The Blue Ridge Hospice Counseling Team 

Shaileen Backman, MSW, LCSW

Shaileen has been working with Blue Ridge Hospice as a part time Bereavement Counselor for the past 3 years and as a consultant for 7 years.  Shaileen has 35+ years of counseling experience and has worked in a variety of settings including private practice and community mental health.  Shaileen is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and is a member of the National Association of Certified Social Workers.  In her spare time she likes to weave, write, and travel.

 

Josh Harrod, MA, Resident in Counseling

Josh first joined Blue Ridge Hospice as a counseling intern in 2011, while working on a MA in Counseling at Eastern Mennonite University.  He completed that degree in 2012 and has been working as a hospice grief counselor ever since.  Currently Josh is completing residency hours toward clinical licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor.  At Blue Ridge Hospice, he has provided grief counseling services to clients ranging in age from 6 to 102, from myriad backgrounds and walks of life.  Prior to studying counseling, Josh taught literature and writing.  This grounding in the humanities informs the way Josh approaches counseling and helps him listen closely to the stories we share as we confront the shared human experiences of grief and loss.  Outside of work, Josh enjoys plaing guitar, listening to music, reading, and spending time outdoors with family.

 

 

Amanda Witmer, MSW

Amanda Witmer has worked as a Grief Counselor for Blue Ridge Hospice since 2013.  She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Shepherd University in 2003.  She then earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from West Virginia University in 2007.  She spent three years as a Crisis Counselor for a domestic violence agency before beginning her hospice career in Maryland.  Amanda spent over a year as a Social Worker providing care to terminally ill patients and their families before finding her calling as a Grief Counselor.  Her knowledge of working with hospice patients and their families provides Amanda a heightened sensitivity to the needs of grieving loved ones who have served as caregiver.  She also has cultivated a passion for providing support to survivors of suicide as well as other forms of sudden and traumatic loss.   Outside of the office, Amanda enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.