Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
MISS Foundation Founder and Chairman
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is the founder of the MISS Foundation and the Selah Carefarm. She is a tenured professor, researcher and senior Wrigley Institute of Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University. Her area of expertise is traumatic death, and she is an acclaimed public speaker on this topic. She is the author of the best-selling book “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” and the most recently published, “Grieving is Loving.”
Dr. Cacciatore specializes in counseling those affected by traumatic death. She works with and counsels families from all around the world who have experienced catastrophic deaths. Her therapeutic interventions are always presence-and-mindfulness based and include narrative, dialectical, and trauma-focused therapies. She also teaches meditation, mindfulness, and compassion and ahimsa practices to students and clients from around the world.
As an advocate of “green” mental health care after a traumatic experience, she is a member of the American Psychotherapy Association, the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the National Center for Crisis Management. She spearheaded and directs the graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement program at ASU.
Her research has been published extensively in peer reviewed journals such as The Lancet, Birth, Death Studies, Omega Journal of Death and Dying, Social Work, Social Work and Healthcare, and Families in Society.
Dr. Cacciatore received her Doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Masters degree and Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University. Her work has been featured in major media sources such as People and Newsweek magazines, the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times.
She has been the recipient of many regional and national awards for her empathic work and service to people suffering traumatic grief. Among them, the Hon Kachina Award in 2007, the Sr Teresa Compassionate Care Award, the Empathic Therapist of the Year Award, Arizona Foothills Arizona Women Who Move the Valley Award, and the Parents of Murdered Children Father Ken Czillinger Award.
Her greatest accomplishment, however, is that she is a mother to five children, now grown. She notes “four who walk and one who soars”.
Her life changed profoundly in 1994 when her daughter, Cheyenne, died.
In 2015, after years of compassion for both animals and humans, Dr. Cacciatore’s life changed again when she rescued a horse named Chemakoh. The rescue of this one severely abused horse led to more than 40 additional rescues of the beloved animals at the Selah Carefarm today. Watch the inspirational Story of Chemakoh