Are you grieving?

Are you navigating a significant life transition?
Has someone you loved died due to Covid-19 or during this pandemic?
Are strong emotions, insights, and personal struggles rising up given recent anti-racism work/protests?

Are you feeling scared, worried, lost, overwhelmed, and alone?
Is parenting, schooling, working and navigating social distancing overwhelming you?
Do you need a compassionate/mindful heart to hold space for you?

Welcome to Holding Space Consultations

All of the Holding Space Consultants listed below have completed an advanced Holding Space Consultant training with Institute founder, Amy Wright Glenn. This training supplements, and builds upon, prior training and years of professional experience as birth and/or death doulas, social workers, and mental health professionals ~ qualifying each Holding Space Consultant offer quality 50-minute one-on-one consultations during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic ~ and beyond.

Until the World Health Organization deems the Covid-19 pandemic to be over, all Holding Space Consultants commit to offering a portion of their monthly Holding Space Consultations pro-bono for individuals who are suffering on a significant financial level due to the struggles, losses, and strifes of this pandemic.

Holding Space Consultants work within a specific scope of practice ~ offering up their compassionate presence in a way that is distinct from formal mental health counseling, but nonetheless powerful and meaningful. Holding Space Consultants integrate moments of mindful breathing, a focus on the body’s wisdom/sensations, and meditation.

$120 per session
Institute members pay $60
Each Holding Space Consultant offers pro-bono consults during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic 

To schedule a consultation 

*The Institute also hosts a donation-based Holding Space + Covid-19 Circle of Care offering weekly online support as we navigate this challenging global pandemic on every level ~ emotional, spiritual, financial, psychological, and specifically focused on grief work.





Kathleen Putnam holds an MS from Bastyr University and founder of NutritionWorks, with a specialty in nutrition science, mindfulness, and lifestyle coaching in Seattle WA.  Kathleen is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Parent Coach, Educator, Group Facilitator, Food Therapist, Certified Death Doula, and Life Coach specializing in Life’s Transitions through Grief and Loss.  Kathleen supervises graduate students at Bastyr Natural Health Clinic and has served as Associate Professor of Nutrition and Human Development in multiple higher education institutions in the Seattle area.  With decades of work as a trainer and provider with the Dean Ornish Lifestyle Medicine and Laurel Mellin’s Emotional Brain Training programs, Kathleen has built a foundation of skills and tools of mindfulness, responsive education, group facilitation, and coaching that has led to the desire to be a healing presence for those experiencing transitions through loss, grief, and end of life.  Kathleen’s known for her ability to meet people where they’re at while creating a safe and loving space free of shame and stigma. As a parent, partner, sister, daughter, and a survivor of divorce, Kathleen welcomes the opportunity to join the community of Amy Wright Glenn as we collectively and individually learn and grow to hold space for those in need.  In a fun side project, Kathleen and her friends developed the nutrition bar, Zing.  Kathleen offers coaching for individuals, parents, and families going through life transitions of loss, health, and end-of-life transitions and facilitates grief groups. Learn more.


Heather Tolley holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Utah, has completed graduate level counseling training as an interfaith healthcare chaplain (Clinical Pastoral Education), and specialized training in supporting survivors of abuse and sexual assault. Heather offers compassion and skilled emotional support to those going through life’s most challenging experiences and specializes in assisting individuals and families who are in the midst of crisis and grief. Through her work as an interfaith hospice chaplain, she has helped many people transition through physical decline and prepare for the end of life. Having also trained as a birth and bereavement doula, Heather has offered support to individuals and families through both birth and death. Heather is honored to support those experiencing faith crisis, spiritual transition, and survivors of religious trauma. She supports the healing process by bringing softness to sharp moments through skilled listening and loving kindness.




Paule Johanne Toussaint-Parrish (Joie) holds an Ed.S in Counseling from Rider University. Joie is the founder of Joie de Vivre Family Services. She is a Master Teacher, Educator, Birth Doula, Life coach, Parent Coach, Wife, and Mother. Joie holds an Administrative Certification from New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and has taught and coached for the Trenton Public School System in New Jersey for over twenty years. Since 2005, Joie has worked in a variety of capacities to support children, women and families in vulnerable populations.  She specializes in creating safe, sacred ceremonies that creatively honor the special moments in life as her mission and goal is to assist people to find joy throughout the various season of life. Joie’s work has assisted her in serving people throughout the seasons of life, from birth through death. Learn more.



Kristen Avonti holds a B.A. from Hampshire College wherein she studied psychology and social work. She has a background in herbalism, doula work, supporting birthing families, and end of life doula care. She has a deep passion for the natural world and loves growing plants for food and medicine. Kristen is a “midwife for the soul” who has dedicated her life to tending our most vulnerable and tender thresholds of growth, transformation, grief, and loss. As a Holding Space Consultant and Transformational Life Coach, Kristen supports individuals in navigating the wilderness of our personal journeys, stepping through our thresholds of transformation, and finding our meaning making through the telling of our stories. In addition to offering Holding Space Consultations, Kristen is also a teacher of the Loving, Dying, and Letting Go workshop. Kristen’s passion lies in working with folks who are navigating the impacts of trauma in their lives, and those who are in the transformative process of discovering their authenticity and truth. Kristen’s approach to care is founded on a belief in the sacredness and power of our stories and the ways in which they give us meaning and a sense of place within our lives. Kristen’s deeply attuned presence and calm, caring authenticity invite a courageous bravery to rumble with our stories, get to know our hungry ghosts, and venture into the meaning making that occurs when we are lovingly held in our most vulnerable truths and stories.

