Caroline was born in Montréal, Québec where she grew up in a multicultural/multilingual immigrant neighborhood. Her experiences as first generation born to WWII survivors who also struggled with alcoholism ignited in her a passion for learning how inherited familial beliefs intersect with cultural beliefs to shape emotional distress and/or well-being. She began her career in the field of addiction treatment where she articulated, along with Liliane and Gilles Desjardins, and Richard Hofman, the concept of core emotional addictions (to power/control, security, sensation, suffering) and the role they play in fueling compulsive behaviors.
She served as Director of Education for Pavillon International, an Addiction Treatment and Training Center in North Carolina, where she developed family programs. After over a decade in the field she redirected her energies to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies (with focus on qualitative research and cross-disciplinary approaches). Her work with families in recovery from addiction and the stories they shared about their difficult school experiences had led her to examine the intersecting roles of broader institutional processes and individual familial backgrounds in either empowering or dis-empowering individual effort.
During her academic career, Caroline became Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department at Mount St. Mary’s University, was awarded the Critics’ Choice Book Award by the American Educational Studies Association for her work on evolving high school cross-group relationships since desegregation; received the John Richards Award for Teaching Excellence, and was honored with the New Scholar Award by the University of Maryland, School of Education. Caroline has lived in Mexico and Croatia and traveled across Europe and to Africa where she supported the building of a school for girls in Bankondji, Cameroon.
As co-founder of the Center for Heart-Mind Coherence, Caroline integrates her experiences in the field of addiction treatment, her academic research in diversity, globalization and cross-group relations, and over thirty-five years of practice in contemplative inquiry to help clients transform emotional hurts into emotional wisdom. Caroline’s experiences with her son’s journey with mental illness have led her also to become a student of and integrate the latest research on the neurology of the heart and its influence on the brain to help build emotional resilience.
Caroline writes: “My ardent desire is to live and inspire others to live with reverent attention to the Heart. Countless times I have witnessed the powerful healing and transforming effect, on the lives of previously lost and hurting people, of devoted attention to the Heart and its communications. Love, forgiveness and gratitude are forged in and emerge from the Heart. I trust in the powerful intelligence and wisdom of my heart, your heart, our collective heart–to heal us, renew us, inspire us. Accessing this wisdom is the great calling of our times and the next revolution in human consciousness.”
Caroline earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland; her M.A. from Loyola University in Baltimore; and her Bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Caroline is a certified HeartMath Coach, and is trained in Hakomi body-centered psychotherapy.