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Date CreatedDecember 1, 2021
Date UpdatedDecember 1, 2021
Nominator NameAnila Ali
Nominator EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Nominator Gender
  • Female
Category of nomination qualificationAn intellectual, spiritual, or cultural leader
Nominator Phone12026005186
Nominator OrganizationAmerican Muslim & Multifaith Women's Empowerment Council (AMMWEC)
Nominee NameGwen Hecht
Nominee EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Nominee Gender
  • Female
Nominee Phone17146587488
Nominee Achievement Brief

Curriculum Vitae
As of November 2021

Dr. Gwen Hecht

Gwen Hecht, nee Tucker
Formerly Gwen Finestone

Cell: (714) 658-7488

Born: Scranton, Pa.
Birth date: October 1, 1954
Widow: Lt. Colonel Sylvan D. Finestone (US Army, deceased)
Married: Dr. Donald Hecht, ScE

SPECIALIZING in: Grief, loss issues, trauma, depression, dissociation, spiritual issues, and end-of-life issues.
Trauma includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, incest, ritual/cult abuse, violence,
combat, military rape, and religious abuse.

Clinical orientation: Psychodynamic with an emphasis on interpersonal process, which is informed by
Attachment Theory and Existentialism.

Clinical experience: Individual, family, couple, and group therapy with adults, teens, and young children.
Risk assessments. Parenting groups. Grief groups.

Overview of patients treated: Age 1-104; bereaved, terminally ill, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, addicted, deaf,
and gifted.

Overview of issues treated: Grief, loss issues, trauma, dissociation, Dissociative Identity D/O (DID), Combat PTSD,
Bi-polar D/O, OCD, anxiety, Panic D/O, phobias, domestic violence, rape, gang
rape, incest, ritual sexual abuse, childhood abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion,
miscarriage, alcohol/drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, dementia, chronic depression,
chronic illness, terminal illness, sexual orientation, erotic minorities, encopresis,
enuresis, attachment issues, spiritual abuse by clergy, religious abuse, earthly
reconciliation, spiritual disintegration, and issues of the chronically mentally ill.


Ph.D. Pastoral Ministry--w/emphasis on Interfaith Pastoral Counseling Summa Cum Laude
2007 Newburgh Theological Seminary
Dissertation: “Pastoral Counseling and Chaplaincy in Interfaith Settings.”

M.A. Psychology—w/ Emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy
2006 California Graduate Institute
Qualifying degree for licensure as a Marriage & Family Therapist

M.S. Counseling Psychology--w/ Specialization in Loss Issues & Bereavement
2001 Greenwich University
Thesis: "Clinical Perspectives and Reflections on the Interface Among Psychotherapy, Spirituality
and Chaplaincy in Working with Dying Patients and Their Families."

B.S. Professional Studies—w/ Emphasis on Adult Learning
1999 Greenwich University 1999
U.S. Equivalency credential evaluation by International Research Foundation, Inc.
Senior Paper: “Contemporary American Public School Education: Its role and what it produces”

POST-DOCTORAL Continuing-education

Grief, Loss Issues, Trauma, Dissociation, DID, Depression, Spirituality, Religion, and Culture.


MFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, License #MFC47627
9/09 State of California

CT Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement
Asso. for Death Education and Counseling

2006 Nationally Certified Parent Educator: Hard-to-parent Children, The Parenting Project
2005 Certified Medical Hypnotherapist, American Psychological Association-approved course
2002 CPE….Clinical Pastoral Education, St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, Ca.
2001 Nationally Certified Advanced Bereavement Group Facilitator, American Academy of Bereavement
1999 Bereavement Facilitator Certification, American Academy of Bereavement
1991 Hospice Companion Care, Pathways Hospice, Lakewood
1981 Hospice Companion Care, St. Mary Hospice, Long Beach
1978 Domestic Violence Counselor Certification, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center
1977 Health Worker Certification: Family Planning, L.A. Regional Family Planning Council, Inc.
1976 Peer Counselor: Adult and Child Sexual Assault, California-mandated training for Victim Advocates


2012 ISST-D International Conference Planning Committee (Conference in Long Beach, Ca., 2012)
2010-2013 Peer-Review Editorial Board, National Guild of Hypnotists, Journal of Hypnosis


California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists Category: Clinical Member/Lifetime Member
CAMFT, Orange County Chapter Category: Clinical Member
Association for Death Education and Counseling Category: Certified Thanatologist
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation Category: Clinical Member
Spiritual Directors International Category: Ordained Minister


Finding the Gems: The search for meaning in life’s traumas and losses
Published February 2018.
Balboa Press, a division of Hay House

Professional Liability Insurance: CPH and Associates.


