer recovery specialist, recovery chaplain, grassroots and community-based research activist who grounds their work in the Great Believing and this project called liberation. They are a recent graduate of the Doctorate of Ministry program in Public Engagement at Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. L.A. focuses their work on issues related to mass incarceration/decarceration, trauma, addiction, and mental health. L.A. is also a student in the Doctorate of Public Health program at Morgan State University focused on the interconnectedness of trauma, addiction, and the social determinants of incarceration. Currently, Dr. L.A. is collaborating with colleagues to merge the work of pastoral care and alcohol and drug counseling to develop a new generation of “recovery chaplains.” L.A. continues to advance work in harm reduction, abolition, and the "Three Ps:" public health, public theology, and public engagement. L.A.'s work is grounded by abolitionist politics, liberation theology, and emergent strategy. Each day, L.A. continues to be inspired by the words of adrienne maree brown: "I am not afraid of what I came here to do."

Joanna RobsonJoanna Robson, DVM is a veterinarian with an integrative practice in Northern California and a special interest in Veterinary Mental Health. She completed the Veterinary Human Support Certificate program through the University of Tennessee College of Social Work, and is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute. As an eCPR Trainer her mission is to combine her lived experience with a passionate drive to help people find and develop an embodied listening presence that ceases to "fix and advise" and rather stays truly present with the emotional needs of peers, colleagues, clients, and humans being. She has founded "ECPR for Life" and continues to develop eCPR for veterinary medicine, human healthcare, first responders, teachers, and more.

Sherry WarnerSherry Warner is the PENTAC Education Coordinator for the Peer Support Coalition of Florida. She has a bachelor's degree in Special Education from the University of North Florida. She moved to working in mental health after a career as a schoolteacher. She's certified as a Recovery Peer Specialist (CRPS) and is also nationally certified (NCPS). She has experience as a success coach, project coordinator, trainer, public speaker, and loves facilitating workshops and courses. Sherry is the mother of five and a fierce advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. Wellness and self-care are among Sherry’s favorite conversation topics. In her spare time, Sherry enjoys beach and pool days and being outdoors. She loves vacationing, discovering new places, photography, reading, watching movies, eating good food, and creating art.

Yashira RodriguezYashira Rodriguez is a mother of three living in Puerto Rico. Yashira is a nurse by profession and a master’s student in Mental Health Counseling. She works with the Christian Coalition for the Prevention of Suicide in Puerto Rico and the Life Assisting Fellowship Corporation as a volunteer in the call center, La Esperanza, and in the Centro Services Life and Hope with support groups for suicide prevention and mental health. They provide emotional and physical tools for healing. She also works with entrepreneurs assisting them to complete projects and maintain their well-being.

Rev. Christin Green, MA, MDiv
Rev. Christin Green, MA, MDiv (she/her) identifies as a mixed-race adopted woman, a musician and poet, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and a lifelong student of deep listening traditions and modalities. Rev. Christin serves as the Assistant Minister for Congregational Life at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton, VA. She also currently lives in Maryland and does work with project:liberation, On Our Own of Frederick County, and peers in recovery. Rev. Christin believes that our lives are sacred texts and our sharing in community leads to sacred witness.

Barbara GaskinsBarbara Gaskins is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Life Coach, trained in Trauma Informed approaches, and Reentry Simulation Facilitator granted by the US Department of Justice. She is a Certified Reentry Professional through the Association of Reentry Professionals, and National Certified Prison Reentry Professional through The Addiction Academy. Ms. Gaskins has been working with the concept of reentry since the inception of the NC Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011. She has since been working with agencies in the state of North Carolina to provide guidance and support to aid with reentry efforts to support successful reentry and family reunification. She is the Director of NC Community Outreach & Wellness Center Inc., a nonprofit in eastern NC that is focused on the 8 Dimensions of Wellness.

Bianca LuraschiBianca Luraschi is a Counselor and a Disability Support Worker specializing in autism spectrum disorder. She has been involved in the eCPR community for four years. Her journey with eCPR was inspired by her autistic son who at the time was six years old. Bianca is passionate about social justice, advocacy, holistic health, and authenticity about who she is and her journey. Bianca runs her own business which can be found at Bianca’s favorite quote which she lives by is “In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind.”

Tracia PriceTracia Price received her Associate of Applied Science in Business with a concentration in Management with Centura College Online while homeless and living in a tent in Southern Maryland. She has experienced trauma loss throughout her life due to relationships, homelessness, and the system. She is a mother. She is an active member of The National Society of Leadership and Success. Tracia focuses on being an advocate in her community and Nationwide. Tracia has received awards for her assistance in many areas, but certificates and awards are not her focus. It is knowledge. She is Maryland Registered Peer Supervisor and a Certified Life Coach. She is a Dean of Student Affairs with Project Liberation Peer Academy. She is currently getting her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Southern New Hampshire University. She is releasing her first book and workbook in Summer 2024. After completing her Bachelors’s and Master’s, she will be working towards her Doctorate.

