"When I work with the bereaved I'll often say, 'teach me how you grieve.' Then, as their personal styles emerge, the work at hand becomes clearer."

Robert Zucker, MA, LCSW, FT

34 Summer Street, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02188  Tel. (413) 695-4572 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Career Highlights

Private Grief Counseling Practice

Northampton and Weymouth, MA         1996-present


Training/Consultation Practice

Keynotes/Retreats/Seminars                 1996-present


American Academy of Bereavement/CMI

National Seminar Leader                       1996-present


Hospice of the South Shore

Coordinator, Bereavement Services        2011-2012


Mary Washington Hospice

Coordinator, Bereavement Services        2009-2011


Baystate Medical Center

Bereavement Program Director              1988-1996


Antioch University NE Grad School

Adjunct Faculty                                   1996-2009


River Valley Counseling Center                  
Community MH/psychotherapy               1985-1988



Designated Fellow in Thanatology  (FT)

Association for Death Education and



Licensed Certified Social Worker

Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Antioch University New England Graduate School

Specialty in Child and Family Counseling


Bachelor of Science

Art and Elementary Education

SUNY New Paltz


  • The Journey Through Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Your Child When Grief is Shared, St. Martin’s Press, August 2009
  • Pushing Through Solid Rock: Words of Wisdom For Clinicians From Four Patients With Life-Threatening Conditions,” In Session: Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, November 2002
  • Grief At Work: New Challenges, New Opportunities,” chapter in Living With Grief: At Work, At School, At Worship, edited by Ken Doka, Washington, D.C..: Hospice Foundation of America, 1999.
  • “Healing Grief Through Horticultural Therapy,” Cinq Mars, Tristan, Zucker, Journal of American Horticultural Therapy Association, Volume X, 1999.

  • “Confronting Intense Grief,” Abbey Press, 2013

  • “When Your Co-worker Dies,” Abbey Press, 2010

  • It’s OK to Feel Relieved After a Loved One Dies,” Abbey Press, 2009
  • Facing the Workplace After a Loved One’s Death,” Abbey Press, 2000.
  • Living With the Limitations of an Illness or Disability,” Abbey Press, 2000
  • What I Learned From Grief,” Abbey Press, 2001.
  • Five Things To Help You Heal When Grief Is New,” Abbey Press, 2001
  • Family Caregiving: When It Wears You Down,” Abbey Press, 2002.
  • When You Didn’t Get to Say Goodbye,” Abbey Press, 2003.
  • What’s Normal Grief?” Abbey Press, 2004
  • Facing the Holidays When a Family Member is Seriously Ill,” Abbey Press, 1999.
  • Melissa's Story Facilitator's Guide for documentary video: Melissa's Story, distributed by Aquarius Productions, Sherborn, MA.
  • From the Heart Facilitator's Guide,” co-authored with Andrea Zucker, for documentary video, From the Heart: Writing and the Bereaved Parent, distributed by Aquarius Productions.
  • Publisher and Chief Writer for The Grief and Healing Newsletters, 1998 -2006.

National and International Presentations

  • Keynote speaker at the National Alliance for Grieving Children Annual Meeting in Orlando, June 22, 2012.

  • Keynote speaker at Iowa State Annual Bereavement Conference, Newton, Iowa, May, 2012.

  • Keynote speaker for the Central Ohio Annual Bereavement Conference in Columbus, April, 2012.

  • Keynote address at Hospice of Alabama Annual Memorial Service, Birmingham, Alabama, November, 2011.

