Debbie always knew she wanted to contribute to other people’s lives in a meaningful way. Little did she know that tragedy could hold a gift that would reveal her highest purpose. After losing her beloved son to mental illness and addiction, Debbie transformed her life by turning her pain into her purpose of helping other parents of teens and adults struggling with mental illness and/or addiction. Through finding her calling, she was able to find healing for herself.
Debbie’s story of love and loss includes raising three children as a single mom, her oldest son being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, and losing him when he was twenty-six. She has been through challenges with her oldest son’s mental illness and addiction, and she supported him, fought for him, and loved him through his journey. She is grateful that she had a close relationship with her son, and every day she cherishes her memories with him.
Throughout her journey, she sought to turn her pain into serving others. This motivated her to receive training as a life and relationship coach to help others. She received certification as an advanced relationship coach from the Center for Strategic Intervention, a certificate as a practitioner of excellence for completion of Strategic Intervention Boot Camp Training through the Center for Strategic Intervention, certification as a practitioner of excellence in Sapphire Level Boot Camp Strategies with the Coaching Institute, and a certification as an Activation Method group coach. Strategic Intervention was founded by Cloe Madanes, Mark and Magali Peysha, and Tony Robbins. She is passionate about using what she learned in her training and her own life experience to help parents of teen/adult children with mental illness and addiction reclaim peace and a loving relationship.
Another way Debbie supported others was through service in the Alanon community. She has chaired meetings, sponsored members in the program, been a group representative, and volunteered at Alanon events.
Debbie holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law and an LLM from the American University Washington College of Law. She has worked as an estates and trusts attorney and is working as a trust officer administering trusts and estates, including special needs trusts.
Debbie lives in Fairfax, Virginia. She loves spending time with her twenty-four-year-old daughter and twenty-six-year-old son, reading, writing, meditation, learning, and living a healthy lifestyle.