Laura Tashjian holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a focus in humanitarian studies, gender and conflict resolution and completed a certification in Global Nutrition Programming. She works in the field of gender justice and is a professional birth doula, lactation counselor and trained in bereavement and trauma-informed yoga therapy. Laura is deeply rooted in practices of meditation and somatic explorations through yoga, sound/music and mindful intuitive movement. She anchors her work around themes of sacred connection, cultivating healing through loss, inter-generational trauma, and navigating the vulnerable edges of cultural identity and social injustice. Laura accompanies individuals with compassion, deep listening and an open heart. Learn more.





Anne Ferrier Crook holds a B.A. from American University in French Language and Western European Studies.  She is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, AADP, Certified Birth Doula, CD(DONA), and Certified Medical Interpreter, CMI-Spanish.  She has worked in many facets of healthcare for the past 20 years with regard to holding space for life’s sacred thresholds. Being a “birth worker” in both a traditional and non-traditional sense, she is passionate about supporting clients to heal and transform their body-mind-spirit from the inside out.  Anne taught nutritional healing and provided wellness consults to clients from all over the world at Onsite — a therapeutic retreat center world-renowned for trauma resolution. She specializes in emotional healing from post-traumatic stress bringing a compassionate presence to clients as they explore the deeper meaning of “soul care” while courageously navigating life transitions.  Her writing has been featured in childbirth magazines, online publications, and a best-seller book called “Thresholds: 75 Stories of How Changing Your Perspective Can Change Your Life.”  Anne offers consultations in English and Spanish.  Learn more.

Melissa Ming Foynes holds a Ph.D from from the University of Oregon and she has completed fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Melissa is a clinical psychologist, national educator, and co-founder of a therapy practice specializing in complex trauma, grief, and loss. She has held academic appointments at Harvard University and Boston University. She has expertise in traumatic losses (e.g., loss of children, loss of loved ones to suicide, murder, illness, accidents, natural disasters) as well as grief and loss related to the perinatal period (e.g., birth trauma, obstetric violence, miscarriage, stillbirth) and pediatric medical complexities (e.g., cancer, autoimmune disorders). She also frequently consults with professionals who have experienced trauma, grief, and loss in the course of their work. She is deeply committed to working with people who have experienced discrimination, trauma and/or loss due to some aspect of identity like gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and educational products, and has trained thousands of professionals. Learn more.

Marialuz Castro holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology (Concentration in Latin American Studies) from Swarthmore College and a MA in Rehabilitation Counseling (Concentration in Clinical Mental Health) from the University of the District of Columbia.  She has served the metro Washington D.C. community for close to 20 years as a bilingual (Spanish-English) human services provider, parent educator, anti-bias facilitator and birth doula. Deeply shaped by her childhood travels with her father to countries in Latin America, Africa and Europe, Marialuz holds reverence for the wisdom and beauty within all cultures and worldviews. A lifelong student and steward of the human experience, Marialuz strives to create space for all the emotions present at any moment for people, honoring the messages within them. Marialuz is also a dancer and Reiki Level II practitioner, which has inspired her to explore how our experiences live in our bodies and to assist individuals in releasing what no longer serves them through breath, energy work, and movement.


Melinda Hitchcock holds an MSW from Fordham University. In the last 20 years she has worked with families and individuals battling homelessness and addiction. At Little Sisters of the Assumption ~ a non- profit family health service in East Harlem, New York City ~ Melinda provided Spanish speaking services and support to immigrant families and refugees of all faiths to help them meet their most fundamental needs. At Angels at Risk in Los Angeles, California she helped guide students and their parents through life struggles and helped them build foundations for long term social stability. At In Balance Academy in Tucson, Arizona, a therapeutic boarding school for young men, Melinda used an array of experiential treatment modalities, including equine therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy. Melinda now lives at her retired horse farm in upstate New York, while mentoring women in her community who are struggling with addiction and basic coping skills. Melinda’s life contains a myriad of experiences that, through triumphs and tragedies, have brought her to the reality of living her desires and being of service to others. Her focus is specifically on the development of the individual and the healing and strength of family relations through positive solutions.  Her passion for her work extends beyond self, and her education. Her goal is to provide guidance and hope for all those who come under her care.

Amalia Haas holds an M.A. from Yeshiva University, a B.A. from Oberlin College, and rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Maharat. Amalia has trained in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and in a mindfulness practitioner who has participated in several week-long silent retreats. She is a GreenFaith fellow an Hartman iEngage Rabbinic Institute alumna. Amalia designs and teaches Judaism-informed honeybee education programs, sells raw honey and is “Rabba of the Bees” at the Shalom Institute in Malibu, CA. Amalia works at the intersection of mindfulness, food justice, and experiential education through her company Bee Awesome. She is training in chaplaincy at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spiritual Care. A mother of six, she is attuned to the challenges faced by those who learn and process in non-typical ways. A native Chicagoan, she is committed to closing the gaps of savage inequality in our society. She is honored to be part of the Institute. Learn more.

