The FAQ deals with the most common questions I receive regarding the kinds of work we do at Blessings Enterprises, Wings of Change, our Retreats, trauma work, the business itself, insurance, advertising, etc. If after reading all the way through, you still have a question, by all means send me an email. Thanks!
What can I expect from our sessions (individual or retreats)?
I believe we can work with the body, mind and spirit, not just at it. Therefore the work we will do is eclectic and personalized, without the “cookie-cutter” approach that may come from just one school of thought or training program. Your coaching experience or healing work is individual and reflects your personal journey, where you have been, where you are now, and where you would like to be going. As you release old patterns or fears, you will probably find you have a greater sense of clarity, along with an increased sense of ease with yourself. This often leads to a sense of well-being, of calm focus and the ability to trust yourself and your own intuition.
After a session or retreat, you may experience significant and substantial shifts in your mood, as well as in body, mind and spirit. You may feel a reduction or elimination of your symptoms, along with a sense of acceptance, of being filled and deep letting go. As the work progresses, people feel empowered and liberated. They speak of freedom and hope again, a capacity for peace and joy they did not know existed. Our sessions can help you discover how to integrate these new changes into your life and live in greater freedom and joy.
Regardless of the type of session in which you may be interested, individual/hourly sessions or a Healing Retreat, you can expect more clarity, peace and focus. Muddled thinking dissolves, while joyful qualities and hidden talents are activated. You are then able to open to the possibilities in your life and listen to your heart above all other voices. No matter what you may currently believe about yourself, you DO have the capacity to grow and change, and we can help you harness that power of creative transformation. You can trust the process of life and move forward. You can learn to really live and thrive, not just survive. You can discover your own power of creative alchemy to dissolve old limitations and be liberated from the bondage of the past.
The most common feedback I hear from clients with whom I have worked is that our sessions marked a profound turning point in their lives. For almost everyone, a remarkable transformation occurs in his or her life. Personal blockages and limitations dissolve. Self-esteem and confidence expands and an inner peace begins to grow. Very soon, the outer world begins to reflect the inner changes, and life just keeps getting better and better. Relationships improve, answers you may have had regarding vocational fulfillment emerge, and questions that seemed elusive before begin to find clarity and direction.
What happens during the retreat intensive?
This is a gentle day of retreat, while diving deep into your innermost dwelling place. It is a place of solace, sanctuary, peace and joy. We work off the Triune Brain Theory, using peer reviewed and proven clinical interventions, which may include EMDR, energy work, soul retrieval techniques, spiritual direction, emotional clearing and verbal processing.
Many types of therapy simply focus on the head, not the heart; many types of coaching focus on the attainment of goals through inspiration and motivation. Our primary aspiration is to help you clear away the wreckage of your past so you can discover your own inner wisdom and learn to trust yourself and your own love again. Rather than stay stuck in your head, we help you open to your own wise heart, where your answers lie. Beyond the typical life coaching or therapy session, we also incorporate EMDR, energetic alignments and healing work, along with delving into the spiritual nature of the mind-body connection. These are days that recognize the need to experience the spirit in conjunction with the clinical and expand the connection to your inner wisdom and intuition. The result is accessing your sense of innocence, wonder, peace and joy.
Nearly everyone who enters into a retreat intensive experiences profound and lasting transformation in every area of life. You already have the answers you need within you. It is simply a matter of honoring grief you may hold and gently clearing the blockages in order to connect with your inner wisdom. These days are a powerful means through which these barriers and limitations to your authentic self are opened and you embrace the self you may have rejected.
The Spirit often speaks in symbols and the Soul loves the truth. These truths are held within you and what feel like keys to locked rooms may begin to emerge during our time together. We will explore these symbols, the archetypes or other gifts they represent, and help you develop a plan to work with these things when you return home.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a form of psychotherapy that assists clients in healing from traumatic events, depression, anxiety, negative messaging, and other issues that are life-disturbing. EMDR has gotten worldwide attention for helping millions of people heal from PTSD caused from traumatic events, such as rape, sexual abuse, auto accidents, multiple losses, betrayal, and combat. EMDR can also help people who feel distress in their lives to heal and feel more whole after events that have been disturbing such as divorce, life transitions, grief, anxiety and much more. EMDR works to heal the mind much the same way a body works to heal a wound by giving the brain a chance to process disturbing memories and information and remove painful blocks and “rewire” the fight or flight response.
