An Evening at Fisher Island and an Afternoon at Magianno’s by Joan E. Childs

Joan E. Childs, LCSW and Inspirational Keynote Speaker presents, Woman of the 21st Century at Maggiano’s

Joan E. Childs, LCSW, and Inspirational Keynote Speaker present, Life after Loss: A journey of 6 steps at Fisher Island. Images include: Joan E. Childs, LCSW and Production Team Georgina DiSalvo and Jonathan DiSalvo



An Evening at Fisher Island and an Afternoon at Magianno’s February and March were great months for speaking. I had the privilege of presenting LIFE AFTER LOSS at Fisher Island in February at the invitation of Scott Vogel, the Spa’s director and at Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant, where I presented WOMEN OF THE 21st CENTURY by request from Eileen Cohen who is on the board for the Women’s Empowerment Networking Group. The response to both was wonderful. My presentation at Fisher Island reflected what I wrote in my book, WHY DID SHE JUMP? My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder. More than that, it addressed the cascade of grieve loved one’s experience after the loss. Several of the attendees had lost a loved one and were eager to hear my story and how I morphed from pain into purpose and passion. Fisher Island is one of the most exquisite communities in South Florida, perhaps even in the US and world. Having been a child of Miami Beach from the mid-forties and living across the street from Joe’s Stone Crabs as a child, often bewildered by the thought of why anyone would want to eat a crab made out of stone, I was flabbergasted to see what was once an island near the jetties that I climbed as a child. Set in Government Cut where the cruise ships pass by, this small island became the home to the rich and famous. Seventy plus years after those days went by, I was mystified by what Carl Fisher, the founder of Miami Beach envisioned and developed even after he was gone. Had he been alive today, we both would be stunned to see the manifestation of a dream come true. Ferrying from the dock to the island, I was in awe both coming and going. The backdrop of Miami in all its glory took my breath away. I had never seen it from that view. The lights of the city illuminated the majestic buildings that lined the bay with color and splendor. When had this happened, I had wondered. Cruising in our car, both Georgina, my technician, and webmaster, along with her husband, Johnny and I, stayed transfixed and dazed over the crossing, like three children mesmerized by something spectacular that had been seen for the very first time. We all felt as if we were transported into a surrealistic painting, drifting off into an altered state as if drugged. The movement of the ferry as we sat in the still of the car, felt like we were gliding across Biscayne Bay. Time stood still for me as we head back to the dock. As we approached the entrance to MacArthur Causeway, it felt as if I had taken my first breath since we departed. Our conversation back to my world never left the reflections we all shared and memories we made while visiting the enchanted Fisher Island. Soon after, one of the members who had attended my presentation, John, invited us back for a personal tour of the island. We were to meet at dockside to the spa to begin the tour. We parked close by one of the yachts that flanked the dock like a floating space ship. It was for me, the largest yacht I had ever seen. Asked if it was corporately owned, I was advised that it was owned solely by one of the members. After closing my jaw, we began the tour.

I am EXCITED to share a sneak peak and more insight to the building of my Speaking Career! Joan E. Childs, Inspirational Keynote Speaker


Joan E. Childs presents, LIFE AFTER LOSS: Victim, Survivor or the Phoenix? Your Choice! Barry University


I am excited to share some great news and a sneak peak with all my readers.  One of the reasons you haven’t heard from me for a while is because I’ve been busy launching my career as a professional speaker.  My most recent presentation at Barry University where I spoke to the students and some faculty was videotaped so I could share some of the highlights with you.

My topic, LIFE AFTER LOSS: Victim, Survivor or The Phoenix, was very well received by the attendees, all from the school of Social Work.  Some of the reviews are shown here to illustrate the impact it made on them and what they took away with their experience.  Although very young and just beginning their journey, I presented information that is endemic to their profession.  Part of their learning is how to help their clients deal with loss and grief.  It was also not surprising how many of them had already experienced the loss of a loved one.  When asked how many had lost a loved one, every hand went up.

So the take away is that death is inevitable, certain and an unavoidable, inexorable part of life.  No one escapes the loss of a loved one, be it a parent, sibling, child, family member, friend or even a pet.  Using the grief model, I shared how I coped with my own loss, my 34-year-old brilliant, beautiful daughter, Pam, who plunged to her death from her father’s 15th story building on July 2, 1998.  Although barely any of them are even parents, they understood every parent’s worst nightmare as I shared my journey through grief and healing.

I was clear to let them know that even though her death was considered suicide, it was not her choice.   Her executioner was her mental illness that pushed her out the window.  Having suffered from bipolar disorder 1 for more than ten years, Pam was delusional and succumbed to the illness that invaded her mind and destroyed her life.  Bipolar I and the substandard health system were the culprits who caused her to fall through the cracks and lose her life.

