Sarah Vollmann continued:

As a member of the Artful Grief team of art therapists Sarah works with military families facing suicide bereavement and traumatic loss. She is also the Lead Counselor at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Massachusetts. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on grief and loss, and she presents both nationally and internationally on art therapy, grief, and bereavement.

Sarah Vollmann is a replacement child.

“Two years before my birth, my six-year-old sister died in a drowning accident. I was born into a traumatized and mourning family. I recognize that my childhood and identity were altered and molded by the repercussions of my sister’s death, and by my role as the child who was born afterwards. 

While my feelings and experiences have been well processed and explored over time, my sister’s death has strongly influenced my identity and life story: I became a therapist who specializes in grief and loss. In my growing up years, I was never able to find information about children who are born after the death of a sibling. I became determined to learn more, and to add to the clinical literature about this hidden and disenfranchised loss. I eventually conducted and published a research study, in which I interviewed 25 adults who were born subsequent to the loss of a child or who were survivors, replacing a lost sibling. You can read the study, linked below, if you wish. 

As a Board Member of the Replacement Child Forum, ( I hope to assist in heightening awareness of the significance and potential repercussions of being born after loss. I would like to be a resource for bereaved parents, therapists, and for health professionals who work with grieving families. I am also deeply committed to contributing in the realms of education, support, research, and advocacy for subsequent children, replacement children, and all who face any type of replacement dynamic. “ 

Links to my study, and other work on this topic:

Return to the Advisory Board page here.

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