The Rehumanizing of Medical Care
REST has its roots in the combined 40 years of clinical and creative practice between
                   Ava Diamond, LCSW, and Jacqueline Cohen-Stahl, MADT.

Ms. Diamond began this work with groups of emergency care workers (paramedics, police officers, firefighters) who struggled with depression, PTSD, and addiction issues resulting, in large part, from the impact of their work on their emotional well-being.  Ms. Stahl began her expertise in mindfulness training and the use of narrative with a company called Narativ, based in Manhattan.  Together, they expanded their understanding of the issues and the development of creative interventions  to manage the problems faced in healthcare for providers today.   They trained at Columbia University Medical School's Narrative Medicine Program and sought input from some of the most noted contributors to the medical community from both Columbia University and Yale University's medical schools. 

The result has been rejuvenated medical care professionals, better prepared medical students, and greater patient satisfaction.  REST has been an elective course at Yale University School of Medicine and is now being offered through the Planetree Organization, one of the most positively impactful hospital management organizations worldwide.



 Ava Diamond, LCSW, earned her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 1991.  For the next eighteen years, Ms. Diamond combined her education with experience and energy to create unique therapeutic and educational programs for children, adolescents, and adults.  Finding her niche as a group therapist, her private practice  includes individual and group therapies.  She has developed and successfully facilitated group therapy programs for Trauma Recovery, Addiction Recovery, Women's Issues, Social Anxiety, and  Anger Management.  In her years of hospital work, Ms. Diamond co-facilitated family therapy groups, psychoeducational groups, and substance abuse recovery groups.  As the Clinical Supervisor of a hospital-based treatment program, Ms. Diamond has been able to develop a clear sense of the administrative and community  elements of hospital functioning.

Ms. Diamond originally earned her Bachelors of Arts in Communication from the University of Southern California.  She has used this educational background to bring interpersonal communication skill-building to her groups and classes as appropriate.  Further, her studies and practice have allowed her to develop engaging pubic speaking ability.

Currently, Ms. Diamond is the Clinical Supervisor of the Family Based Recovery Program in New Haven, CT, and is in private practice in New Canaan, CT, where she offers individual and group therapies for teens and adults.  Ms. Diamond provides ongoing REST workshops for both healthcare providers and as a relapse prevention program in her private practice office.  Additionally, she serves as a community educator for her own parenting programs through New Canaan Cares organization.

Jacqueline Cohen-Stahl, MADT, earned her Masters in Drama Therapy from New York University. Then in 1994, Co-Founded and Directed 24SEVEN an autobiographical Theater Company in New York City for Urban Teens.  The theater program is weighted heavily in the Drama Therapy methodology, an active approach in achieving positive change and personal growth. Jacqueline taught in  the New York City Public Schools for over five years and facilitated workshops for faculty and families focusing on conflict resolution and mindfulness training.  She was an adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and the Director of Recruitment and Programming at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Jacqueline has collaborated with Dr. Elaine Valdov, the former President of the NGO's for the United Nations, facilitating and creating programs for "The International Institute for a Culture of Peace."  She was  a consultant for Narativ, a New York based company teaching individuals and corporations how to communicate authentic and meaningful stories. Narativ also consults with Non-Profit organizations around the world utilizing personal storytelling as a medium for empowerment, leadership training, team building and education. Her creative art workshop groups focus on cross-cultural issues and community development and child advocacy.

Jacqueline works with private clients in NYC employing Drama Therapy, Narrative techniques and Relational Therapy. She is committed to developing mindfulness-based stress reduction curricula which addresses the needs of Health Care providers and Medical students. For over 20 years, Jacqueline has practiced Yoga, Meditation and she continues to be dedicated to mentoring creativity in others.





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