Matthew A. Munich, LCSW holds a BA (Cornell University) and PHD (Brown University in Classical Languages and Literature. After 10 years holding space as an educator,  he attended the Smith College School for Social Work for his Masters in Social Work. He has worked in general mental health settings at several levels of acuity: in-patient, day-treatment, and outpatient settings, where he has treated the spectrum of mental health presentations. Matthew has also worked in community agencies where he helped victims of violence recover from the symptoms emerging from those experiences. He held a position in the general mental health clinic at the Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA, where, in addition to working on posttraumatic stress disorder in its acute and chronic forms, he also worked with couples, mood disorders, and veterans experiencing upheavals in life circumstances. Most recently, Matt worked at the Duke Employee Assistance Program helping employees with difficulties in the workplace, stress management, and grief.  Matt has received advanced training in several evidence-based trauma protocols, including several cognitive behavioral protocols, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a modality useful for those with severe emotional regulation problems. Matthew has also received advanced training in the use of yoga, yogic techniques and mindfulness practices in the service of providing relief for a host of mental health presentations.

Tobie Spears holds a BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Utah and she has completed a Certificate in Criminology from the University of Utah. Tobie is the Founder of the nonprofit Guatemalan Humanitarian Tours where she leads humanitarian-minded expeditions to explore Guatemala while paying it forward. Since 2007, Tobie has been working as a birth and postpartum doula where she has volunteered with the Utah Doula Association as President, Vice-President, Mentoring Chair, and Retreat Chair in service to birth and postpartum doulas across the state of Utah. For 13 years, Tobie has assisted  families through the excitement of birth, the sorrow of loss, and has a particular focus/expertise in supporting people through postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Tobie is honored to be able to offer private consultations for individuals as they travel through life’s journey. Learn more.




Naima Beckles holds an MA from Loyola Marymount University and taught middle and high school students in Los Angeles, DC, and New York City. Naima is an educator, doula and founding director of For Your Birth – an intentionally diverse doula agency. Soon after the birth of her first child, she chose the work of supporting expectant parents and earned certifications from Lamaze and DONA.  While training with Amy Glenn Wright in a pregnancy loss course, the desire to hold space for life’s big losses, including death, was sparked.  As a teacher, doula, and mother; Naima lovingly stands alongside individuals navigating difficulties and triumphs. Naima offers private consultations with individuals who are experiencing any kind of loss during this confusing and difficult time. Learn more.


Barak Morton holds an BSHS in Human Service Management and is currently attending Walden University for a Masters in Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Barak has been working in the mental health field since 2008 and has been holding space for a wide spectrum of populations. As a Marine Corp Veteran, Barak is proud to say that his two children are currently serving as active-duty Marines. Barak’s passion for veterans and adolescents has spanned his career as he has professionally supported youth in the juvenile justice system as well as helping begin a program for homeless veterans in Stanislaus County, California. Barak is experienced in running  support groups for a myriad of at-risk populations including juveniles and adults on probation. Barak is passionate about the work of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death and also teaches the Loving, Dying or Letting Go workshop.

Alicia Suárez holds a BCE from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She also holds certifications as an educator, birth/postpartum doula, breast/chest feeding counselor, and yoga teacher. Alicia’s compassionate and mindful presence enables her to hold space for people navigating significant life changes including, but not limited to, death of a loved one, separation/divorce, pregnancy complications, caring for elderly/sick parents, loss of income/job, and the passing of beloved pets. Her work is greatly influenced by her studies in Body-Mind Centering®, as well as her background in perinatal psychology and mindfulness meditation. In 2013, Alicia founded La Luna Azul, a full-spectrum provider of holistic childbirth services located in New York City which focuses on supporting a spectrum of families through birth, adoption and/or surrogacy. In addition to offering Holding Space Consultations, Alicia is also a teacher of the Loving, Dying, and Letting Go workshop and has been trained by the Institute in art of group facilitation. She is humbled at the opportunity to witness and support the emotional journey of people of all races, gender identities, and financial standing. Alicia is fully bilingual and happy to offer her services in both English and Spanish. Learn more.

Charlotte Azad holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and is a trainer/teacher focused on developing resilience through trauma. Charlotte is a STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) practitioner, a Healing, Conflict, and Grief Circle facilitator, and works with front-lines peacebuilders in Central Asia and the Middle East as a debriefer and consultant. Charlotte holds space for productive tension between groups of varying backgrounds. She is deeply rooted in her physical practice, integrating somatic healing with Ashtanga Yoga, and leads practice rooms as well as one-on-one yoga work that is trauma informed for holistic healing. Charlotte is in learning process as an SE (Somatic Experiencing) practitioner and walks with individuals working through experiences, seasons, or memories that feel overwhelming with the goal of finding easier breath. Learn more.