About Dr. Barbara F. Okun

Dr. Barbara F. Okun

Dr. Barbara F. Okun is a counseling psychology professor at Northeastern University. She is also a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and has maintained a clinical psychotherapy/family therapy practice with diverse populations for over thirty years.

Dr. Okun is the author of several highly successful books, and she has written numerous professional chapters and articles as well as serving as a reviewer for several publishing companies. She served as Editor of the Massachusetts Psychology Association Quarterly Journal and the Sage Series on Women’s Health as well as on several journal boards. She also authored a column for The Family Psychologist, the newsletter of the American Psychological Association’s Family Psychology division.

She is the author of the highly successful Effective Helping: Interviewing and Counseling Techniques as well as Understanding Diversity, Seeking Connections in Psychotherapy and Understanding Diverse Families.

Dr. Okun has appeared on the Paola Rojas talk show in Caracas and has had extensive media experience over the years on radio and talk shows in the New England area about psychotherapy and working with diverse families. She has been quoted in the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Boston Herald on issues affecting families.

A renowned speaker, Dr. Okun presents regularly to audiences of all sizes about issues relating to end-of-life care and how modern medicine has dramatically changed the grieving process.

Her major interest is in working with families to cope with expected and unexpected lifespan occurrences and her new book, Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss (Berkley/Harvard Health Publications), which is co-authored with Dr. Joseph Nowinski, is the new definitive text on grieving in today’s world.

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Bernie Madoff Saga: Wife, Son Say Scam Destroyed Their Family

Bernie Madoff Saga: Wife, Son Say Scam Destroyed Their Family

October 28, 2011 with

Dr. Barbara Okun on how the Madoff family can forgive themselves and reconstruct a new family system

Jaycee Dugard Kidnappers Sentenced; Jaycee ‘Hated’ Every Second

Jaycee Dugard Kidnappers Sentenced; Jaycee ‘Hated’ Every Second

June 2, 2011 with

Jaycee Dugard’s kidnappers sentenced after Jaycee, mom address the court; Dr. Okun says family and group support are critical to healing process.

May Is Older Americans Month; How to Recognize Elder Abuse

May Is Older Americans Month; How to Recognize Elder Abuse

May 20, 2011 with

What would you like to tell a beloved older person in your life this month? Dr. Barbara Okun on the signs and risks of elder abuse

Osama bin Laden: How Do You Justify Feeling Good About Killing Someone?

Osama bin Laden: How Do You Justify Feeling Good About Killing Someone?

May 4, 2011 with

Dr. Barbara Okun on how parents and children can talk about the complicated emotions around the death of the most deadliest terrorist

Top 20 Documents to Have ‘Just in Case,’ by Dr. Barbara Okun

Top 20 Documents to Have ‘Just in Case,’ by Dr. Barbara Okun

April 14, 2011 with

Living wills, health care proxies, list of assets and passwords are among the mot important documents to have ready ‘just in case’.

What’s More Difficult to Talk About Than Sex? Money! By Dr. Barbara Okun

What’s More Difficult to Talk About Than Sex? Money! By Dr. Barbara Okun

April 5, 2011 with

Dr. Barbara Okun offers tips on how families can talk to their elderly parents about their finances and estate planning in ways that keep the family peace.

Elder Abuse: Risk Factors and How You Can Prevent It, by Dr. Barbara Okun

Elder Abuse: Risk Factors and How You Can Prevent It, by Dr. Barbara Okun

March 7, 2011 with

After actor Mickey Rooney calls on Congress to stop elder abuse, our expert outlines ways to recognize and prevent the problem.

Talking to Children About Sickness and Death

Talking to Children About Sickness and Death

December 19, 2010 with

When Elizabeth Edwards died, she left behind three children. For many parents that raises the issue: how do we talk to children about such loss?