Meet Rev. Gillian Murphy-Stephans, BCC, MDiv, MPH

Gillian’s Bio – Rev. Gillian Murphy-Stephans is a Chaplain, Spiritual Care Coach and Grief Group Coach and Facilitator. Gillian’s interest in Coaching was born out of her Chaplaincy experience, working with countless patients (children and adults), families and healthcare workers in their moments of trauma, spiritual distress, life transition, death and grief. As a board-certified Chaplain working in hospice and hospital contexts since 2010, Gillian became a Spiritual Care Coach after completing International Federation of Coaches accredited Level 1 & 2 trainings and experiencing the “aha!” of recognizing how the skill and mindsets were beautifully aligned to provide richer and more expansive care. Her work is characterized by deep, active and attentive listening, compassionate presence, cultural awareness and humility and profound respect for the integrity and wisdom people bring to their lives. In addition to her private clients, Gillian has partnered with the United Church of Christ Northern Nevada Conference, Orinda Community Church UCC and Encuentros Latinx to provide individual and group coaching.

Gillian’s work is informed by her experiences working in HIV/AIDS for a decade before becoming an independent Social Health and Justice consultant, educator and writer working on issues at the intersection of social justice and health. She comes with many years working in trauma, religiously, spiritually and culturally diverse settings, urban contexts, immigrant families and places where the majority of patients, families, community members and constituents are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Gillian pays close attention to how her whiteness influences her understanding and may create barriers for the client, always centering the client’s experience. As a cis-gendered lesbian, Gillian pays close attention to the particularities of sexuality, gender and phobias inherent in individuals and community’s and again, centers the client’s experience. In all, Gillian strives to create a space where the full reality of people’s lives can be explored, mined for meaning and celebrated. Gillian believes that when people get to tell the full story of their lives in an open, non-judgmental space with a trusted person – when they are truly heard – they are able to hear their own strength, joys and resilience.

More about Gillian – Rev. Gillian is from Long Island, NY and lives in Oakland, CA with her amazing wife and two dogs. She is the over-the-top proud mother of two young adult children. She loves to journal, swim, dance to loud music in her living room, play in water (especially the Long Island Sound) and deeply connect and laugh with people. She is ordained in the United Church of Christ.

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