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“The thread woven through Barbara’s books and coursebook is the significance of post-traumatic growth–meaning making, and building personal resilience.

Barbara’s resources give trauma-informed professionals the tools they need to be vicarious trauma-informed. As a leading thanatologist and award-winning author, Barbara’s books focus on traumatic loss, moral injury, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma.

Living Blue: Helping law enforcement officers and their families survive and thrive from recruitment to retirement

Living Blue is a life-changing book that offers a deeper understanding of the impact that vicarious trauma has on law enforcement officers (LEOs) and their family members. This evidence-based guide, rooted in cutting-edge research, and personal life experience, focuses on managing symptoms of chronic stress, burnout, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and moral injury. Living Blue is a blueprint that explores research in police wellness and interventions for supporting LEOs who are vicariously traumatized. Living Blue is an essential guide for LEOs, their families, mental health professionals who support them, and anyone affiliated with police safety and wellness. The content is adaptable enough for new, seasoned, and retired officers. Living Blue is written for educational purposes for anyone interested in first responder mental health, and in particular, law enforcement officer well-being.

Jason Palamara, a retired Cold Case Homicide detective, and Barbara Rubel, daughter of two police officers and a renowned Thanatologist, walk you through the obstacles to well-being. Thanatologists are specialists who focus on managing traumatic death. They use science and applied practice to educate first responders on ways to manage loss and prolonged grief. Palamara and Rubel share proven techniques to increase officer health and wellness, which also makes this book a valuable tool for mental health professionals who counsel police officers. The book combines stories, research, and introspective prompts, inviting LEOs and their families to discover insight into cultivating a positive mindset to build their resilience. What’s more, over 70 law enforcement professionals and experts on wellness share their insights.

Throughout Living Blue, LEOs, both on the job and retired, share their experiences and suggestions on law enforcement wellness. You will read what a police commissioner, chief of police, assistant chief of police, deputy chief, commander, captain, lieutenant, sergeant, detective, police officer, K9 Handler and trainer, and police dispatcher have to say about police stress. Learn about first responder mental health from those who were in the military, FBI, and firefighting. A retired colonel, a fire lieutenant, a former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, and a former United States Secret Service Agent share ways to build resilience. Pick up tips to mitigate burnout from police wellness authors, police and public safety trainers, and law enforcement instructors.

Gain valuable insight on first responder wellness from a LEO life coach, a transition specialist, a recovery coach, and a transformational life coach. Increase your knowledge about well-being from a psychiatrist, licensed clinical psychologist, suicidologist, family therapist,  psychotherapist, grief and trauma specialist, a research professor, and a director of wellness services. To improve overall health, a nutrition specialist and a fitness specialist offer their suggestions.

Winner of IndieReader Discovery Award 2020

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Third Revised Updated Edition

But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide (2020)

  • WINNER of Living Now Book Award 2020
  • WINNER of  IndieReader Discovery Award 2020
  • Read Review  from the INTAMS Library, page 290, a highly specialized, international, and multi-disciplinary collection of scholarly works in the field of marriage and family.

But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide tells the story, from the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, Alex, and his family, as they are rocked by suicide and reeling from the aftermath. Through Alex’s eyes, the reader sees the transformation of feelings after going through a suicide from a child’s perspective, although he has the wisdom of a bereaved adult.

Each chapter ends with Alex reflecting 10 years later on his experience, introducing family and friends in his recollections. Barbara Rubel has combined our modern academic theories of grieving, and the research that supports those theories, and then translated them into a readable story for anyone bereaved by suicide.

Through the family’s story, the reader will understand what losing someone to suicide might be like, how to make meaning, and experience posttraumatic growth. This book provides guidance and education for clinicians and families to help suicide loss survivors.

Part 1 offers a basic understanding of suicide postvention, complicated grief, and mourning theories. The chapters in Part 2 build upon one another from the day of the suicide to the anniversary. At the end of each chapter, there are follow-up questions to explore in counseling sessions, support groups, therapy sessions, or at home. At the end of each chapter, Alex, at the age of 21, reflects back on how his father’s death has changed his life, wounding him, but also helping him to grow.

This award winning book explores a trauma-informed and grief-informed approach to helping those who are traumatically bereaved.

Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

5th Edition

As the author of the first four editions, Barbara Rubel is pleased to announce that she is the course editor and reviewer of the 5th edition of Loss, Grief, and BereavementColibri Healthcare, LLC is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Contributing Author

KEYS TO A GOOD LIFE: Wisdom to Unlock Your Power Within

If you want to mitigate the impact of burnout, read, Keys to a Good life: Wisdom to Unlock Your Power Within. This resource is a collaboration of insights from people who have experienced transformation either through an outside circumstance or by an inward call for change. As a contributor, I shared a story, ideas, and lessons in order to guide you through your personal life journey. This handbook of wisdom reminds you that you have the power within to create the life of your dreams. Addressing everyday issues, 31 experts help you achieve work-life balance, prevent burnout and manage the stressors in your life.

Contributing Author

Fresh Grief: Inspirational Stories

The first year after you lose someone you love can be frightening, isolating, even bewildering at times. Sometimes you just feel totally lost. In this gentle grief support book, you will read articles written by many others who have walked the path of grief and loss. These contributors to the Open to Hope Foundation offer companionship and advice to help readers weather these first painful, rocky months when the tunnel of grief feels never-ending.

Contributing Author

Thin Threads Stories – Grief & Renewal

Barbara shares the story of her father’s suicide in this edition of Grief and Renewal. Other stories offer solace to those who have experienced the loss of their loved ones. They are real stories of life changing moments. With only 54 pages, this little gem is an easy read for those who are struggling with the stressors of loss.