A Lifetime at the Piano [Episode 22 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

A Lifetime at the Piano [Episode 22 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC tells a personal story of my grandfather Wally Krauss’ life at the piano. He features interviews with his father, brother, and some home recordings. Paul’s grandfather was an amateur pianist and organist who for 80 years shared his gift and talent with family, his many friends in various social circles, church groups, senior homes, and restaurants. Wally played piano daily into his 95th year of life.  John Krauss describes growing up with such a musical father, and discusses research results which show that playing the piano influences brain development and plasticity for both children and elderly. Paul discusses how a positive attitude and outlook on life can influence your overall well-being. Tim Krauss discusses his grandfather’s influence on his life and how he is working with Paul to carry the torch of creating and playing music as part of the family heritage. This is the second episode in a series about music. The first episode was my interview with musician Kelley Stolz (episode 17).

Concepts Discussed: Immigrating to the USA from Germany, Learning English, A Positive Attitude, Practicing, Piano Playing, Brain Plasticity, The Elderly Staying Active, Youtube, Reddit, Bandcamp, Storytelling, Family Culture, etc.

(Keep Scrolling for Piano and the Brain, an article, by John Krauss)

You can hear all of our recordings of Wally’s piano playing and much more at Happypiano1’s Youtube Channel:

Listen to more here: https://wallykrauss.bandcamp.com/

Tim’s music Here:
and his music videos:

Paul’s Music Here:

A new album will be released in 2019 featuring Tim and Paul called “Motel”

Featured Songs from Home Cassette & Video Recordings:
1. Ain’t Misbehavin As Performed by Wally Krauss
2. Selections from Bach As Performed by Wally Krauss
3. Selections from Bach As Performed by Wally Krauss
4. Till There was You As Performed by Wally Krauss
5. People Say As Performed by Wally Krauss
6. It Might as Well Be Spring As Performed by Wally Krauss
7.Cocktails for Two As Performed by Wally Krauss
8. Silent Night As Performed by Wally Krauss
9. Somebody Loves You As Performed by Wally Krauss
10 .The Christmas Song As Performed by Wally Krauss
11. Standchen As Performed by Wally Krauss
12. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon As Performed by Wally Krauss
13. I May Be Wrong As Performed by Wally Krauss
14. It Had to Be You As Performed by Wally Krauss
15. Blues In the Night As Performed by Wally Krauss
16. Till There Was You As Performed by Wally Krauss
17. Georgia on My Mind as Performed by Tim Carter
18. Rag Time Song Clip as Performed by Glen Coleman
19. Good Boy Young (From the album “Motel”- 2019) as Performed by Tim Krauss with Paul Krauss backing
20. Maple Leaf Rag As Performed by Wally Krauss
21. What are you doing for the Rest for Your Life? As Performed by Wally Krauss
22. Stars Fell on Alabama As Performed by Wally Krauss

23. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer/ O Christmas Tree As Performed by Wally Krauss
24. I Got Nothing But Love As Performed by Wally Krauss
25. Stranger in Paradise As Performed by Wally Krauss
26. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) As Performed by Wally Krauss
(Also featured: A News Clip from WILX-TV)

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Grand Rapids: A Trauma-Informed Counseling Center in West Michigan. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor.  Paul travels to train clinicians in multiple states. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433.

For your Free 30 day trial of Simple Practice Electronic Health Records and to support this podcast, click this link: https://ter.li/appk

Piano and the Brain by John Krauss 

1) Piano instruction for children is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing the abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math, science, and spatial-temporal reasoning.

2) Piano playing improves memory, bolsters self-esteem, & relieves stress. Piano students build good habits: focus, perseverance, diligence, & creativity; they develop patience, discipline, dedication, & confidence.

3) Music instruction is necessary for brain development: enhanced coordination, concentration, and memory.

4) Music training enhances a brain function that dies away. Studies show that a child’s brain develops to its full potential only with exposure to the necessary music enriching experiences. If not stimulated during early childhood, certain neuron connectors die.

5) Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level.

6) Scientists and therapists agree that playing piano positively affects the biology and behavior of seniors with memory loss. Senior piano players reported a decrease in depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

7) Early music training builds high brain function required for reading, math, science and engineering.

8) Piano instruction causes both sides of the brain to work simultaneously.

