Our Focus

This website brings together the work of the Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families at Arizona State University REACH Institute to disseminate the most current information and practical tools to promote healthy adaptation of bereaved children and their parents and caregivers. This online resource is is supported by our partnership with the NewYork Life Foundation. We provide information and practical tools both to the professional community that provides services to bereaved families and to parents and caregivers.


Meet Our Team

Irwin Sandler
Irwin Sandler, Ph.D.

Irwin Sandler is a Regents Professor Emeritus and Research Professor with the REACH Institute and the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. He has been doing research on resilience of bereaved children and on the effects of the most well researched program for bereaved families, the Family Bereavement Program. His current work focuses on training providers to deliver the Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families Program.

Sharlene Wolchik
Sharlene Wolchik, Ph.D.

Sharlene Wolchik has been a faculty member in the Psychology Department at Arizona State University for over 35 years. During this time, she has conducted research on factors that promote positive adjustment of children who have experienced family transitions, such as parental divorce and parental bereavement.

Liza Hita
Liza Hita, Ph.D., NCC

Liza Hita is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Online Programming and Digital Immersion for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University. Her research and clinical supervision focuses on parenting programs for families experiencing major life transitions, including high conflict families, never married and divorcing parents, and bereaved families. Additionally, her pedagogical interests include multicultural and social justice praxis and counselor training.

Kara Thieleman
Kara Thieleman, Ph.D.

Kara Thieleman has served as a grief counselor, hospice social worker, and Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families facilitator. She has taught in the School of Social Work and the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on bereavement, grief, child loss, mindfulness, and holistic interventions for grief-related distress.

Karey L. O’Hara
Karey L. O’Hara, Ph.D.

Karey O’Hara conducts research on the ways that children and parents adjust after stressful events in the family, such as parental bereavement and divorce. Her current work focuses on designing digital programs that teach helpful coping tools in an easy-to-access format.

Emily Winslow
Emily Winslow, Ph.D.

Emily Winslow received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in Prevention Science at Arizona State University.  Dr. Winslow studies the benefits of parenting skills, programs for children, parents, and families. She also develops and tests strategies for how to increase participation in parenting programs.

Emily Winslow
Jen Sandler, Ph.D.

Jen Sandler teaches in the Department of Anthropology at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She studies how diverse groups of people work together to create change, and has conducted research on parent engagement, grassroots policy change, and community organizing for racial and economic justice. Jen also facilitates collaborative processes and trains facilitators. She has been working with the ASU Reach Institute on the RPBF collaboration process for four years.

Meet our core partners