I joined the staff of The Christi Center in 2012 and felt an immediate connection to the love, hope, resiliency and strength of all the members, volunteers and staff.
Erin Spalding, LCSW
My name is Erin Spalding and I have known that I wanted to work in grief and loss since I knew there was such a thing. After having lost my Dad to a heart attack when I was nine and losing the mom I knew to a stroke when I was 17 (she never fully recovered); I knew that I wanted my education to support my future goal of helping others deal with devastating loss.
I received my Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. In my first graduate class at UT, I was shown a video of The Christi Center’s Kids Who Kare program and I knew I had to find a way to do an internship for this wonderful organization. I completed my Masters internship at The Christi Center in 2007 and was hired on as Program Director in 2008. Though I work on everything from evaluation to strategic planning in my role, my passion is the work I do helping those in grief embrace their strengths and find hope. I do this through facilitation of the teen and young adult groups, community trainings on grief and loss and by supervising upcoming clinical professional interns who provide much of our services to the school system.
Of course, one of the things I always tell the members, volunteers and interns – self-care is an important piece of helping others too. To that end, I anything outside when it’s not too hot and a regular yoga practice. Being around animals of all kinds is probably what brings me the most joy. Though, my Looney Luna, the yorkie, and Toby, the fat cat, are my favorites.
Christi Neville, LPC
Peer Support and Kids Who Kare Coordinator
My interest in grief and loss began in 1997, when a tragic accident claimed the love of my life, and catapulted me into a humbling journey of healing. An intern counselor at the time, I was astounded to realized our culture’s lack of understanding of grief, and as I committed myself to my own personal growth, my thirst for knowledge led me into professional realms as well. After graduating with my Master’s in Counseling from The University of Denver in 1999, I began a holistic private practice in Colorado devoted exclusively to grief, and from that foundation, have led support groups for children, for surviving family members at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and have run several hospice bereavement programs. After relocating back to my native Texas, I was lucky enough to find The Christi Center, and am excited to contribute my blend of personal and professional experience as I support the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of loss. Outside of work, I enjoy music, meditation, and spending time outside with my super-duper son, who reminds me daily to stay present to the magic and wonder of life.
Crime Victims Advocate
Tammy Cochran, M.Ed., LPC
School Initiatives Coordinator
I am excited to return to my hometown of Austin and coordinate the new School Grief Support Network Initiative between The Christi Center and Austin ISD. I received a Bachelors in Education from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Counseling from the University of Houston. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and have experience as a classroom teacher and school counselor in several districts around the state. My first introduction to the power of grief counseling and peer support groups was through volunteering as a group facilitator at Bo’s Place, a children’s bereavement center in Houston. I was most recently the Outreach Coordinator at the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas where I built partnerships in the San Antonio area through education, training, and reaching out to those in need of grief support and services. I am dedicated to helping others understand grief and providing children with the net of support needed to adjust to their “new normal” after a death and go on to lead healthy, happy, productive lives. Outside of work, I am busy with my wonderful husband and two sons along with volunteering in their schools and other community organizations.
My professional background is varied and my introduction to to The Christi Center came as a volunteer photographer a few years ago. In the past few years I have been developing my skills through volunteering and the use of my past experience in the finance world. I am so thrilled to be a part of this organization. In my free time I train for marathons, volunteer with animal rights organizations, sew and run around after my 10 year old daughter and a 2 year old Australian Shepherd.