Edna TiradoEdna Tirado has worked as a social worker in Puerto Rico's correctional system, a specialist in child support in Prince George County, and a peer specialist. She has facilitated trainings in peer support, WRAP, and recovery from domestic violence. She was the first person at Capestrano Hospital to be trained in eCPR. She has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. As someone who experienced trauma in her childhood and adult life, she believes in helping others to recover. 

Rachel Zinman Harris Rachel Zinman Harris' expertise is in Peer-led Crisis Support. Rachel has served as a Mental Health and Peer Support Specialist for Alameda County Behavioral Health, Women's Cancer Resource Center, Black Women's Wellness Retreat, and many other mental and emotional wellness platforms. Rachel is an engaging public speaker and trainer. Her workshops use the arts and healing modalities including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and emotional CPR (eCPR) to break through old habits and limited thinking to encourage a shift to a more expansive view of wellness. Under a contract between the City of Berkeley and the Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients, Rachel currently serves as the manager of Berkeley's first Peer-led Crisis Support Program. Rachel lives in the East Bay with her mother, husband and three children.

Maggie /WrightMaggie Wright is a eCPR certified Trainer in Scotland, UK, and also the founder and CEO of Families In Trauma and Recovery, a non-profit, “lived experience” organization focusing on delivering support to those who have undergone traumatic circumstances. Maggie saw the high value of eCPR instantly when she first encountered it in 2015 and subsequently followed the path to her own training and certification. She now incorporates eCPR into her trauma-informed peer support training, as well as helps to coordinate regular eCPR trainings in Scotland.

Anna NewberryAnna Newberry is continuing her education as an Associate of Science in Human Services Social Work, certificates in human services and addiction studies. Anna is an eCPR educator, an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED instructor, and a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Anna is a volunteer advocate for people living with dementia and people living with disabilities (PLWD) with the Alzheimer's Association and other organizations that focus on equality and acceptance for PLWD. Anna loves to share eCPR's life-changing power and enjoys connecting heart-to-heart with others.

Jeff WalkerJeff Walker is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, an individual in long term recovery, and a formerly incarnated person. Jeff is the Programs Director who overseas seven different programs at Wilkes Recovery Revolution which is a Recovery Community Organization in North Carolina. Jeff is an Emotional CPR Educator, CCAR Recovery Coach Facilitator, Recovery Coach: a Harm Reduction Pathway Facilitator, Language Matters Facilitator, and Certified Peer Support Trainer within the Criminal Justice System. Jeff is a father, dog-lover, and outdoors person in his free time. Jeff believes the opposite of addiction is connection, connection is community, and community is recovery. Jeff believes in authenticity and values the voices of lived experience. If you spend a lot of time with Jeff, you will often hear him saying “Live your best life.”

Felicity Therese Krueger is a 18 year old youth leader. She is a member of Kentucky Youth MOVE, Youth Best Practice Committee and is a Kentucky youth ambassador.She has worked in the advocacy realm since she was 11 years old. Starting with following her mom to the capital and is currently working on several projects to better help youth struggling with mental health or are in the foster care/adoption system. She spends her summers working as a camp counselor. Her passion is working to educate young people in leadership and empowerment.

Alisha Rojas Harrison (she/her) has lived and educational experience with trauma and resilience. A youth development professional at heart, her vision is to create healing communities through advocacy, education, and empowerment. She is the founder of Luminary Productions LLC, providing access to trauma-nformed training for community leaders, educators, and adolescents. Alisha also founded Helen’s House, in honor of her grandmother, to specifically address the youth mental health crisis. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 20 years, their two boys, and their psychiatric support animal, Jarvis.

Onyango Otuoma has an interest in the provision of social and environmental equity to marginalized communities. Onyango has more than eight years of working experience with both national and international organizations and has been privileged to work with individuals from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Onyango is a mentor and coach who wishes to utilize his knowledge, skills, and experience to see a substantial number of people become better and win so society will tilt towards a better place for all. He is the co-founder of Mindful African Initiative, an organization founded on the passion to tackle social and behavioral issues.

Danell Spillman is a Peer Support Specialist, Family Recovery and Support Specialist, a Certified Justice Involved Re-Entry Peer Support Specialist, Certified eCPR Trainer, and a certified facilitator for numerous recovery and support programs in Louisiana. Danny has a natural concern for improving outcomes for children, individuals, families, and communities, especially those usually marginalized by society. She focuses her advocacy on issues of child abuse and neglect, criminal justice, strengthening families, mental illness, and substance use to break free of destructive cycles to improve the outcomes and the quality of life for those she serves.

Anna Armstrong, DipMus, DipMusBus, BMus, Certified eCPR Trainer–is a professional musician, singer/songwriter, strings player, manager of bands, and stage manager. Anna has completed Diplomas in Music, Music Business, and a Bachelor of Music. She has 10 years’ experience as an instrumental strings music teacher for children, youth, and adults. Anna applies emotional CPR practice through her extensive involvement with the music industry, focusing particularly on mental health in the creative arts community, and supporting young adults and children. See her music at -

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