9) Lansing area doctors have observed new neuron connections in the brains of two patients

with brain damage; they attribute this to the consistent piano playing by the patients.

[1. U. of Cal., Irvine, ‘97; McGill U., Montreal; 3. U. of Cal.; 5. Loma Linda U.; 6. U. of Miami.; 7. Northwestern Univ., 2007; Dr. Jean Houston , 1988;

  1. Children’s Piano Forum ]


Benefits of music lessons

1.) Playing an instrument engages students’ visual, tactile, aural, and communication skills. This is valuable for students with developmental issues: dyslexia, learning disabilities, and ADD.

2.) Music students develop critical thinking skills, time-management, and attention to detail, plus it lends structure to their time spent outside of traditional schooling. Piano practice boosts cognitive and intellectual abilities, helping retain information from speeches and lectures.

3.) Music educators have observed that music lessons improve a student’s self-discipline, dexterity,

coordination, self-esteem, listening skills, creative abilities and personal expression.

4.) Music students achieve a higher GPA than do non-music students in the same school.

5.) Music students achieve higher SAT & ACT scores than non-musicians.

6.) Music enhances learning and creativity. Four and five-year-olds showed great improvement from the

effects of music on learning and creativity after just 20 days of teaching.

7.) Begin music lessons when your children are babies or toddlers when their brain is forming. If your child is older, begin lessons as soon as possible. Keep music a priority, for it will give students needed benefits when they are applying to colleges or choosing a vocation.

8.) Music enhances linguistic skills. Music, specifically song, is valuable for babies learning to recognize the tones that add up to spoken language.

9.) Sixty percent of music majors who apply to medical school are accepted, according to a study.

10.) 88% of Americans want instrumental music instruction in schools’ regular curriculum.

11.) The world’s top three nations of academic excellence have mandatory music requirements for their

students. Hungary, one of the poorest nations of the world, ranks highest in academic excellence. Every child in Hungary has mandatory music requirements for kindergarten through ninth grade. The first four hours of every day in Hungary are set aside for music study, orchestra and choir. In the afternoon, when students study math, language, and history, they are able to achieve high academic grades, because their brain has been formatted for orderly storage and retrieval of information.

12.) America spends 29 times more money on education than any other nation, yet ranks 14th out of the top 17 countries in academic excellence. In many U.S. schools, music has been replaced by competitive sports and computers. These two programs may have value and merit, but cannot replace music or its benefits.

13.) Students involved in extracurricular activities were far less likely to be involved with drugs. Secondary students in band or orchestra had the lowest current and lifetime use of all substances– alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

14.) After learning eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes, second and third graders scored 100% higher than

their peers who were taught fractions using traditional methods.

[5. The College Board, ’97,’98; U.S. Dept. of Education, ’90; 6. D. Riggs, “Early Childhood Music”; 8. S. Trehub, U. of Toronto, ‘97; Gallup, 1997; 11. Riggs, “Early

Childhood Music”; 13. 1998 Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse; 14. Neurological Research, ’99.]

Reflections on Ten Years of Providing Psychotherapy (Part 2) [Episode 21 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Welcome to Part Two: Reflections on Ten years of Providing Psychotherapy by Paul Krauss MA LPC.

Reflections on my experiences with different modalities of therapy and their implications.

Paul Krauss MA LPC spends this solo episode discussing his experience in the field of counseling psychology. Paul Krauss discusses how the present state of counseling connects to the current cultural and economic situations that are unfolding. The episode begins with a large overview of the field of counseling, and then systematically discusses various modalities of psychotherapy and counseling practices; eventually connecting to universal thoughts on the human condition and discussing practices to seek meaning in life. Episode 21 is as much for clinicians (counselors or therapists) as it is for anyone interested in the fields of psychology or philosophy.


