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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 occupational burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, empathic distress fatigue 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), and the 30-hour CE course for Nurses, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: Helping Individuals Cope (1ed., 2ed., 3ed., 4ed.) and CE course, COVID-19 Loss, Grief, and Bereavement (2020). Barbara 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 Newsweek, Family Circle, Health, Shape, FOX Business, TODAY, and others.

Three weeks prior to giving birth, her father, a retired New York City police officer, died by suicide. Her story of managing traumatic loss was featured in the Emmy award winning documentary, Fatal Mistakes, Families Shattered by Suicide narrated by Mariette Hartley. Barbara’s keynote, training, and webinars on resilience, work-life balance 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


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