Remembering Rita Gallagher

Rita was a delightful person. She spoke her mind, did not get upset if you disagreed, she knew herself and was comfortable in her own skin. Rita was a keen observer of human behavior and very analytical in her interpretation of both speech and actions. She was a masterful Anger Management Coordinator for Daemion Counseling Center.

Rita started volunteering at Daemion soon after she completed her undergraduate psychology degree from West Chester University, she was in her 60’s at the time. She was already a renowned handwriting expert. Rita originally thought the handwriting analysis may be of help in mental health diagnosis, I think she was ahead of her time in that regard.

Rita took on the Anger Management program for Daemion and set the standards and protocols for a six week course. She designed and modified the course until it felt complete. Rita was a straight talker and did not sugar-coat her assignments for her clients: she often asked a client if they had an idea of why they continued to do things that caused themselves and others distress, and if they shrugged or could not come up with an explanation, she told them that they did things because they could, and they got away with it, if no one called them on their bad behavior.

She offered them an alternative explanation for others behavior and a choice to respond differently than they did in the past. Anger Management was an opportunity for her clients to learn new skills, assess their own responses, and look to improve relationships that were difficult through changing their thinking and behaving. Rita was thoroughly engaged with her clients and changed many client’s lives for the better through the Anger Management course.

Personally, I just loved Rita and found her refreshingly honest and so very helpful to me as the executive director at Daemion, and as a friend. She and I spoke at least every month after I left and moved to Maryland. We got together occasionally, and I am going to miss her so very much. She made my life so much richer.

Sarah Gifford
Former Executive Director Daemion Counseling Center