About Harriet CabellyA predominant theme in my life has been how people cope and grow through and beyond their adversities. I’ve always been greatly inspired by people who, against all odds, go on and live engaged, productive and meaningful lives.

Bitter or better?

Some people grow and become better; others succumb and become bitter, remaining stuck in their pain.

Therein lies the challenge: how to create and live a rich life despite loss, trauma, adversity. The key isn’t how to get through life without the painful situations, for as we know, inherent in the human condition is pain and suffering. Nobody is immune. It’s rather how to live on and rise above the pain and suffering.

Facing my own personal challenges forced me to see that coping and living well does not lie in getting answers to the ‘why’ questions. I thrashed around in grief and angst looking for answers, thinking that if I actually got any, that somehow my pain and suffering would be alleviated. Who knows if we had an insight into G-d’s plan and did get any answers, if that would provide comfort. But I finally came to grasp and internalize that the existential ‘why’ questions are an exercise in futility.

The real work lies in answering the ‘how’ questions of life – how do we cope and adjust, how do we rebuild our lives and re-create new dreams, discover renewed purpose and bring more joy into the lives we have.

I often felt I could be a member of many support groups as my own personal challenges have been:

  • Being a child of divorced parents in the early ’60s when few parents were divorcing.
  • Having a child born with disabilities and dealing with the intense grief of not having that ‘normal’ child. (which we all hope for and yes, expect)
  • Dealing with my own divorce and rebuilding my life, coping with disappointment, anger and shame of a failed marriage.
  • Going through a life-threatening medical crisis with my daughter (who already had her share of issues) which lasted over a year.

Upon the discovery that my middle daughter, Nava, had neurological issues, I was helped tremendously by a gifted therapist and by a wonderful leader of a support group for parents of babies born with disabilities. I eventually came through the other side of grief feeling and sensing renewed hope and uplift.

I reconnected to my inherent love of psychology and was inspired to want to help other parents going through similar pain and suffering. Having been a special education teacher many moons ago, I went back to school for a masters in social work.

Listening to my mom got me into the school system when I was just separated/divorced. As a single parent raising my three young children, having summers off and being home for them when they got home from school, was clearly a big plus. It certainly was not the job I envisioned after going to school for five years (part time), but it was practical and served my purpose of ‘mommyhood’ first and foremost. I used to say my real work began after four when I shuttled Nava to all her therapies.

article3Over the years dealing with adversity, both personal and professional, has morphed into my overall life’s work of helping people live their best lives through and despite their difficulties and losses. After 20 years, I retired from my school job; I prefer the term ‘moved on’ as I am passionately engaged in working and growing my private practice, returning to what I originally set out to do.

My advanced studies in the field of positive psychology brought even more inspiration to my professional and personal life. Resiliency and post-traumatic growth are cornerstones of living with challenges. Gratitude keeps us attuned to the good that we have in our lives, through it all.


As a life-learner, I am currently studying logotherapy, the therapy of meaning and purpose, as founded by psychiatrist Dr.Viktor Frankl. His classic and timeless book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has been a life-changer for me from the first time I read it, at age 18. I’ve now returned to immerse myself in the study of his work.

There’s no end to what we can open ourselves up to in this world, and when we do, the opportunities, possibilities and experiences are endless.

As I like to say, I wish I had at least 5 lives; there’s just so much to do and see, learn and discover.


how to find me

444 Community Drive, Suite 307 Manhasset, NY 11030
Call me: 516-214-4778