Toinette “Toni” Shearer has been providing counseling and leadership in human and social services for 29 years. Ms. Shearer earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1991 from Antioch New England Graduate School. Her class was a prototype for what would soon become a degree in Marriage and Family. Despite an ongoing passion and commitment for working with children and adults who identify with being abused, professional circumstances created opportunity for her to become additionally specialized in working with adult sexual offenders, youth with problematic sexual behaviors and perpetrators of family violence. Ms. Shearer’s commitment has always been for those most vulnerable and doing her part to make communities, families, and individuals safer from emotional, physical and sexual violence.
Ms. Shearer feels fortunate to have had opportunities to be creative and develop cutting edge programming. Such programming included chaperone training, a visitation center and an in home, intensive program for youth with problematic sexual behaviors.
Ms. Shearer created chaperone training in New Hampshire while working in private practice due to the amount of offenders who repeatedly told her how she knew more about them and their offending than the supports that the offenders had transitioned to, often from prison. This psycho-educational program was developed to educate families and friends of sexual offenders about offending behavior, victim trauma and how to protect children with adequate and consistent supervision.
Additionally, collaboration with community agencies in Pennsylvania, provided opportunity for her to advocate for and establish funding for a visitation center in Dauphin County at the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg to promote safer child exchanges between estranged parents and a child friendly environment for visitations between children and non-custodial parents.
Ms. Shearer’s affiliation with the SPIN program provided opportunity to shape this program into a relevant, trauma based intensive program that practiced what research supported in effective treatment for youth with problematic sexual behaviors. This unique program expanded through double digit counties and quadrupled in size within her leadership.
All of these programs remain in operation today.
Ms. Shearer is a Licensed Professional Counselor in PA who is specialized in sexual and family violence. Ms. Shearer is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and also is certified as both; a Juvenile Sexual Offender Treatment Specialist and an Assessor of Juvenile Sexual Offender Risk.
The Center of Hope and Healing, LLC is a dream come true which grew from a culmination of personal and professional experiences, a deep commitment for non-violence and a desire to help people feel less pain while finding hope, safety and balance.
"The Center for Hope and Healing, LLC is created as an evolving tribute to the life of Barbara Lumby (aka. Bubbeh), my mother. Bubbeh taught me so much about life, resiliency, healing, unconditional love, forgiveness and even death. Bubbeh had a passion for serving and helping others. While she never followed her initial dream of becoming a therapist, the amount of family and friends that were counseled by her was endless. Bubbeh succumbed to Ovarian Cancer on February 13, 2013. My life was forever changed when we lost her. I miss her more and more every day. This Center is a place of healing and hope. A Center modeled from a woman who influenced my core and made me a better person for having had her as my mother, my friend. A woman who always encouraged me to go after my dreams."