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DEPRESSION? ANXIETY? ADD/ADHD? CHILD WITH A BEHAVIOR DISORDER? AGING PARENT WITH DEMENTIA?

Exciting research illustrates the common roots to these various conditions. Endocrine, immune, even gastrointestinal systems affect our nerves. Discovering what you can do for and by yourself, along with what tests and/or integrative practitioner to see…this can be quite a project. You need a coach!

WHAT IS A MENTAL HEALTH COACH?

In the late 1980’s I took my graduate degree in Religious Studies (Religion and Personality) from the University of Kansas, along with trainings in hypnotherapy, and put out a shingle. I enjoyed several years working with primarily women and college students on sexual abuse issues, eating disorders, and healing childhood trauma. The work turned spotty when I became a mom of two, one shortly thereafter diagnosed with autism.

She was, and still is, the harbinger of great change in the way I look now at “mental” health and behavior. I was catapulted into studies of nutrition that helped her immensely—and did the same for me. The effect of targeted diet and detox to heal the mind was the science I never saw coming, nor did I expect it would work such transformation upon our lives. I’ve detailed the journey in my book, Lunacy Lost: A Memoir of Green Mental Health.

When the kids were small I studied meditation, and learned the deep value of a practice of mindfulness. Psychotherapy was also developing an interest, and today there are various schools of therapy that incorporate a mindful outlook. I’d tried—and shied away from meditation for years, never knowing why. But the clarity I gained through working with the body finally allowed me to “get it.” I still find the two—nutrition and meditation—make a happy marriage of approaches.

A few years ago I met a simpatico soul, Dr. Tyler Woods, a psychotherapist in Arizona developing classes for the Mindhance Learning Center. Her Holistic Mental Health Coach program launched me anew, and the certification with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners provides a link to others. I began working with people from a new angle.

Always a nature gal and student of ecopsychology, the growing yet eclectic art of ecotherapy inspires me as well. I have been fortunate to work with persons in the great outdoors, where Mother Nature seems to enhance the experience.

At this time I am expanding my practice to welcome a few more clients some afternoons & evenings. Last year I was hired as a Job Coach and during the day work with high school and transitional students with disabilities all over the community. This is rewarding work, though my ability to affect their needs holistically is not part of the position. My students are fantastic, giving me a window onto the world my own daughter with autism will soon face. They leave me energized for my Natural Mind Coaching clients.

There are openings some weekday late-afternoons and evenings, and on Saturday afternoon. Rates are affordable compared to traditional psychotherapy; packages lower the price to less than the cost of a massage. I have contacts with holistic physicians locally and nationally that I draw on, and 25 years of serving groups and individuals in northeast Kansas. Live, Skype, or phone coaching: I work with folks all over the continental US. Free consultation: suewestwind@yahoo.com.

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