Sirois, Maria

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Sirois, Maria

PERSONAL:

Born in Gloversville, NY; daughter of Al and Antoinette Sirois; married Jonathan Kramer; children: Raphaela, Jesse. Education: Studied at the New England Deaconness Mind/Body Clinic, Boston, MA, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Psy.D., 1993.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, educator, public speaker, and clinical psychologist. Clinical psychologist in private practice. Creator and presenter of public educational forums, workshops, and continuing education classes. Public speaker and presenter at meetings and conferences. Worked in public relations and marketing in Boston, MA. Member of board of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts and Community Access to the Arts.

WRITINGS:

Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, Walker (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Maria Sirois is an author and licensed clinical psychologist "who has worked in the intersections of psychology, spirituality and health for more than fifteen years," noted a biographer on her home page. Much of her psychological training and counseling work has focused on relieving the stress and suffering of the chronically or terminally ill through meditation, stress management, self-care, and other techniques that the patient can learn themselves and apply as needed. Sirois has also worked extensively with terminally ill children with cancer or blood diseases, and with their families. Her focus as a therapist and healer is to assist those who are ill, and the people around them who serve as their caregivers, reported the home page biographer.

Sirois is a prolific public speaker and inspirational storyteller who has given keynote speeches and lectures at hospitals, hospices, colleges, religious institutions, and businesses throughout the country. She speaks on such subjects as the integration of faith into psychotherapy for terminally ill patients. Her "lectures and workshops combine powerful and moving anecdotes with research to bring an audience to the place we all most want to be: moved to tears and joy and positive action within the lives we are already living," stated the biographer on her home page.

A writer, Sirois is the author of Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness. This book is based on Sirois's professional training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. There, she worked with gravely ill children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. As a counselor, she saw first-hand the wrenching emotional traumas faced by sick children and their parents. She observed the unique perspective that children bring to questions of illness and mortality, saw that children can demonstrate a stronger faith than adults in such situations, and found that kids are often profoundly inspirational in the way they approach death. She discovered that children in the grip of terminal illness can often display greater resiliency, wisdom, and optimism than their parents. In her book, Sirois profiles several children she met during her tenure at Dana-Farber. One girl she knew related how she spoke to God, who told her she would get better; her confidence was so great, Sirois reports, that she gave her mother the invisible shield that God had given her, convinced she would no longer need it. Booklist reviewer Donna Chavez commented that "these children are genuinely inspirational."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2006, Donna Chavez, review of Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, p. 60.

Internet Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Every Day Counts.

ONLINE

Maria Sirois Home Page,http://mariasirois.com (March 27, 2008).