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Trauma-informed systems must implement wellness and resilience building strategies in their employees. Barbara has pioneered a unique vicarious trauma-informed approach to addressing traumatic loss and vicarious trauma by bringing a deep understanding of thanatology and personal resilience to her work. 

Barbara Rubel, BS, MA, BCETS, DAAETS, is a leading authority and award-winning author on managing secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue,  moral injury, and vicarious trauma. As a nationally recognized keynote speaker and thanatologist, Barbara motivates audiences to build career resilience through the lens of vicarious trauma-informed care. Her programs help professionals manage workplace chronic stressors. Barbara has presented to over 1,000 organizations since 1991. As a Board-Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and Diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, she gives audiences practical wellness strategies. Barbara received a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Arts degree in community health, with a concentration in thanatology, both from Brooklyn College.

Barbara is the author of But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide (3ed). (2020), the 30-hour CE course for Nurses, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope (1ed. – 4ed.) and CE course, COVID-19 Loss, Grief, and Bereavement (2020). Barbara co-authored Living Blue: Helping law enforcement officers and their families survive and thrive from recruitment to retirement (2024).  She also co-authored the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime Training Curriculum, Compassion Fatigue. She is a contributing writer to Thin Threads: Grief and Renewal; Fresh Grief; Coaching for Results; and Keys to a Good Life. You have seen her work in God Housekeeping,  Newsweek, Family Circle, Health, Shape, FOX Business, TODAY, and others.

Three weeks prior to giving birth to triplets, her father, a retired NYC police officer, died by suicide. Her story was featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary, Fatal Mistakes: Families Shattered by Suicide. Barbara’s keynotes and virtual trainings on building resilience and self-care are a perfect blend of humor and evidence-based practices. Her website is


University Teaching Experience includes Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences

  • Graduate courses: Children and Death, Health Crisis Intervention, and Health Counseling
  • Undergraduate course: Death, Life and Health



  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Brooklyn College
  • Masters of Arts, Community Health with Thanatology concentration, Brooklyn College
  • Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
  • Diplomate, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
  • Certified Bereavement Specialist
  • Certificate of Advanced Study in The Skilled Helper
  • Training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Basic and Advanced Group Crisis Intervention
  • Certified Pastoral Bereavement Counselor


Honors and Awards

  • 2023-Workplace Wellness & Resilience Specialist of the Year 2023, NWR Mental Health Innovation Champion 2023, North America Business Awards 2023, New World Report
  • 2023-Most Influential First Responder Keynote Speaker 2023 (USA), AI Global Media, Acquisition International
  • 2023– Most Compassionate Trauma-Informed Care Training Specialist 2023, Global Health & Pharma
  • 2022–Essential Worker Mental Health Thought-Leader of the year 2022, Global Health & Pharma (GHP)
  • William T. Cashdollar Distinguished Visiting Professorship Award, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing, Memphis, TN
  • Christopher Wray – U.S. Dept. of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of role as guest host of OVC Online Discussion Board
  • Plaque of Appreciation for Work Promoting Better Understanding of Sudden Loss and Traumatic Grief, Texans for Equal Justice, Conroe, TX
  • Challenge Coin presented by the Command Chief Master Sergeant, For Excellence, 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force Base New Jersey
  • May 2010 National Speakers Association Speaker of the Month, NJ

Articles and Work Featured in Print Publications

  • ADEC Forum, Association for Death Education and Counseling
  • Adult Family Caregivers, Impact Publications
  • American Association of Sociology Surviving Suicide Newsletter
  • Association for Death Education and Counseling Forum (ADEC)
  • Bereavement Care Services Ltd.
  • Business & Health Magazine
  • Catholic Cemetery Magazine
  • Central Post
  • Clinical and Financial Strategies for the Extended Care Professional (ECPN)
  • Columbus Dispatch
  • Comforting Friends, Friends for Survival, Inc.
  • Employee Assistance Report, Brown Bagger, Impact Publications
  • Franklin News Record
  • Friends For Survival Newsletter
  • Grief Magazine
  • Hamilton Observer
  • Illness, Crisis & Loss Journal
  • Imprint Magazine
  • Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
  • Knoxville Sentinel
  • Lifesavers Newsletter
  • MicronPC
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Montevideo American News
  • Mystic Gateway
  • National Coach Academy (NCA) and Life Coach Path  Read Barbara’s interview here:
  • New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association Newsletter
  • News & Observer
  • Nursing Spectrum, NJ/Upper NY Metro
  • Owatonna People’s Press
  • Panic Relief News
  • Princeton Packet
  • Quality Provider OHCA Newsletter
  • Recovery Link
  • Sentinel
  • South Brunswick Magazine
  • Staten Island Advance
  • School Nurse News
  • South Brunswick/North Brunswick Sentinel
  • Strategies for the Extended Care Professional Journal (ECPN)
  • Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) Magazine
  • Thanatology Newsletter
  • Tribune-Star
  • The Times
  • Visions Magazine

Barbara’s Work Has Been Featured In