  • Keynote speaker, Jack Conway Annual Awards Brunch, Plymouth, Massachusetts, November, 2011.
  • Keynote address, National Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers, Atlanta, Georgia, April, 2011.
  • Faculty. Dalhousie University School of Social Work, Halifax, Canada, May 2008. Two-day Peogram: Grieving Hand and Hand: Helping Adults and Children When Grief is Shared.
  • Faculty. Leading Edge Seminars, Toronto, Canada. June 2008. Two-day Presentation: Grieving Hand and Hand: Helping Adults and Children When Grief is Shared.
  • Workshop Leader. Halifax Hospital, Halifax, Canada, May 2008: Daylong Presentation: Finding Meaning- A Workshop for Professional Helpers.
  • Trainer and Consultant for Toronto French School, Toronto, Canada, March 2008.
  • Keynote Speaker. Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Northern California Psychotherapists, Eureka, California. April 2008. Title: Beyond Five Stages: What Every Clinician Needs to Know About the Art of Grief Counseling (but is afraid to ask),
  • Keynote Speaker. Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, Inc. Sacramento, California. April 2008. Title: Beyond Five Stages,
  • Faculty. Smith College School of Social Work. June 2008. 2009. Title: The Forgotten Mourners.
  • Keynote Speaker. International Association of Police Chaplains, Northern California Chapter, Sonora County, California. March 2007. Title: Tools For the Journey.
  • Workshop Leader. Louisiana Department of Social Services, Four cities across state of Louisiana. March 2007. Title: What Children Lose When They Come Into Care and How to Help Them Grieve.
  • Keynote Speaker. Annual Bereavement Conference sponsored by Duke University, Friends of Caroline Hospice and Beauford Memorial Keyserling Cancer Center, Beauford, Georgia. February 2007. Title: Tools For the Journey – Managing Bereavement.
  • Keynote Speaker. American Academy of Bereavement Annual Meeting, 2006. Title: Finding Our Humanity: Lessons From the Holocaust.
  • Keynote Speaker. Hospice of Jasper County’s Annual Bereavement Conference, Missoula, Montana. 2006. Title: Helping Grieving Children and Teens.
  • Faculty, Harvard University Medical School, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Cape Cod Summer Institutes, “Grief Work as Life Work.”
  • *Keynote Presentation for American Association of Blood Banks Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Title: “ ‘Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars:’” Reflections on Profound Suffering and Compassionate Service”, October 15, 2001.
  • Advanced Bereavement Facilitator 3-Day Seminar for the American Academy of Bereavement, held in cities across the country 2001- 2010.
  • Two-day Seminar entitled: Helping Children Cope With Trauma, Grief and Crisis, sponsored by the American Academy of Bereavement and offered throughout the U.S., 2002.
  • Two-day Training entitled: Complicated Grief in Children and Adults, for the Oncology Social Workers Association of Southern California, Palm Springs, California, Nov. 2-3, 2001.
  • Guest Lecturer for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy 2004 Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California, May, 2004.
  • Over 500 Daylong seminars for professionals in cities throughout the United States, topics include Complicated Grief, Childhood Traumatic Grief, Grief Counseling: Cutting-Edge Strategies & Clinical Interventions,, When a Child Dies: How to Support Bereaved Parents and Siblings, and How to Design a Bereavement Program, sponsored by American Academy of Bereavement. (Trainings for social workers, educators, psychologists, nurses, clergy, child life specialists, guidance counselors, school administrators, hospice staff, funeral directors and grief counselors.) From February 1996 to the present.
  • Keynote Speaker, Grief in the Workplace, The Skilled Helper Conference, National Training Center of Hope for Bereaved, Syracuse, New York, October, 1999.
  • Faculty member at New England Center for Loss and Transition National Conference, Workshops entitled: Writing in Community: Therapeutic Writing Workshops for the Bereaved, Understanding and Supporting the Bereaved Sibling, and You Do What For a Living? Exploring Our Reasons for Doing This Work April 1998.
  • Faculty Member and Pre-conference trainer at the American Academy of Bereavement Annual Meeting, Tucson, Arizona. Workshops entitled: When Your School Community is Grieving, How to Lead More Effective Grief Support Groups, and How Volunteers Can Enrich Your Bereavement Program. January 1998.
  • Workshop and paper at the Second International Conference on Children and Death, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Workshop entitled, From the Heart: Writing and the Bereaved Parent. Paper entitled, Volunteers Respond When a Child Dies. September 1992
  • Faculty member and pre-conference trainer at Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) National Conference in Boston, MA. Workshop entitled, Working With Children Traumatized by Violence. March 1992.
  • Workshop at Canadian Bereavement Conference on Children and Grief - at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Workshop entitled: Teaching Peace in Response to Societal Violence. (Breaking the cycle of violence). April 1991.
  • Workshop at the World Gathering on Bereavement, Seattle, Washington, entitled: When Bereaved Parents 'Go Public’, August 1991.
  • Paper presented at Foundation of Thanatology Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky. Paper entitled, “When Bereaved Parents 'Go Public' - Impact on Closure.” October 1991.
  • Workshop at First National Parent Aide Conference, Families: Our Strength, Our Hope, Our Future, Braintree, Massachusetts, entitled Children and Teens Grieve, Too, November, 1994.

