90 | theTYPEAhippie Podcast | ChiCast: Navigating Grief (Robyn Donaldson, PhD)

Robyn Donaldson is an amazing human. I heard great things about her before I even had the pleasure of meeting her. She is brilliant, humble, intelligent and feels a great sense of duty serving others especially when it comes to grief.

On a normal weeknight in 2013, Dr Robyn Donaldson’s husband did not come home from work. He had been killed in a motorcycle accident less than a mile from their home. Adjusting to life without her husband of two short years and partner of seven was far from easy. They had bought a house together earlier that year to fit their growing family. They had been planning to get pregnant to add to their current family of two daughters from his previous marriage. Now, these things would never happen, and nothing would ever be the same.

Through Robyn’s work as a psychologist in private practice, she had developed significant expertise in supporting people in loss, and yet all of her experience did not make her own grief any easier to manage. As she worked to absorb the emotional and financial impacts of her husband’s death, she threw herself into her work, even accepting the nomination as president of her local psychological association.

As time passed, Robyn felt less and less support in her grief. Although many in her life showed love and concern, people needed to get back to the routine of their own lives. Others confessed that they felt ill-equipped to help someone in grief, and seemed to vanish for months or years. Speaking to fellow grievers, she discovered that this is all too common and makes processing grief even more challenging.

In trying to adjust to her new reality, she wanted to find a way  to help others who were going through similar situations. She joined forces with Laine Campbell and Keith Brings to help create a comprehensive set of community service and gift offerings that would help people support each other more deeply in times of loss. It is her hope that SolaceClub will make it easier for both people who are suffering a loss and for people who feel uncertain as to how to help others in grief.

Dr Donaldson completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2011. Once licensed, she started a private practice which she continued 2 years prior to being offered a staff position with the Counseling and Psychological Services department at UNLV. In addition to her clinical work, Dr Donaldson served as Treasurer for three years and then as the President of the Nevada Psychological Association (NPA) from 2015-2016. Dr Donaldson also received an award for outstanding contributions to the NPA. She currently serves on the NPA’s Executive Board as Past President. Dr Donaldson’s husband died unexpectedly in late 2013. Since that time, she has been determined to use her own experiences with and clinical knowledge of coping with grief to help others who are struggling.

To connect with Dr Donaldson:

* Website: https://www.solaceclub.com/