4/2020 Retired psychotherapist and Expert Witness. Philanthropist; community volunteer.

5/2018 University President
4/2020 California Southern University

2019 Founder and Board Member
Hecht Trauma Institute, a Ca 501c3

2017 Consultant
California Southern University, a WASC-accredited senior university.
Subject-matter expert and consultant in trauma. To conceptualize, define, create, develop, and direct the CalSouthern Institute for the Study and Research of Trauma.
Advance University’s partnership with Cal-Pak, a nonprofit committed to developing and promoting education for girls and women in Pakistan.

2009 Marriage & Family Therapist; Executive Director
Ongoing Co-founder and Executive Director, The House of Ruach: a California non-profit 501(c)3
SPECIALIZING IN: Grief, Loss Issues, and Trauma (abuse, rape, incest, cult abuse, combat),
Dissociative Disorders, DID (formerly MPD), Spiritual Issues (clergy abuse, faith, meaning and purpose).
Psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, and hypnosis for psychological and spiritual issues.
Adults, teens, and children; individual, couples’ and group therapy.

1976 Hypnotherapist, Private practice.

2006- Marriage & Family Therapist
2008 Living Success Center, Costa Mesa, Ca.
Population: Low-income individuals, couples, and families.
Individual, group, couples’, and family therapy for adults, children, and teens. Parenting classes for court-
ordered patients and self-referred patients. Parent Educator; Bereavement Counselor & Educator.

2005- Domestic Violence Therapist
2006 Women’s Transitional Living Center, Fullerton, Ca.
Population: Domestic violence victims (female) and their children. Parenting education classes, group
therapy, and individual therapy.

2004- Bereavement Counselor & Chaplain
2006 Odyssey Home Hospice, Garden Grove, Ca.
Population: Terminally ill patients, their families, children, caregivers, hospice staff.
Bereavement counseling and pastoral counseling for patients and their families. Spiritual care evaluations.
In-service training for hospice and nursing facilities staff (per Medi-Cal regs). Funerals and memorials.

2003 Graduate student, new wife, homemaker.
2002 Foster Family Therapist
Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services, Long Beach, Ca.
Population: Foster children age 1-17 years, foster parents, siblings, and bio-families.
Child and adult individual psychotherapy, family and conjoint therapies, parenting education, and
psychoeducational interventions. Advanced court-ordered reunification, psychiatric evaluations, and I.E.P. process. Psychological and behavioral assessments, treatment plans, and Court-ordered narrative reports.

2000- Bereavement Therapist & Chaplain
2002 Wells House Hospice, Ca.
Population: Terminally ill patients, their families, children, caregivers, hospice staff.
Individual psychotherapy, grief counseling, family therapy, and pastoral counseling. Bereavement risk
assessments and spiritual assessments; staff tutorials and professional development seminars;
psychoeducational materials. Medi-cal and Medi-care quality assurance compliance. Funerals/memorials.

2000- Psychiatric Therapist (Psychodynamic) & Sexual Assault Specialist
2001 La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Ctr., Long Beach, Ca. …a locked psych facility for chronically-
mentally ill.
Population: Chronically mentally ill, including dual-diagnosed and Developmentally Disabled.
Individual therapy for higher-functioning clients; group therapy. Mental health assessments and risk
assessments. Liaison among Regional Center, conservators, County social workers, and families.

1999- Writer/Researcher
2001 Research Associates, Culver City, Ca.
Psychoeducational papers listed in separate section.
Clients: mental health professionals, educators, clergy, university deans, corporate business
executives. Literature reviews, book reviews, and research papers on psychology, religion,
volunteerism, leadership, and education.

1993- Director, CHOICES
1993 A gang-avoidance program for at-risk middle-school girls, Gr. L.B. Girl Scout Council.

Nonprofit Consultant/Professional fundraiser
Strategic Planning, Board Development, Corporate Giving, and Foundation Giving (e.g., grants) for the
American Red Cross, and numerous small to mid-size nonprofits in So. Ca.

1981- Hospice Volunteer, community volunteer, mother, homemaker.

1976- Lecturer and trainer: Sexual Assault, So. California
1981 Districts Attorneys, Police/Sheriff’s Departments, universities, hospitals, community orgs.

