I came to know Nina Gorbach in her role as founder and spiritual leader of WillMar Center, a special resource in our community where children and families who are dealing with grief can find healing services. Nina's personal capacity to touch these individuals, to provide light and hope in this dark and vulnerable stage of their lives was truly remarkable. Equally impressive was her ability to build this idea and personal passion into a functioning program supported by a talented staff and a community touched by this organization born of Nina's inspiration and effort.Steve Page, President & General Manager, Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, CA
I have known Nina Gorbach professionally and personally for thirty plus years: from art classes in Chicago to her groundbreaking work at WillMar, to her private practice counseling children and families in Sonoma. Like magic, she immediately puts children at ease. They follow her therapeutic style with enjoyment and diversion. Their struggles with grief, separation or depression are mollified by her unique approach: merging the restoring powers of the creative arts with her vast experience in traditional pediatric psychology. I have personally seen, with some amazement, as she helps children locate and express the most difficult feelings.Robert Balkan, M.D. Pediatric Ophthalmologist & Surgeon, New Orleans, LA
I have known Nina for more than 20 years and have the utmost respect for her as a caring, concerned and competent mental health professional. We have co-lead groups of adolescents, consulted on psychological issues and worked together professionally in other capacities. Nina has a natural ability to connect with teens and children and is able to put them at ease so they feel safe. She has expertise working with grief and loss, but more importantly, she is able to meet young people in such a way that they are able to talk about whatever may be troubling them, help them come to terms with underlying issues and help them move toward resolution of their problems.Russ Messing, Ph.D.
I met Nina in 2001, in her role as founding director of Willmar Center for Bereaved Children. I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the center’s first-ever facilitator training program; an experience that to this day, has remained one of my most enriching and educational. Nina developed, and led the four-day intensive training, which included both foundational skill building and self-reflective components. Nina wove current research and discourse in the field of child bereavement, with experiential expressive arts activities, and learnings from her own extensive clinical experience. As a masters level student in one of the Bay Area’s leading graduate counseling programs, I can say that Nina possesses an unparalleled capacity to impart her wisdom and expertise in a way that is profoundly engaging and effective. Nina has an innate capacity to create a safe and nurturing environment for exploring the sensitive and often intense nature of grief-related work. I experienced this first hand, as she compassionately guided myself and the other volunteers on the journey through our own grief and healing.Rachel Jaffe Powell, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Orinda CA
Nina Gorbach is a teacher, therapist, artist, writer and true humanitarian. She has created unique, life-changing opportunities for children and families undergoing grief, loss and bereavement. A highlight of the semester, her presentation at my classes at Santa Rosa Junior College inspired several students to become volunteers in the field. Nina is a positive person of spirit and faith who provides service to others. Earnest, kind and compassionate as she teaches about the sad realities surrounding illness, dying and death, she remains enthusiastic about life. It's a blessing to all who have had, and will have, the chance to know and to work with her.Stephen Khamsi, Ph.D.
Nina has been a wonderful resource for me and my students for many years. She has given graciously of her time and talents. I admire how Nina stays in tune with current research and trends in order to work with children of all ages. Thank you Nina for all you offer to the community of Sonoma.Lora Grimes, PPS, Teacher and Counselor at Altimira and Adele Harrison Middle Schools for 38 years Sonoma, CA
I met Nina when I was 15. Our relationship remains one of the most important and formative in my life. Knowing Nina I was able to recognize my achievements and believe in the worthiness of my self. I developed skills to manage and talk about my feelings rationally. I learned to connect and engage with other people. Seeing Nina's compassion and dedication to those around her has inspired me to dedicate my life to social services. I am loathe to think about my life without having known Nina.Rosanna Betts Gehret, Hayfork, CA
255 West Napa Street, Suite M
Sonoma, CA 95476
Please Note: All appointments are currently being held virtually.