Topics touched on in this Episode: Symptom reduction versus healing, the dominant medical model versus creativity, the influence of third party payers and money on counseling treatment, empirically validated treatments, managed care, how the economy and stress affects levels of empathy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, ACRA, CBT, EMDR, DBT, Solution-Focused Therapy, the research on the efficacy of counseling, Scott Miller PhD., Bruce Wampold PhD., The Alliance Effect, The Allegiance Effect, and the importance of an agreed upon counseling model, psycho-pharmaceuticals, medications, vitamin D, statin medications, side effects, the root cause, existentialism, PTSD, EMDR, Levels of Care, ASAM criteria, Psychoeducation, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Developmental Stages of a Human, Reduction-ism, Holistic thinking, living between the opposites, Stages of Change, The Transtheoretical Model of Change, the Parable of the Hole, “Resistance”, Motivational Interviewing, Coping Skills, Rituals for Health, Tai Chi, Cross Fit, Yoga, Psyche, Soul, Group Psychotherapy, Narrative Therapy, the importance of the story, the importance of relationships, Systems Therapy, Couples Therapy, bearing witness to suffering, Bio Psycho Social (Sexual and Spiritual) model, Mindfulness, Existential Psychotherapy, Death and Meaning, Trauma, the nervous system, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, Art Therapy, Nature Therapy, Greenhouse Gasses, Joseph Campbell, Depth Psychology, Transpersonal Therapy, Jungian Analysis, Thomas Moore, Wisdom versus Knowledge, Imagination, Carl Jung, Adaptation, the shadow, Quantum Physics, Focusing techniques, Eugene Gendlin, Postmodernism, the breakdown of old patterns and grand narratives, human evolution, The People’s History of the United States, Doing one’s “inner work”, James Hillman.

Episode 21 is part two of a solo podcast series. In part one Paul Krauss MA LPC discussed his personal journey from beginner therapist to an experienced therapist with 10 years of clinical experience. (Part 1 was released as Episode 20). Paul discusses his time learning from the leaders in the field.  Currently, Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director at Health for Life Grand Rapids and leads a team of talented trauma-informed counselors, in Grand Rapids Michigan. Questions? Give the office a call at 616-200-4433.

Paul is also is a Private Practice Psychotherapist, host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor.  Paul does travel and train clinicians in multiple states. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Paul consults for and trains clinicians at behavioral health organizations.  If you are looking for a counselor in the Grand Rapids, MI area, check out Health for Life Grand Rapids’ private counseling practice. There are many high-quality counselors at Health for Life Grand Rapids.

Original music:

“Shades of Currency” [Instrumental] from Archetypes by PAWL

“Metropolis” [Unreleased] from Modified Demos by PAWL (coming in 2019)

May You Be Born On Anarres” from Music for Public Access Television by ttypes

Music available here:


Depression in Men is a Public Health Crisis

REPORT: “Depression in Men is a Public Health Crisis”

by Paul Krauss MA LPC

If you have lived in the United States in the last 100 years you are surely familiar with the fact that many men live with depression and “don’t want to talk about it.” Many men in the United States suffer needlessly with depression for a variety of reasons, but are unwilling to seek help due to personal preferences (often highly influenced by the mainstream male culture at large, “tradition,” and difficulties with what seeking help means for male identity). Men with depression has not been a popular topic in the culture of the United States that was founded on “rugged individualism.” The myth of this ultimate cowboy individualism was meant to emphasize the hard work and bravery of the men in our culture, from exploring, to building cities, to fighting in World War II–it was not supposed to emphasize isolation and “only doing it yourself.” Emotionally healthy men have always talked to other men and women and worked together to solve problems. There are so many famous examples all throughout the history of the United States of men joining together to help overcome an obstacle. However, it seems that this myth of the “loner cowboy” has infiltrated the consciousness of male culture and has been twisted to mean that men “do it themselves, keep to themselves and do not display or express emotions.” Emotions, of course, are just natural sensations in the body–and it is common knowledge (due to conclusive research) that if we do not express or acknowledge them–there will usually be personal difficulties occuring. In fact, the toxic expression “boys don’t cry” phrase has been repeated over and over in various forms by men and women alike, further influencing the younger generation to not talk openly and authentically about their emotions (which are a normal part and process of being a human being). Multiple studies have shown that males are just as sensitive at birth and throughout development as females, but in many segments of society, male emotions and sensitivity have been viewed as a threat to masculinity and thus people have “trained” or forced males to hold back their emotions and “not cry.” For some, a male display of emotions is seen as a weakness. This archaic, yet prevalent, cultural viewpoint not only flies in the face of basically all research in biology, sociology, and psychology, but it is one of the reasons that the United States is facing a public health crisis of undiagnosed depression in men.

