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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 is a leading authority and award-wining author on managing occupational burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, empathic distress fatigue and vicarious trauma. As a nationally recognized keynote speaker, Barbara motivates audiences to build career resilience through the lens of traumatic grief-informed and vicarious trauma-informed care. Her programs help trauma-informed workplaces, mental health teams, healthcare leaders, and victim service providers, manage workplace chronic stressors. Barbara has presented to over 1,000 organizations since 1991, including corporations, state and national associations and non-profits.

As a Board-Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and Diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, she helps leaders retain employees who struggling with empathic distress and 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), and the 30-hour CE course for Nurses, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope (4ed). Barbara wrote the CE course for healthcare professionals, COVID-19 Loss, Grief, and Bereavement (2020). Since 2003, Barbara has been a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVCTTAC). Barbara co-authored the  OVCTTAC Training Curriculum, Compassion Fatigue. She is also a contributing writer to Thin Threads: Grief and Renewal; Fresh Grief; Coaching for Results; and Keys to a Good Life.

You have seen Barbara’s work in Newsweek magazine, Family Circle, Health magazine, Shape magazine, FOX Business, TODAY, Life Coach magazine 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 narrated by Mariette Hartley. Barbara’s keynotes, trainings, and webinars on resilience, work-life balance and self-care, are a perfect blend of humor and content. 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


American Association
of Suicidology

Association for Death Education and Counseling

National Center for Crisis Management

Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

Honors and Awards

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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