Regional Presentations/Consultations

  • Workshop Leader, Carilion Hospice, Roanoke, VA, The Journey Through Grief and Loss, May, 2010.
  • Workshop Leader, Baystate Medical Center Department of Social Work, Helping Adults and Siblings After a Child Dies at the Hospital, October 2008.
  • Retreat Coordinator, and Workshop Leader. Friends of Karen, NYC, NY. 2005 and 2006. Daylong retreats for families after the death of a child.
  • Workshop Leader. Baystate Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Springfield, MA. Title: Remember Me? I’m Sad, Too! October 2006.
  • 2-day Training for High School Guidance Counselors in Bakersfield, California on Helping Grieving Adolescents, 2005.
  • Rhode Island Nightclub Fire Support Project, Moderator and Presenter, Counsel of Mental Health Organizations in Rhode Island, 2004.
  • Munson Developmental Center, Daylong bereavement presentation, 2004.
  • Disaster Response Services, Hanover Community Services, Ashland, Virginia. Daylong and evening talk entitled: Community Resilience: Coping with Disaster and Traumatic Loss. Funded by FEMA in response to sniper shootings, 2004.
  • Southern Maine Alternative to Residential Treatment, Portland, Maine. Daylong presentation: Helping Children Cope With Grief, September 7, 2001.
  • Greene County Community Crisis Team, Cairo, New York. Daylong presentation for community crisis team members and other community professionals on Childhood Traumatic Grief. Spring 2001 and 2004.
  • Hope Hospice, Dublin, California. Daylong seminar for hospice staff and hospital/community professionals on forming a hospital-based crisis response program, Spring 2001.
  • Latrobe Area Hospital, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Daylong presentation on Grief in the Workplace, Spring 2001.
  • Easthampton Public Schools, Easthampton, MA. Staff presentation on grief and loss, Spring 2001.
  • Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Daylong program on Childhood Traumatic Grief. Spring 2001.
  • Four Winds Hospital, Saratoga Springs, New York, Grand Rounds, Fall 2000.
  • Four Winds Hospital, Katonah, New York, Grand Rounds, Fall 2000.
  • Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Presenter at Annual Regional Bereavement Conference: Topics: Childhood Traumatic Grief and Therapeutic Writing Workshops, Fall 2000.
  • American Cancer Society, Consultation on Workplace Grief, Spring 1999.
  • Hampshire Regional School District, Massachusetts, 9-Day Intensive for School Crisis Teams on Understanding and Supporting Grieving and Traumatized Young People, March 2000.
  • Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Two-Day Presentations: When Young Lives Are Shattered - Preparing for Grief and Trauma in Schools, March 2000, July 2000, October 2001.
  • Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Daylong Presenter, PTSD in the Classroom, Amherst, MA, 1997.
  • Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Vermont, Daylong professional seminar entitled: When Young Lives Are Shattered, Fall 1999.
  • Ashland, Ohio’s Community Crisis Response Team, 2-Day Seminar for School and Community Crisis Teams, Summer 1999.
  • Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Daylong presentation, When Your School Community is Grieving, April 1998.
  • Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Daylong Workshop, Title: When Time Won’t Heal: Working with Families When a Child Dies, June 1998.
  • Western Massachusetts Counselors Association - Guest Speaker, Elms College, Chicopee, March 1998.
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Daylong Presenter - When a Child Dies: Intervening in Classrooms and School Systems. Training for staff at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA. 1997.
