Family Communication Consortium


Kara Thieleman received a bachelors degree in sociology and anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in 2005. She received her masters in social work and certificate in trauma and bereavement from Arizona State University in 2011. She is currently a second-year doctoral student in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.


Listens to:

Silence, words of wisdom, stories, and nature - especially the ocean.

Learns from:

Every experience, if I can. I have learned a great deal from the grieving families I have been honored to know, from my own family, from books, and from the many teachers I have encountered along the way.

Laughs at:

Myself when I begin to take myself too seriously. Also at how life leads me places I never thought I would go.

Has fun when:

I'm with family and friends, with children, or in nature. I try to find at least a few moments of fun in every day, no matter what I'm doing.

Gets serious about:

Knowing myself, being present in my life and for my loved ones, and seeking to be of service to others.

Hopes to:

Live my life fully and in such a way as to minimize regrets. To help create a more compassionate, supportive social environment for those who have experienced the loss of loved ones through research and education and to prepare providers to care for the bereaved.

Area of Study (or research):

Traumatic loss, grief, death and dying, mindfulness-based interventions for grieving clients and for providers.

Interested in Family Communication because:

Families can be a source of great strength and support for their immediate members and the wider community, and communication is key to nurturing strong, healthy families.