Deborah Forrest is considered a pioneer in the field of spirituality and dementia. Her international best-selling book Symphony of Spirits: Encounters with the Spiritual Dimensions of Alzheimer’s, was the first publication to break ground into the “unknown spiritual world of dementia”. Since its publication in 2000 she has become a sought after international speaker. Her latest book Touch the Spirit: Connecting to the Inner World of Dementia offers dementia caregivers and their families practical ways to apply the dimension of spirituality to their own personal experiences.
Deborah holds graduate degrees in nursing and clinical psychology. She has worked as a Peri-Operative Nurse Educator and Manager in several academic medical centers in the Southeastern United States; as a Nursing Director in a Texas psychiatric hospital; as a Biomedical Researcher and Clinical Affairs Consultant to several Fortune 100 Corporations and as a Registered Psychologist [Retired].
In 1990, shortly after her return to graduate school for her doctorate in clinical psychology, Dr. Forrest began an association with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. That association led to her dissertation research project with Dr. Kubler-Ross’s final grief workshops before her retirement. Immediately following the completion of her doctoral degree program, Dr. Forrest completed a one year a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center & Sander’s Brown Center on Aging where she continued to expand her knowledge of gerontology and the diseases of aging. She has published extensively in professional and technical journals in various fields of medicine and health, and has taught and lectured in her fields of specialization – aging, dementia and spirituality, bereavement and bone marrow cancer. Since 1987 she has been repeatedly listed among the Who’s Who in Professional & Executive Women. In 2002 she was invited by the Johnson & Johnson/Rosalyn Carter Institute Caregiver’s Program of Experts Panel to speak on the topic of “Faith and Spirituality”.