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Rev. Charlie Harper began his career working with teenagers in crisis and their parents as the house manager and resident counselor at a home for single teenage mothers and street gangs in Pomona, California. He received his BA in Psychology from Pitzer College and his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School.
He spent eight years in church ministry focusing on youth ministry. For the past 10 years Rev. Harper has served as a street minister to families and young people in crisis.
Rev. Harper is a father of two and a stepfather to four. Over the past 10 years, in
addition to attending to his own recovery from alcoholism, public speaking engagements, and a teacher of drama and art, he has served over 200 families in crisis.
His experience as a church pastor, spiritual director, faith counselor and life coach coalesced into a unique perspective and practice of recovery, and particularly, the lack of care and concern for the parents of young people in crisis.
Through his experience, faith and education Harper has taken his extraordinary life experience and 35 years of working with young people and their parents… and put them together between the covers of Amazing Grief: A Healing Guide for Parents of Young Addicts.
It is based on three life saving observations:
1. When parents took care of themselves during a crisis, their child was twice as likely to recover their life.
2. Unlike the death of a loved one, the stages of grief for a parent of a child in crisis has a far more complicated grief process, including 11 stages of grief compared to the commonly accepted 6 stages of grief.
3. Most remarkably, he found that when parents applied the principles of his stages of grief and their antidotes, they were empowered to heal and became an empowering force for their child’s recovery while growing spiritually and emotionally themselves.
Rev. Harper is available for talks to large groups, workshops and individual and family spiritual counseling.