  • Elaine Health and Rehabilitation Center, Hadley, MA, Coordinator of and presenter at Keeping Memories Alive, Intergenerational celebration to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and its effects on children and families - with concurrent workshops: journaling, songwriting, puppetry, storytelling, clowning, November, 1996.
  • JSI Research and Training, Inc. Daylong Presenter, When Time Won’t Heal: Understanding and Supporting Bereaved Parents and Children, Springfield, May, 1996, and Boston, June, 1996.
  • JSI Research and Training, Inc., Daylong Presenter, Professionals Grieve, Too: Self-care for Caregivers When Our Clients Are Dying, Worcester. Focusing on the personal toll on counselors and case managers with large AIDS-related caseloads, May, 1996.
  • Western New England College’s Regional Social Work Symposium, Guest lecturer at Make It Stop: The Trauma of Violence Through A Child’s Eyes, Sept., 1996.
  • Western New England College, and M.S.P.C.C., Presenter - Children and Violence - co-led 3-hour workshop on clinical interventions when children grieve, fall '93
  • Springfield Public Schools and statewide grant. Daylong Presenter - Comprehensive Health Institute for 50 health educators throughout Massachusetts, Program entitled: Supporting Children Who Grieve. December 1993.
  • Trainer and consultant at numerous organizations, schools, civic groups, mental health clinics, and hospitals in MA, and Connecticut, including workshop leader at public and private day schools in Springfield, West Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Agawam, South Hadley, Enfield, Longmeadow, Suffield, Wilbraham, Belchertown, Swampscott; presenter at four Western New England College Annual Social Work Conferences; workshop leader at the N.E. Regional Compassionate Friends Symposium; trainer for AIDS Allies; speaker at three Annual Hampden County D.A. symposiums on violence prevention; speaker at Baystate Medical Center symposium (HIV Infection: Impact on Child and Family); staff trainer at Child Guidance Clinic; University of Massachusetts guest lecturer; American International College guest lecturer; Springfield College guest lecturer; Westfield State College guest lecturer; guest speaker at Veterans Administration Hospice conference; guest speaker at Hospice of Hampshire County and AIDS Care of Hampshire County; trainer for Hospice of Pioneer Valley; guest speaker at Baystate Medical Center Children's Hospital Pediatric Grand Rounds and at numerous in-services for nurses and physicians at Baystate; lecturer at NASW Western MA Chapter meeting; frequent guest faculty at Baystate Medical Center School of Nursing; frequent guest faculty at Baystate Medical Center/Springfield College Physician Assistant Training Program; guest speaker at Baystate Medical Center’s Pastoral Care Grand Rounds.


  • Directed Mary Washington Hospice marketing video, 2011.
  • Co-produced and directed documentary film entitled, “From the Heart: Writing and the Bereaved Parent,” on creative writing workshops for bereaved parents. Screened at World Gathering on Bereavement, Seattle, 1991, the Second International Conference on Children and Death, Scotland, 1992, the American Public Health Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., October 1994, and at the International Symposium on the Care of the Terminally Ill, Canada, October, 1994,where it received 3.5 stars (“very good”). Video also reviewed and recommended by Library Journal, December 1995.
  • Featured expert for numerous newspapers including Huffington Post, Kansas City Star and a range of local daily newspapers. Interviewed as expert/author on NPR, WGBY Public Television, Channel 22 and Channel 40 nightly news, and featured on the Channel 22 television program, Real to Reel. See my website for recordings of various interviews