Once blocks are removed, the mind begins the healing process and actually transforms previously held negative beliefs, emotions, and sensations to more adaptive ones. The transformation process is a psychological as well as physiological one. While EMDR was originally developed for use in trauma clients, it has been very effective for use in more everyday issues people experience, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, negative messaging or other concerns. EMDR can also be used for performance enhancement, getting through basic blocks at work or school, or any other seemingly benign, non-traumatic area in which you find yourself feeling stuck.
What kind of circumstances typically lead people to you, for individual sessions or retreats?
Many life experiences lead people to seek out this type of transformative work. Traumatic life experiences, including the death of a loved one or painful end of a relationship through divorce or separation; physical, spiritual or emotional trauma; illness or surgery; grief and feeling stuck or lost. People often describe a sense of feeling lost, stuck or as children inhabiting an adult body, along with a feeling of needing to come home to oneself. There is often an incongruence between the inner and outer life; a misalignment between the life you want and the life you are currently living. Stress is the result of living incongruently with your values and dreams, and most people come to us hoping to alleviate that particular kind of stress.
Not everyone who comes to us has had what many would consider overt trauma, however. Many people come after a change at work or home, seeking coaching or a different perspective. People come when life is good but they know it could be great, or when there seems to be something “missing” which remains ineffable. We also work with executives and people in transition; those seeking vocational fulfillment but feeling stuck or confused about the direction in which their life is taking them; people seeking a more open heart and a sense that life just does not have to be so hard.
Whatever your background, or whatever you are seeking, you will find a supportive, judgment-free zone in which you can explore your deepest values, dreams and open to the life you want to live.
I really think my ___(son/daughter, boy/girlfriend, husband/wife, cousin’s friend’s boyfriend, husband/wife, etc)___ would benefit from seeing you. Can I make the appointment for them?
Please hear this in the kindest way possible: No way. We probably can help them, but only if s/he is willing to do the work to make the changes. We take serious inquiries only, and if s/he isn’t committed enough to make the appointment, it will be a waste of our time and your money. This work goes deep, into places you have never been before with other therapists, coaches, gurus or teachers. We rewire your brain with EMDR, and help clear all the mental and emotional clutter you have been carrying around since childhood. You have to want to do the work, have to be committed to work with us, and have to be willing to create space to allow it to happen.
If you want to make an appointment for yourself to deal with your discomfort about their discomfort, feel free to reach out. But you can’t make an appointment for someone else.
I’m tired of feeling stuck and lost. I’m sick of messing around with this problem/issue/question and feel like I need to address this grief/trauma/etc. Do you provide any inpatient or all day retreats or intensives? Do you practice EMDR? What can I do to really move through this quickly, but not just gloss over it and have to come back to it later?
This is not an inpatient type of practice, no. However, I have teamed up with Becky Wallace and Wings of Change to provide all day intensives, which are a form of all day retreat. We are both experienced clinicians dealing with grief and trauma, as well as coaches committed to transformation and awakening your potential.
The all day retreat may include healing work, EMDR, coaching and a number of other modalities. These days can be enormously fruitful to move through grief, trauma, soul loss or any other type of long-standing pattern you wish to change. We find it has profound and lasting results in areas of addiction, food cravings, quitting smoking, relationship dynamics and many other common issues.
It can also be used for performance enhancement, discovery of life purpose, vocational questions and can be a huge boost in terms of moving forward if you feel stuck. The all day sessions are tailored around your needs and are designed to provide the maximum amount of change and growth in the most efficient and yet gentle way. If you have questions or are interested in learning more about the retreat sessions, please contact me for more details.
What if I’m not ready to let go of something, but know I need to? I feel like I’m ready to let go of some things, but don’t know how to do it alone.
There is no agenda here, we will let the work unfold as you are ready to release or move through the issue that brought you here. We will do this in a way that utilizes a variety of healing modalities and is grounded, gentle and honoring to your body, your emotions, and your spiritual path. We will never force anything, period. People generally find this work helps them move through the places that feel stuck because we allow and invite it to happen, rather than forcing it to happen.
Know that we do not seek to change a thing or release something because it is or was wrong or bad, but only because you are ready for a change and whatever you are ready to release no longer serves you. Changes and releases come when something is no longer a reflection of who you are, who you want to be, and where you are going. The healing work and coaching we do is a gentle process of unfolding, and will help you to let go and move into the new, at a pace you set, that feels comfortable and safe for you.
You do not have to do it alone. We will assess your needs before we start working, and if we aren’t a good fit for your needs, we will do our best to refer you to others who can be helpful to you.
Do I have to be in St. Louis to work with you, or can we work at a distance? Can I just do individual sessions with you, or just retreats? I’m from out of town, can I come in for a retreat and do follow up phone sessions?
