KW is a 36 year old female, mother of two children who began seeing me in November of 2013 when she separated from her now ex-husband. Her grief around the separation had triggered memories of old childhood trauma. She had also looking to work on issues with her diet to possibly target food allergies.
K had a long history of anxiety and a past history of OCD that dated back to childhood. Through working with an integrative health model, we were able to target her anxiety through a mind/body approach by increasing self-care in the present.
KW is a middle school teacher who had been overwhelmed with her workload as she started working in a new school. She would often work late into the evening after putting her kids to bed.
Our work focused on helping her get a hold of her work schedule to create space for more work-life balance. She was able to do this through decreasing her caffeine intake which alleviated the pressure of anxiety. She found when she decreased or cut out coffee from her daily routine, her ability to focus increased and she was a lot more productive. She started taking breaks during her work day when needed.
As KW began to settle into her job, she set a better pace for herself at work. She accepted that she would always have work to do and therefore stopped bringing it home with her at night. As she gained seniority in her job, this also helped to ease the pressure of her workload.
She began using guided meditation at night time which helped with sleep. We also began to use meditation in our sessions as well as restorative yoga. She began to notice how incorporating mindfulness informally into her life decreased anxiety at the same time that it helped instill a sense of calm and inner peace.
She also began working more on her diet and found that both gluten and dairy were allergens for her. She found herself feeling more emotionally stable in times when she was able to decrease or cut these foods out of her diet.
KW began using mindfulness with her students in class and became intrigued by its implementation in schools. She created a meditation program at school and would start her work day sharing the skill that greatly benefited her.
As she became less anxious, her self-esteem and confidence increased. This helped her in managing conflicts at work and helped her have a better relationship with her boss. She began to reach out for supports and meet new people.
At the end of our work together in the summer of 2016, she was in a new partner relationship, feeling confident in her job and felt that her life had become richer and fuller for having participated in therapy that was integratively focused. When she first came to see me she had felt like she needed help in surviving her impending divorce. By the end of our work together she was clearly thriving in her life with an increased sense of resiliency and empowerment.
“When I found myself facing a difficult transition that required some outside perspective Stephanie’s background in social work, yoga, and nutrition was what first caught my attention. I liked the idea of taking a more holistic and integrated approach to “therapy”. The time we have since spent working together has truly been a gift. We have talked (about everything from the issues that brought me to her to diet and nutrition), we have meditated, we have practiced yoga, and we have set goals. Stephanie has helped me through a very difficult year. I started this journey hoping to get by without breaking, but instead I am finding myself becoming stronger, softer, and more authentic.”
K.W. – Wakefield, MA