Because of grossly misaligned societal ideas such as “boys don’t cry,” the suppression of emotions in boys often leads to outbursts of anger. Many males hide their emotions behind humor or aggressive behavior as they don’t know what else to do and have not been socialized to express their emotions in straightforward or healthy ways. The traditional signs of depression are more easily observed by the behavior of younger females – withdrawal, quiet demeanor, crying etc. However, because of cultural issues, many males do not display these obvious depressive symptoms when depressed and therefore, their clinical depression goes undiagnosed or is wrongly diagnosed as conduct disorder or attention-deficit disorder.

There are signs that younger males display when they are depressed that are usually different than those found in females, but one just needs to know how to look for them. Before it is clearly evident to those around him that a male has depression, he often becomes irritable, withdrawn, violent, impulsive or suicidal because of cultural suppression of emotions. This is one of the reasons why men have a higher level of completed suicides – about three suicides a day in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 6 million American men suffer from depression every year. Yet depression in males is vastly under-diagnosed, with 65 percent of cases going undetected.

“Depression in males of all ages is a public health crisis that must be addressed. To do so, we must redefine healthy masculinity and recognize that even if men are putting on a face suggesting “everything is fine,” real pain may be lurking beneath the surface.” – SF Gate

Depression in males, regardless of age, is a public health crisis in the United States. There are three steps that should be taken to aid in diminishing this crisis: encourage all males, no matter the age, to express their emotions instead of pushing them aside; educate those involved such as parents, teachers, and doctors to better recognize the signs and the way depression manifests in males. Lastly, seek early intervention that provides men with support groups and support in general and prioritize it.

Counseling is a low-cost and relatively minor intervention with a very large positive effect size. According to a research study involving thousands of studies on counseling, 79% of people feel much better after attending counseling regularly for a few months. For men, counseling is a practical way to start feeling better without medications or hospitalizations—in fact, counseling can save thousands of dollars in health costs if the depression is addressed early on. Depression is not a permanent condition–with the right intervention at the right time, people are resilient and can feel like themselves again soon.

If you are looking for Counseling in the Grand Rapids, MI area–check out our counselors here at Health for Life Grand Rapids. We have both male and female counselors who are ready to help you or your loved one. Call 616-200-4433 for more information.


Depression in Men Is a Public Health Crisis by the San Francisco Gate


The National Institute of Health: Men and Depression



Are you feeling SAD?

Are you feeling SAD?

The leaves are falling. Hour by hour the days are getting shorter. Gray is filling the sky. These are all signs of winter. While some love the season, many suffer from SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a temporary mood disorder that’s characterized by depression–this disorder occurs to most people roughly around the same time every year. SAD is a common issue for many with a documented 3 million people affected every year in the United States


Symptoms of SAD can include fatigue, depression, and social withdrawal. SAD may immensely impact one’s day to day life and overall well being. This disorder can make one feel hopeless and can cause loss of interest in relationships and activities. It can also cause insomnia, excess sleep, and appetite changes.

Ways to Reduce Symptoms

One of the largest causes from SAD is a lack of natural light exposure to the body. Light therapy is highly recommended to reduce the symptoms SAD and there are at-home interventions that mimic light therapy. The most popular DIY intervention is a happy light. The Happy Light mimics daylight and can improve your overall mood and energy levels. You can purchase a Happy Light here .

Another way to reduce the impact of SAD on your life is to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. Exercise boosts endorphins in your body. Endorphins are a chemical in your body that can trigger positive feelings. Exercise can not only alter your mood but reduce stress. Overall it’s an emotional booster, and can immensely help with SAD symptoms.

Eating healthy is a component that will complement daily exercise well. Foods that will help one’s SAD symptoms are:

  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (Chia seeds, flaxseed, soybeans)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B

While you may feel like you’re the only one experiencing SAD, millions of people are going through the same thing. Help yourself and those around you by socializing and continuing to get out there–even on the dreary days. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of the house make it a weekly practice. Having a standing date with a friend or loved one and socializing in a unique environment will serve as a good motivator to get out of your house!