Our home office is based in St. Louis, MO, as well as a part-time office in Santa Fe, NM. We offer a nationwide practice, including yearly retreats to the mountains and red rock canyons of New Mexico. Individual phone and distance sessions, retreat follow-up sessions, and coaching can successfully and easily be done in person, on the phone or virtually. About half of our clients choose to work exclusively on the phone, either because of location or convenience. Not everyone has the time or geographical advantage to be able to meet with us in person, but our sessions are just as effective on the phone. In fact, there is an advantage to working through life challenges while in the comfort of your own home, as it helps anchor the new into a familiar environment. The results are powerful, however and wherever you choose to work. The all day retreat sessions are in person, in order to receive EMDR, and we provide follow up sessions post-retreat as well.
Many people coming from out of town choose to do a three or four day retreat, but that is absolutely not required. This is all about you and what you need, and we will tailor your sessions and experience accordingly. There is never any pressure whatsoever to choose a certain path–we will figure out what works for you and design your retreat and sessions accordingly. Many people choose to enter into our yearlong retreat package, which includes four (two-day) retreats and 20 follow up phone or in person sessions, as a way to save money and enjoy the benefits of the commitment to oneself.
We also offer retreats in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, usually in October. You are welcome to join us there as well!
Is energy healing the same as reiki? Are you a reiki master? Are you a shaman?
Reiki is one of many forms of energy medicine. I am a Reiki Master, and utilize many other modalities as well.
The word Shaman was created by Europeans to name the spiritual healers in each indigenous tradition. Many of those native traditions do not use that term and see it as an unhelpful label. However, it is a commonly understood term many people use in reference to the work we do here, as well as the kind of traditional healing I offer in my practice. So in the western sense, yes. I am a healer, a teacher, a guide on your spiritual journey and a shaman.
What is the result if I work with you?
As we explore the places that feel stuck and expand your awareness, you begin to embrace the deeper parts of yourself. This allows you to begin to trust yourself, your own wisdom and your own love. In doing so, you will awaken to your own potential. Many people come looking for vocational fulfillment, but also find a deeper sense of life purpose and work-life balance.
People often describe as if they have been restored to a sense of wholeness; feeling complete, competent and confident to handle the demands of life. Common feedback is that people begin to feel lighter, happier and more content, along with feeling connected to self and others. There is often a sense of renewal, of feeling as though you have discovered your life purpose. Along with this comes enhanced self-image and therefore feeling emotionally stronger, lighter and healthier.
There is often a release of old or destructive patterns, relief from feeling lost or stuck, and therefore a noticeable decrease in old feelings of guilt, shame or other types of pain. As a result, there is a corresponding increase in energy, peace and joy.
What is your education? Are you a life coach or a therapist? What makes you different than other coaches?
My experience and educational background includes psychology, philosophy, theology, spirituality, comparative religions, Buddhist approaches to psychotherapy, mindfulness based practices, addictions, eating disorders, death and dying, grief work, hospice and bereavement, meditation, centering prayer and many other areas of study. I also have years of in-depth study into Buddhist counseling, Christian counseling, Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, Native American medicine, kinesiology, aromatherapy, energy anatomy and healing, alternative medicine and natural health care. I have a BS in Psychology, a Master of Social Work degree (MSW), and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Having said all of that, I have worked for years in clinical settings and found certain things lacking, especially an integration of head and heart. I prefer to work with all of you, to teach you to feel your thoughts with love instead of just practicing the same old affirmations day after day, when you don’t really believe it will work anyway. Regardless of if we are doing individual or joint sessions, healing retreats, EMDR or grief therapy, life coaching or soul retrievals, the results can be the same: You will come to realize that no one is more deserving of your love and compassion than you are. You can embrace your own wise heart and forgive the self you have rejected out of fear or shame. You can move through your grief and find freedom and joy again.
Some people think of me as a coach, others as their shaman, shrink, healer or therapist. My educational degrees would allow me to identify as any or all of those, but when all is said and done, I prefer to think of what we do here as a healing journey. I am at times a guide, but often a witness on your path of discovering that you can trust your own love and find compassion and self-forgiveness.
Full disclosure: If you are looking for an “in your face” type of coach, I will probably not be a good fit for you. But if you are looking for someone to help you learn to be kind and gentle with yourself and others, or someone who will be a guide and witness to your process of growth and change, we can help you live your dreams. A true encounter with your Core Self can liberate something in you, a capacity for life and a resilience you didn’t even know you had. You do have the capacity for growth and change, regardless of what you may have been told or currently believe about yourself. We can access that in a gentle but straightforward way and help you move steadily in the direction of your dreams. You can access the power of creative transformation when you work with someone who can help you listen to your heart above all other voices.
