Underwood, Judy K. 1946-

views updated

Underwood, Judy K. 1946-


Born March 24, 1946, in Evansville, IN; daughter of Robert (a physician) and Mildred Underwood; has a life partner; children: Danya Uriel Rivlin. Education: Douglas College, B.A., 1966; Kean University, M.A., 1967; University of Denver, Ph.D., 1973.


Home—Fort Collins, CO. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected].


Psychotherapist and life coach. University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, professor, taught for ten years; Blue Spruce Associates, Fort Collins, CO, psychotherapist, 1982—, life coach, 1999—. Coleader of Death, Dying, and Legacy, 2007—; Centennial Center for Human Services, NLP practitioner.


International Coach Federation, American Counseling Association, Colorado Association of Psychotherapists.


Dying: Finding Comfort and Guidance in a Story of a Peaceful Passing, Odyssey Ink (Fort Collins, CO), 2008.


Judy K. Underwood is a psychotherapist and life coach. Born in Evansville, Indiana, on March 24, 1946, Underwood was raised in New Jersey. The daughter of a physician, she went on to study communication disorders at Douglas College and Kean University before moving to Colorado to pursue a Ph.D. in the same field. Underwood lectured at the University of Northern Colorado for ten years and, by the 1980s, became a certified master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Underwood began working as a psychotherapist at Blue Spruce Associates in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1982. By 1999 she was also working at the clinic as a life coach after receiving the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentials, awarded by the International Coach Federation. Underwood runs the life-coaching Web site, Coaching for Your Success, and counsels from the Centennial Center for Human Services.

In 2008 she published her first book, Dying: Finding Comfort and Guidance in a Story of a Peaceful Passing, with Fort Collins-based Odyssey Ink. The book acts as a guide for family, friends, or aged-care practitioners who are looking for support when faced with a loved one's imminent passing. The book gives readers direction in helping them to better assist the dying person by fulfilling their wishes, acting in an appropriate manner, and to come to terms with death themselves. Underwood relates the story of Kris, a fifty-six-year-old woman who was terminally ill, and the process the two went through together as Underwood helped Kris in her remaining days. Kris requested to live her last days surrounded by peace, love, and acceptance, making it a beautiful ending. Underwood and Kris relate the story in the book so that others may find the passing to be a peaceful experience and not one that is frightening.

In addition to providing Kris's personal story of passing, Underwood gives practical advice as well. She lists various products, services, obituary information, and hospice- care facilities that are able to smooth the transition for many. Underwood also proposes what she calls the Dying Person's Bill of Rights. Underwood hopes that in writing this that her experience and guidance will comfort those faced with the upcoming death of a loved one of any age, illness, and across religious beliefs.

Judy K. Underwood told CA: "When a fifty-six-year-old, long-term client of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she said to me, ‘Judy, I want to die a good death, and I want you to help me.’ Without hesitation I said, ‘Of course, I'll help you.’ I had no idea what that meant.

"I spent the next eleven months helping her achieve her goal. I never dreamed I would become so deeply involved in the process and that it would affect me so profoundly. All of us will go on this journey—either by ourselves or with someone we love. It is my intention to share what I learned in order to help others be prepared."



Centennial Center for Human Services Web site,http://www.caringcounseling.net/ (January 16, 2008), author profile.

Coaching for Your Success,http://www.coaching4yoursuccess.com (January 16, 2008), author profile.

Colorado Association of Psychotherapists Web site,http://www.coloradopsychotherapists.com/ (January 16, 2008), author profile.

Passing Peacefully,http://www.passingpeacefully.com (January 16, 2008), author profile.