Jennifer R. Levin, PhD, LMFT, FT
My name is Jennifer R. Levin, and I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in California (MFC 93269) and Washington (LF 61107912). I specialize in sudden and unexpected death; how to cope with the pain if you are living in the aftermath, advance preparation for your workplace, and professional education for those who want to comfort others who have experienced an unexpected death.
In 2000, I received my doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles in Public Health where I studied the psychosocial needs of women with breast cancer. The women and dying patients I worked with taught me so much about living and pursuing a life that is meaningful and fulfilling until the very end. Over the years I have been privileged to help clients and their families transition from suffering to healing, from pain to growth, and in certain instances from life to death. From them I learned how to harness the power of the human connection. My career in the helping profession has been extraordinarily fulfilling. In addition to my work at UCLA, I have served as the Executive Director of a hospice, chaired an end-of-life care coalition, and volunteered with several cancer organizations.
In 2010, I returned to school at Pepperdine University for my master’s degree in clinical psychology. I worked with clients in health crises and transitions, especially related to grief and loss, oncology, and illness. I taught several university courses in psychology, launched a nonprofit to provide low fee grief services and supervised pre-licensed mental health clinicians preparing for their careers as therapists.
Why Sudden and Unexpected Death?
In recent years I have become acutely aware of the unmet needs individuals experience after an unexpected or sudden death. The lack of services designed to address the trauma and grief that accompany a sudden loss inspired me to shift my work to focus solely on the pain, suffering, and isolation that often occurs. In the last five years, I have begun responding to traumas at schools, camps, and corporations that experienced the unexpected deaths from medical crises, suicide, accidents, overdoses, and COVID. I have found the majority of organizations unprepared for the onslaught of grief. They struggle for direction and support for the needs of their community, while trying to contain their internal grief emotions. My experiences have motivated me to develop critical support services to help prepare corporate and school settings for unexpected deaths. Finally, I am dedicated to continuing educating and training mental health professionals to understand the grief needs of individuals who have experienced an unexpected death and to use theoretically and clinically proven techniques to best foster healing.
My academic studies and my diverse career experiences have equipped me with a unique skill set, compassionate spirit, and sincere dedication to provide therapy for healing.
On the Personal Side
In 2021, mid-pandemic, my therapy dog, Winnie, and I relocated to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound of Washington. My work has taught me that life is short, and we do not know how much time we have on this planet. I have always wanted to live somewhere breathtaking, beautiful, and peaceful, and I am so proud to call this little island my home. I am so pleased to be able to continue working with my clients via telehealth and to have the opportunity to develop my new services to meet the needs of those living with a sudden and unexpected death.
I am compassionate and dedicated to my clients, their grief, and their healing. I am committed to making sure my clients have the tools and techniques they need to care for themselves during intense times of grief and pain. Our world remains ever changing and Therapy Heals will continue to develop new and innovative services to meet the needs of individuals in grief, especially after an unexpected death.
Alanah Roy, LCSW
My name is Alanah Roy and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (CA #110937) providing therapy to individuals of all ages in California. Deeply committed to supporting clients and families as they navigate times of profound transition, my clinical specialties include grief, perinatal mental health, and coping with chronic illness or medical crisis.
I graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles Masters of Social Welfare program following a career as a birth doula and health educator in New York City. While working as a doula, I specialized in direct support of families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. To walk alongside clients in these most intimate moments of both pain and love was a privilege that I deeply respect. It solidified my dedication to further my career as a therapist, and my commitment to grief work.
In addition to my work at Therapy Heals, I have served in various community and hospital settings throughout Los Angeles. I have had the honor of supporting families experiencing complex pediatric illness and the end of life at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; individuals facing perinatal depression, anxiety, and grief at Jewish Family Service New Parents Connect program; and loss to opioid overdose at Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. I have provided hospital-based crisis response services, facilitated grief support groups at the organization Our House, and currently volunteer with the Women’s Cancer Resource Center.
Firmly committed to health equity, I have been active in non-profit leadership, including my current role on the board of the 501c3 KidzSpirit, an organization dedicated to pediatric intestinal failure. In 2018 I received a Certificate of Recognition presented by Councilmember 1st District Gilbert A. Cedillo of Los Angeles for leadership and involvement in harm reduction programming for incarcerated individuals experiencing homelessness. I enjoy sharing my passion and knowledge through education and have served as a corporate consultant regarding family coping with chronic illness.
Raised in New England, I love California for its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and arts. I live in the Los Angeles area with my partner, our young daughter, and adopted senior dog, Jeezy. To find my balance, I enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling, a good book, music, and experiencing the world through my daughter’s eyes.
My work affirms my belief in the healing power of connection and the tenacity of the spirit. My approach is to meet clients where they are at with compassion and respect, so that together we can work toward a place of healing.
Sandy Herweg, Executive Assistant and Client Relations Manager
Sandy brings over 15 years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions and has a track record of strong performance in high-pressure environments. She skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for both Therapy Heals and From Grief to Growth. As the Executive Assistant to Dr. Jennifer R. Levin, and Client Relations Manager, Sandy ensures the smooth operation of both grief support practices with her robust knowledge of office management and professional handling of confidential client inquiries and requests. She is also responsible for the design of program materials, transcription of podcast interviews, and interacts regularly with clients who need assistance with billing, documentation, or special requests.
Sandy received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University Long Beach. Sandy and her family reside in Northern California. She is the proud mother of two adult children, enjoys watching their sporting events and spending time with her family.