1976- Family Planning Counselor, Phoenix Family Med Clinic, Long Beach

1976- Co-Founder and Executive Director
1981 Rape Hotline of Long Beach, Inc., Ca.
Crisis intervention, court witness (victims’) advocate, political advocacy.


2017 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Merritt, Merritt, and Merritt v Spokane Cremation & Funeral Service, Inc.
Piskle, Yahne, Kovarik, PLLC; Whitny Norton, Esq.

2017 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Trauma
ORC/Intota International

2017 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Lovoi v Intermountain, et al
Rodger Burge, Esq.

2016 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Readick v Joachim
George Akwo, Esq.

2016 Expert Evaluation: Dissociative Identity Disorder
The State of California v Hernandez
Brandon Lewis, JD. Public Defender’s Office, Orange County, Ca.

2015- 1:1 Mentoring: Dissociative Identity Disorder
2017 Therapists in private practice or employed by counseling centers across the U.S.

2015 Expert Evaluation: Dissociative Identity Disorder
Teacher: anonymous (for reasons of confidentiality)
California State Teacher’s Union

2015 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Brussel v Pundiak, et al
Todd Miller, Esq.

2014 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Almanza v Bhandal and Cal Trans
Scarlett Law Firm...Randolph Scarlett, Esq.

2013 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Jordan v TGI Fridays
Wm. Seegmiller, Esq.

2012 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Thanatology
Oxford University Press
Editorial review of prospectus for proposed textbook on Thanatology

2012 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Dissociative Identity Disorder
La Paloma Dual Diagnosis Hospital, Tennessee

2012 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Trauma
Documentary: "Botso: The passion of music, the power of art"
Producer: David Thayer, Aspect Studios
Lifelong implications of trauma and loss; resiliency; and their effects on life choices and artistic creativity.

2012 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Trauma and Dissociation
The State of California vs Hautly.
Evan Hoffman, JD. Public Defender's Office, San Jose, Ca.
The effects of trauma; what are dissociation, DID, and dissociative fugue; and implications for sentencing
and treatment.

2012 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert: Grief and Loss
ORC/Intota International
End-of-life implications of grief, loss, and unresolved issues for the elderly, caregivers and eldercare.

2011 Expert Witness: Grief and Loss Issues
Nieva v Tahiti Village, et al
Mainor Eglet, LLP, Brad Myers, Esq.


"Educational Psychology"
Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education

"Principles of Confluent Education"
Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education

"Child Sexual Abuse and Incest"
So. California Society for the Study of Trauma State Alliance of Rape Hotlines (California)
So. California Alliance of Rape Hotlines Occidental College, California


Independent Documentary: "Botso."
Consultant re lifelong effects of trauma; meaning, and purpose.

Television Interview: "Pros and Cons"
Guest expert: Sexual assault and recidivism. One-hour weekly PBS program.

Television Interview: "Sexual Assault"
Guest expert: Sexual assault. Weekly cable program, CSULB

Documentary: "Homeless Children"
Guest expert: Children and homelessness. One-hour documentary produced by the United Way.

Television Interview: “Gang Prevention: At-Risk Girls"
Guest expert: Psychology of gangs. 30-minute cable program highlighting local problems and solutions.


Hospitals, hospices, professional development organizations.

"The Unlived Life: Dying without Regrets"
"Using Neuroscience to Improve Your Relationship"
"Growing Through Giving: Professional Development and Spirituality"
"Stress Reduction and Professional Potential"
“Grief: Handling the Holidays”
“What Are Your Core Values?”
"I Won't Make You Quack Like a Duck: Facts & Myths of Hypnosis"


Literature Reviews and research for psychology professionals, university educators, university deans,
public school superintendents, clergy, seminary instructors, corporate executives; U.S. and international clients.

Psychology: “Anger” “Bulimia” “Peer Sexual Harassment”

Education: “Dress Codes in the School System” “Computers in the Classroom” “Ebonics
and Literacy” “Curriculum Control in the U.S.” “Role of the Superintendent”
“Special Education--Placement” “Special Education—Inclusion” “Special
Education and Multi-cultural Settings” “Standardized Testing” “Teacher’s Pet”
“Tenure” “University Budgeting”

Organizational Psychology: “The Corporate Servant Leader” “Training vs Development” “Volunteerism”

Theology & Religion: “Faith Development and Pastoral Care” “The Servant-leader” “Rediscovering
Expository Preaching” “Wisdom: What it is, how do you get it, and how do you
lose it?” “Relational Christianity” “Spiritual Leadership” “The Christian
Ministry” “The Spirit of the Disciplines”


