Author Biography

Michele A. Reiss PhD RN CS

Board Certified Psychiatric Clinical Specialist 

As a Family Medicine Residency administrator and faculty member, Dr. Michele Reiss trains young physicians in the psychological aspects of health care.  As a psychotherapist, Dr. Reiss sees clients with varied interests. Major clinical commitments include her work with patients struggling with life threatening illnesses such as cancer and those coping with loss or grief issues.

Dr. Reiss currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in the northern section of the city of Pittsburgh.  She also functions as the Assistant Program Director and Behavioral Medicine faculty member for a large, well known, family medicine residency program in the Pittsburgh hospital community.  Additionally Dr. Reiss is a clinical Assistant Professor for both the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine/ Family Medicine Department and the Graduate School of Nursing/Community and Mental Health Department.

Dr. Reiss received both her Masters degree in Psychiatric Nursing  and her  Doctoral degree in Higher Education/Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh.  Additionally she is board certified as an advanced practice Psychiatric Clinical Specialist.  She has taught and mentored young physicians, family medicine and pediatric residents, psychiatry residents and graduate nursing students for over 25 years.  Dr. Reiss has also run a consultation service for a local hospital's Oncology and Burn Units and has consulted with an area Hospice program.  Dr. Reiss has presented nationally and locally on such topics as Grief and Bereavement, The Physician's Role in Terminal Care and The Psychological Aspects of Cancer Survival.

Recently, Dr. Reiss was publicly acknowledged as the psychotherapist working with Dr. Randy Pausch and his wife Jai.  Dr. Pausch, a CMU professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has received much media attention due to the enthusiastic optimism he has demonstrated in the face of a terminal illness.  Dr. Pausch's lecture and television appearances have hopefully served to inspire others to live fully and well in spite of significant adversity.  It is hoped that the public disclosure of Dr. Reiss' role as counselor to the Pausches will encourage others to seek support and guidance when facing the stresses of a serious medical illness.

Dr. Reiss has recently written a book, entitled Lessons in Loss and Living, based on her years of work with those facing serious illness or acute grief.  Lessons in Loss and Living is currently available for pre-orders on  Published by Hyperion Press, it will be available in local bookstores November 2010. 

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  It shouldn't take a life threatening illness or a significant loss to awaken us to the preciousness of life and relationships, but sometimes it does.  The stories and strategies in Lessons In Loss and Living, provide comfort and counsel for readers who are coping with the challenges of serious illness or grief.  Lessons in Loss and Living is a book about hope and the art of living and loving well.  It is meant to encourage those who are facing great adversity and to inspire the rest of us to live life fully, generously and with great joy.


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