Do you take insurance?
We are not an in-network provider, but we will give you a receipt for our sessions and retreats and you may be able to submit our work as an out of network provider. However, we will not give you a psychiatric diagnosis, which most insurance companies require in order to cover counseling/therapy services. A more common way to submit these services is through your flex spend or through a health savings account (HSA) if you are self employed or have a high deductible plan. Additionally, our sessions and retreats can often be deducted from your taxes as a healthcare expense or as professional services if you are self-employed. If you are traveling for a retreat and deduct the healthcare expenses, the retreat and your travel should be tax deductible. Becky Wallace and I are both Licensed Clinical Social Workers and are happy to give you a receipt for our services, which should be tax deductible as professional services or under therapy.
Your FAQ has an astounding amount of information, but the bottom line is that I still don’t really believe/understand it if I can’t see it. Do I have to believe in all this hippie stuff in order for it to work?
Well, no. But it might help to think about what you do believe in, and how much of your day is spent utilizing things you really don’t understand.
Seriously–Do you know how electricity works? Nope. Do you know how your TV works? Probably not, but does that keep you from watching the super bowl? Do you know what makes your eyes adjust to the dark, or makes your heart tick, or what mystical power makes you love your kids? For most of us, the answer is no. Even the best and brightest scientists base things on how much they don’t know. But if you believe in the possibility of the human capacity to grow and change, or in your own ability to try something new, that’s all you need.
I believe in you and can help you learn to believe in yourself. That’s the magic.
You talk about spiritual stuff a lot. I don’t believe in God/am disgusted with religion. Can we still work together?
Absolutely. This isn’t about pushing a religion. If you are interested in exploring a spiritual practice or path, I can help you with that. But if that’s not your thing, that’s okay with me. It’s all about what you need and want.
Will you post my ad for this sustainable/healthy/hippie product? Will you sample my product and blog about it? I see you carry a variety of herbs and other natural health products, boy do I have a deal for you! Will you sell my super cool, nifty, often imitated but never duplicated, soon-to-change-the-world-as-we-know-it wares?
Well, thanks for asking, but no. Wordpress has some ads that I do not see and cannot control, but none of those are mine, and I don’t make any money from them at all. Regarding ads, I occasionally get emails from people who have seen an ad they find offensive, and it appears as though it is associated with my blog or website. So for the record: I don’t post any ads, nor partner with anyone for advertising on the blog or website. However, WordPress and other links to the site in the netherworld of the internet may attach ads to the larger page, which I don’t see and can’t control. So if you see an ad you find offensive because you think that person/place/thing is a terrible politician/evil corporation/person who clubs baby seals/etc., know that I do not see that same ad. Internet ads are targeted either by region or browsing history, meaning people who go to any political sites are likely see political ads; I, predictably, see the ones for granola bars and yoga mats. So I actually don’t see what you’re seeing and can’t control the ad content.
Can I interview you for this book/article/post/website/podcast?
You can certainly ask.
I love the content on your blog/website. Can I quote you?
Why, thank you! Sure, so if you want to link to a blog post, just do a trackback link and leave a comment on the post itself.
If you want to quote any of the content on the site, which is all written by me or otherwise noted, please note the source and do a trackback link or in some way note it came from me, with a link back to the site. Then please shoot me an email getting official permission with some info about your project and we are good to go. If I have quoted someone, a study or other source, it will be as clearly marked as possible. But please don’t make Jesus weep by stealing stuff. That’s just bad karma.
I love the way you write and would like to read more. Do you have a book?
Why, thank you! A book is in the works and as soon as that puppy is published, I promise you will be the first to know. In the meantime, you can head on over to our Wings of Change Publications site, where you will find some awesome materials for end of life care, hospice and palliative care, and a variety of other topics related to change and transition. Our Grief Booklet was just published as well!
I still have a question, can I talk to you in person?
It must be a good one! Sure, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our contact form and by all means ask a question or schedule your free consultation. All 15 minute free initial consultations are done by phone and we only agree to schedule sessions or retreats if you commit to at least 6 sessions or a full day retreat. Email is the quickest way to reach me.
It usually takes us a day or two to answer email and two or three to answer phone calls. We are often in session or retreat, but if you don’t hear back from us in a couple days, please email again. Sometimes the spam filter gets overly ambitious and we might miss it. Thanks!