Hiya, I’m Jessica.
I can’t get enough of watching dogs roll in the grass, laughing so hard it hurts, and connecting people to life-changing resources. Everything I do is ultimately all about:
Helping people feel less isolated, more courageous, and better supported in their role as caregivers to people, pets, and our planet.
I’ve spent fifteen years working with companion animals in a variety of ways including: managing social media for national animal welfare organizations, caring for animals and doing adoptions at my local animal shelter, running a pit bull advocacy and pet owner support group, and hustling with my own dog walking company.
Over time I witnessed the negative effects of Compassion Fatigue on my clients, friends, volunteers, and coworkers. And I experienced it myself. Compassion fatigue and burnout nearly took me out of the animal welfare game completely.
I figured if I was having this much trouble figuring out how to be a functioning human being while taking care of animals (I mean, both of my parents are THERAPISTS, so shouldn’t I know how to do this?), I knew other people were lost too. I made it my mission to create practical tools to help animal care and welfare folks be well, while they do good work in the world.
Today I’m a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator (CCFE) via The Green Cross. I obtained my training through the Figley Institute, Tend Academy, and the International Association of Trauma Professionals. It’s an honor to support those that help others.
I love being in your corner.
Most days you’ll find me doing a few different jobs: walking reactive dogs, teaching online (some of that happens as adjunct faculty at UFL), coaching compassionate badasses, and facilitating workshops. I bring my training in compassion resilience, positive psychology, and mindfulness facilitation to everything I do (even dog walking!).
But no matter what I’m doing, I’m motivated by curiosity, compassion, and a rock-solid belief that self-care and service inherently belong together.
“Jessica has a unique ability to combine evidenced-based practices and important theoretical frameworks with the front-line needs of employees and management. She infused everything she does with a sense of curiosity, empathy, and expertise.
The value she added to our organization has made her one of the most respected experts in the field of workplace stress, compassion fatigue, and self-care. She is my go to resource.”
― Nathan Brisby, ASPCA Learning & Development
I love learning about your life and your dreams. Your stories matter to me. If Oprah and Studs Terkel had a love child, it would be me. Want to know more? Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been up to in my professional and personal life:
Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education, University of Southern Maine 2017
Holding Space Coach Training with Heather Plett 2018
Positive Psychology Coaching + Positive Psychology Coaching Skill-Building Intensive, The Wholebeing Institute 2017, 2018
Train the Trainer and Organizational Health in Trauma-Exposed Environments: Essentials, Tend Academy 2015, 2017
Certified Mindfulness Facilitator: Mindful@Work + Mindful 365, Mindfulness Without Borders 2016, 2017
Mental Health First Aid Certification, National Council for Behavioral Health 2016
Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maine 2015
Stress Management Certificate, ALLEGRA Learning Solutions 2015
International Association of Trauma Professionals Compassion Fatigue Professional and Traumatology Institute CF Educator 2014-2017
Walking the Walk- Creative Tools for Transforming CF, Compassion Fatigue Solutions 2014
Compassion Fatigue Educator Certification, Figley Institute 2013
BA in Art History, Temple University 2000 (I really like museum gift shops)
Some of the organizations I have worked with include: University of Florida’s Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program, ASPCA, The Academy of Dog Trainers, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Michigan State University’s Veterinary Medical Center, Maine Medical Center, New England Dog Training Club, and BAD RAP.
You may also know me from my projects:
DINOS: Dogs In Need of Space is a website filled with resources for people who live with dogs who are reactive, fearful, aggressive, you name it. I’m the author of The Official Guide to Living with DINOS. You can join Team DINOS over on Facebook!
Notes From a Dog Walker is a blog about my dog-filled life that I began on 2011. I love this blog so much, but I moved my writing over here to keep things simple.
I live in Maine with my husband and our cats, dogs, plus a whole lot of bird feeders.
My Myers-Briggs type: INFJ. INFJs are a bunch of old souls that make up less than 1% of the population. This is my fave MB test.
My top 5 Strengths according to Gallup: Empathy, Input, Intellection, Maximizer, and Relator.
And my top character strengths according to Via: Creativity, Humor, Love of Learning, Bravery, Honesty, and Perspective.
You can always find me at: my local library. If sleeping over at the library was an option, I’d be the first to sign up.
My top 2 Voice Values: Helpfulness + Playfulness. Everything I do is right there in those two words.
Other place you might spot me: Drive-in movies, old post offices, beginner yoga classes, museums about anything (even shoes), walking in the woods, and out to brunch (the meal of queens!).
Want to Work Together?
Me too! Connect with me here and let’s talk about how we can make good stuff happen.
Want some more? Sign up for my monthly(ish) e-letter! That’s always a good way to stay in touch. Facebook too.
If you’re still reading, then you deserve something special. Behold! The outtakes from my photo shoot.