Kristine A. Munholland, Ph.D., MSW

I’ve been interested in our connections with one another and the ways they impact us for the whole of my adult life. Most especially, I believe that the quality of our interactions and relationships has tremendous importance for well-being – our own and that of those to whom we are closest. This belief is the result of both my training and my life experience.

In college and graduate school (Pennsylvania State University; University of Wisconsin-Madison), I studied parents and children, learning how their bonds develop and how their relationships and interactions shape who children become. While completing my PhD in Human Development, I discovered an interest in working with and supporting individuals and families, adding a Masters of Social Work to my training. Originally from the East Coast, I moved to Portland, Oregon, to complete my dissertation research at The Dougy Center, and I’ve been here ever since.

My professional life has mixed health care service, where I worked to support family members recovering from loss, and university teaching, where I’ve mentored students learning to become human service professionals in a wide array of settings. The bereavement program I led was recognized by state and national auditors for its exceptional quality and I received a service excellence award from the state hospice association. I am co-author of a chapter in “The Handbook of Attachment” available from Guilford Press.

Along the way, I’ve provided consultation and training to a variety of social service organizations (hospice, child care, elder care, family services, mental health, residential treatment) and types of providers (physicians, nurses, teachers, attorneys, social workers, counselors, chaplains, volunteers). In each context, I’ve worked with colleagues, staff, and family members to enhance the support available to clients, patients, and loved ones, big and small. And through it all, I’ve continued to gain insight into my own life experience: as a daughter, sister, wife, stepmother, friend, and colleague.

So much of our lives depends on our connections with others – investing in their quality is an essential but often misunderstood process, one that benefits us and our social partners in myriad ways. Using my understanding of the power we all have to nurture healthy, supportive relationships is my hope for The Power of Nurture.