“The Unlived Life” (Jung and The Shadow/regrets)
The Grieving Process”
“Worden’s 4 Tasks of Mourning”
“Grief and Families”
“Bereavement: Creative ways to express your feelings”
“Bereavement: the holidays…perhaps we can…”
“Grief and Gender Issues”
“Helpful Ideas for Dealing with Grief”
“Myths Regarding Grief and Loss”
“Tips for Handling the Holidays”
“Biological Causes of Depression and Anxiety Disorder”
“The Brain”
“The Brain and PTSD”
“The Brain and Panic Disorder”
“The Brain and Violence”
“Bi-polar Disorder”
“The Differences Between the Male and Female Brain”
“Maslow, Erikson, and Rogers”
“Differences Among Helpers”
“Causes of Divorce and Solutions to Relationship Problems”
“Cheating: God as a Partner”
“Stages of a Relationship”
“Parenting: BE the parent”


• “Parenting” 2006-2008
A 12-week psychoeducational training program. Parents, teachers, and mental health interns.

• “Choices: A Gang-Avoidance Curriculum for At-Risk Middle-School Girls” 1993
A life-skills and self-esteem program created for Gr. L.B. Girl Scout Council.

• "Jewish Pride: A Values Clarification Curriculum for Junior High” 1983
A personal development and self-esteem program created for Jewish temples in So. California

• “Victim Witness Advocate's Training Manual” 1978
Created for So. California rape hotlines. Still in use by hotlines in California.

• “Rape: Medico-Legal Aspects" 1975-1981
• "Principles of Victim Advocacy"
• "Sensitivity Training: Sexual Assault"
• "Rape: Myths , Psycho-Social Implications , and Prevention"

Los Angeles District Attorney Police Department, Long Beach
Sheriff's Department, Lakewood St. Mary Hospital, Long Beach
Doctor's Hospital, Lakewood Long Beach Memorial Hospital
Pacific Hospital, Long Beach California State University, L.A.
California State University, Long Beach Long Beach Community College
Community College, El Segundo Community College, San Pedro

• "Children and Grief" 2000-2014
• “The Difference Between Helping, Counseling and Psychotherapy”
• "Cultural Implications Related to Dying"
• “Communication: Helpful responses for grieving people”
• “Communication: Helpful responses for dying people”
• "Chaplaincy for Lay-Volunteers"
• "Bereavement for Hospice Volunteers"
• “Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver”
• "Self-Care for the Health Care Worker"
• "Creating Grief Rituals"

So. California colleges; So. California hospices; graduate students, mental health interns,
hospice professionals, nurses, healthcare workers, hospice volunteers.

• "Adolescent Sexual Development: Psycho-Social Perspectives" 1976-1979
L.A. Regional Family Planning Council, Inc.

• "The Crisis of Battering: Dynamics and Intervention" 1976-1979
• "Battered Women"
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center, Culver City

• "Male Involvement in Birth Control" 1976-1979
• "Teenage Pregnancy: Psycho-social Implications"
L.A. Regional Family Planning Center, Inc.
State Conference, National Alliance of Optional Parenthood

• "Some Days I Feel Jewish" 1981-1983
Adult Leadership Conference, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles--Personal development seminars and retreats


2017-18 Board of Directors, California Southern University, Costa Mesa, Ca.
1995-97 L.A. County Probation Department, Multi-Agency At-Risk Youth Commission
1992-94 Pluralism Task Force, Gr. L.B. Girl Scout Council
1990-92 Contemporary Issues Task Force, Gr. L.B. Girl Scout Council
1990-92 Health and Social Services Commission, L.B. Area Chamber of Commerce


1995 Golden Rule Award...for service to Operation Jumpstart Sponsors: Orange County Volunteer Center & J.C. Penney

1992 Chai, Volunteer Service Award...Board Member Jewish Community Center, Long Beach, Ca.

1980 Woman of the Year, Nominee
L.B. Area Chamber of Commerce

1981 Outstanding Administrator...Executive Director of the Year
1980 So. California Alliance of Rape Hotlines

1981 Exemplary Service Award...State Coordinator
1980 So. California Alliance of Rape Hotlines


YouTube or LinkedIn Link ( If Available )
Letter to prove your eligibility:Anila-Ali-Eligibility-Letter.pdf
Letter of endorsement:Letter-of-Endorsement.docx
Nominee's current curriculum vitae or Bio:CV-Curriculum-Vitae-Hecht-Nov-2021.doc
Other supporting documents