  • 2011 Jack Conway’s Annual Community Service Award
  • 2011 Rose Award presented by South Shore Hospital for excellent service to South Shore Community on behalf of Hospice of the South Shore
  • 1997 Recipient of the New England Healthcare Assembly (NEHA) Blue Ribbon for program focusing on impact of Alzheimer’s disease on families. Title: Keeping Memories Alive. (An intergenerational celebration to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and its effects on children and families, with concurrent workshops in journaling, songwriting, puppetry, storytelling and clowning.) Sponsored by Elaine Health and Rehabilitation Center, Hadley, MA. Program highlighted at March 1997 NEHA annual meeting in Boston.
  • 1992 Recipient of the New England Healthcare Assembly Blue Ribbon.

Awarded for the Pediatric Bereavement Counseling Program's creative and innovative contribution to healthcare delivery. One of ten programs highlighted at the March 1992 Annual Meeting in Boston. Eighty programs were submitted from hospitals around New England.


  • 1993 and 1994 Recipient of two Testimonials of Appreciation from the American Hospital Association for the work of the Pediatric Bereavement Counseling Program.


Board and Committee Membership

  • Chairperson, Fredericksburg, VA Suicide Bereavement Taskforce, 2010-2011
  • Member Advisory Board, Daddy’s Spirit, Philadelphia, PA, 2008 – present
  • Member Fredericksburg, VA Bereavement Coalition, 2009 - 2011
  • Past Member Western Mass CISM Team
  • Past Member Western Mass Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care
  • Chair of Board of Directors, Cove-Northampton, 1998- 1999.
  • Co-chair ADEC Specialty Workshops Committee, 1998-2001.
  • Member Hospice of Pioneer Valley Pediatric Professional Advisory Board, 1993-1997.
  • Co-Chairperson, Counseling and Support Sub-Committee - Hampden County AIDS Task Force, 1992-1993.
  • Chairperson, Children's Memorial Gathering Steering Committee - 1990-1994.
  • Member Pastoral Care Steering Committee at Baystate Medical Center, 1992-1994.
  • Member Ethics Committee at Baystate Medical Center, 1989-1995.
  • Founding member Steering Committee, Healing After Suicide Support Groups, 1993.
  • Member Doctoral Dissertation Committee for School of Education student, University of Massachusetts, 1996.
  • Member Advisory Board, Haruach Shul, Northampton, MA, 1996-1998.

Conference and Workshop Coordinator

  • Conference Chairman for 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 Annual Regional Bereavement Symposiums, generating over $8,000.00 in revenues, over 800 participants, and drawing nationally prominent authors and speakers including Harold Kushner, Earl Grollman, Sandra Bertman, Mark Scrivani, and Cathy Romeo.
  • Coordinator of Healing Hearts: A gathering for keeping memories alive - six concurrent workshops for grieving adults, teens and children, May, 1995.
  • Co-sponsored with University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center a hospital-wide workshop entitled, The Body Doesn’t Lie, led by Dan Shapiro, Shapiro and Smith Dance, New York City, October 1994.
  • Co-sponsor of regional symposium with Baystate Ethics Committee and Department of Psychiatry, June 9, 1995. Featuring guest speaker, Sherwin Nuland, MD.

Other conferences organized: 

  • 1991 symposium addressing the Impact of Gulf War on Grieving American Children
  • 1992 program: Spiritual Issues for AIDS Caregivers
  • 1992 program: Update For AIDS Caregivers on Concrete Services.
  • Directed 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994 Children's Memorial Gatherings, at Baystate Medical Center, attracting over 1000 attendees, and drawing upon the talents of many hospital staff. Developed and implemented Grieving, Caring, Growing Project, gaining recognition for enabling hundreds of staff members to commemorate patients who have died.