My mission has been to morph the pain into purpose and to take the shame and stigma out of mental illness.  It is to give my daughter’s life and death meaning as I help others who suffer from grief and loss.  The choice to be a victim, survivor or a Phoenix, the mythological bird that rises from the ashes, is ours.  I chose to become a Phoenix and by helping others, I continue to help myself.

Although I will never have closure, I have moved on and healed on my journey to recovery.



INTERESTED in becoming a MEMBER of my NEW PROCESS GROUP? ADD TO YOUR CALENDAR OF EVENTS!!! CONTACT  (954) 568-1004 and sign up today!!


Anyone interested in becoming a member of my new process group that will begin in October, please contact me at (954) 568-1004. The group will run for 6 months, two hours each session and the fee is $85.00 per week. It will be held in the Hallandale office.  Apply only if you can commit to six months weekly. Space in limited to 8 persons and I already have one member committed.


My next group process will begin on Monday, November 7, 2016.  It is comprised of eight members who are stuck in behaviors that are interfering with the quality of their lives and are looking for growth and change.  The group will be maintained for six months, meeting every Monday for 26 weeks.  It requires a six-month commitment for each member.  Each member will be asked to read Schopenhauer’s Cure by Irvin Yalom.

The group is based on Irvin Yalom’s theory using his 10 curative factors for change.  It requires members with ego strengths able to tolerate non-judgmental, non-shaming confrontation.  It requires that members can be self-reflective and able to own their own shadow side.  It will be both experiential and didactic using Cognitive Behavioral and experiential modalities.

The cost of the group is $85.00 per week.  Each member will be responsible for the fee regardless of any absences, not unlike tuition.  The group begins precisely at 6:30 and ends at 8:30.  Anyone interested in joining can call for an interview.

Anyone active in any substance addiction would not be a candidate for this group.  Members are requested not to drink or use any drugs prior to any sessions.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


The Re-Invented Me (at 77)… It’s Never Too Late!! Launching My New Campaign!

Joan E. Childs, LCSW

Joan E. Childs, LCSW & Inspirational Keynote Speaker “Fit, Fabulous,Fierce and ready to Speak”

Hey everyone!

Just a brief note to let you know that I am launching my campaign this week to introduce myself as an inspirational keynote speaker.  I am ready to speak and I will be pitching my book, WHY DID SHE JUMP? My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder along with my brand: Life After Loss: Victim, Survivor or the Phoenix.

I will keep you posted on all upcoming events; where and when I will be speaking.  In the meantime, please stay connected with me by visiting my website, while I keep you posted on all social media.

I am looking forward to sharing my message with all of you in hopes that I can help other families who are trying to cope and heal from loss and find the courage to take the pain and transform it into power as I have.  In addition, my mission is to take the stigma and shame out of mental illness.  There is not a family who does not have someone who is suffering from mental illness and it’s time we understand that it is a disease that needs proper treatment!

Thank you all for your support.


Keynote Inspirational Speaker – Review by Christine Williams

Review Key Means Revaluate Or ReassessAs a member of Compassionate Friends of Boca Raton, a bereaved parents support group, I was pleased to meet Joan Childs at our last meeting.

She spoke to our group about the tragic loss of her daughter and what she went through. She was very cordial and composed but I could feel her compassion for us, also, as bereaved parents.

Ms. Child’s was very professional in her answers regarding prolonged grief and treatment recommendations. She was very thorough in her explanations of the grief process and offered hope in spite of our deep feelings of loss and grief.

I am looking forward to reading her book, “Why did She Jump”.

I will also recommend her to other compassionate friends groups, as she was very helpful in validating many of my erratic emotions during my grieving process.

Christine Williams

IT’S OFFICIAL! I’m an Academy Member of NSA and FSA!


PrintI have so much to share and to give to the masses, that the muse that lives inside me won’t allow me to consider my age, my topic, or the money, effort and time it will take to manifest. I have always been a Phoenix or sort, and at this age, I cannot stop what is already in motion. So, I am hoping you will share my quest or know of anyone who would want to hire me as a professional speaker, I would welcome and appreciate your support!



Professional Mental Health Keynote Speaker – Joan E. Childs

Joanie Business cardI have just returned from the National Speakers Association Convention in Washington DC. My cup runneth over with excitement and enthusiasm! I want to announce that I am launching my new career as a . After 38 years in private practice, two published books, dozens of articles, blogs, workshops, presentations and seminars and a movie in the making, I have decided to bring my knowledge and experience to the masses. I will still retain my private practice, but a new professional life was born to augment my career. I hope you will share this with everyone you know as well as organizations, associations and corporations who can benefit from all my personal and professional experience. WAHOO!
The title of my presentation is; ON THE LEDGE: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare. It is a direct result of my book, WHY DID SHE JUMP? My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder. The world needs to know about this!Joanie Palm_Post