Taking an optimistic look at the weather, instead of looking at the weather as a culprit may make it an opportunity. Try experimenting with fueling your dread into optimism. Cold weather provides many opportunities that warm weather doesn’t. Hit the ice skating rink, try skiing, look for holiday light displays, take a walk in the snow, look up local community events with a winter theme, try out your local sauna, or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your favorite cafe.

If you feel you are experiencing SAD, try out one of the suggestions above. There have been many studies that have shown that light therapy, diet, exercise, and socializing help with SAD symptoms. If you feel you need further help, Health for Life Grand Rapids is here for you. We offer a number of therapies as well as health coaching… no matter what the weather is like!

Learn more about how to beat the winter blues on Dr. Nicole Cain’s blog here.

( https://www.drnicolecain.com/my-mental-health-doc/seasonal-affective-disorder-3-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues-by-dr-nicole-cain-nd-ma )






https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20447948,00.html ?

Reflections on Ten Years of Providing Psychotherapy (Part 1) [Episode 20 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Reflections on Ten Years of Providing Psychotherapy (Part 1) [Episode 20 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC reflects on his ten years of providing psychotherapy. Paul has worked  in a variety of different roles as he has provided therapy to people from diverse populations and socioeconomic demographics. Episode 20 is part one of two episodes of reflections on Paul’s life and career. Part one, is far more about Paul’s personal journey through that led him from newly graduated counselor, to his work in social services, to beginning a successful private practice. Paul talks at length about his evolution as a counselor as he learned about different modes and types of therapy as well as about himself on the journey. Paul discusses the struggles of trying to find his way in the field of counseling and the ups and downs and difficulties that all led to his own personal transformation. Paul hopes that Episode 20 and 21 of the podcast will help new therapists that are getting into the field that are looking for direction as well as seasoned professionals who are looking for new ways to work and help others.

*Psychotherapy is interchangeable with the term Counseling.* But since there are many “types” of counseling that have nothing to do with psychology (credit counseling, etc.), Paul chose this term for a direct reference

In part two, Paul Krauss will discuss his experience and opinions with various modalities of psychotherapy and their implications (Part 2 will be released as Episode 21).

Paul Krauss MA LPC is a full-time Private Practice Psychotherapist, the host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor.  Paul is willing to travel and train clinicians in multiple states. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)http://www.violencepreventionhotline.org/ as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Paul consults for and trains clinicians at behavioral health organizations. Paul works at at Health for Life Grand Rapids and works with multiple talented clinicians there, in Grand Rapids MI. Questions? Call Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Learn more about Paul athttp://www.paulkrausscounseling.com/

intentional Clinician, Episode 20
Intentional Clinician, Episode 20

Original music:

“Shades of Currency” [Instrumental] from Archetypes by PAWL

“Arctic” from 7 by RIFIFI

Music available here:



Additional Thoughts on Episode 20 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast:

While the Intentional Clinician podcast is a demystification of psychology and counseling to encourage people to engage in their own inner work and to understand that if they work at it, they can have a better life—there are many layers leading both down and up.  Eventually, there is an importance to understand that “the answer” will never be the cure. The human mind cannot believe something 100%–of that I am convinced. There will always be a shadow of doubt—nothing is beyond the shadow of a doubt. So a balance must be achieved between the polar opposites of pessimism and optimism, and between rightness and facts and so-called truths and the mysteries, new discoveries that obliterate old-facts, and the myriad ambiguities that flow in and out of our lives. Which is the right path?  Both. There is a need to re-mystify our lives and bring us out of a linear, chronological order, which may be regressive and repressive and locked into a certain viewpoint—and moving to an expansive place, both in and outside of a container—where images and symbols take on more meaning than the numbers, and the felt sense, feelings, and subtle impressions that make up the stuff of life (both precognitive and pre-linguistic), and allow us to thrive in this mystery called life.

To understand what I am talking about, I must take you through the basics of counseling and psychotherapy; discuss a variety of treatments, as well as a journey into depth psychology. I will discuss my own story of how I found myself in the field of counseling and reflect on my 10 years as a psychotherapist and my time spent in sessions with clients. And I have this before and I’ll say it again, I am not DONE learning. I will never be done learning. Part of my mission in life from a young age was not to grow cynical or bitter, but to seek to evolve and soak up experiences. It was one of my mantras in college as I noticed so many middle age adults finding a plateau of knowledge, or perspective, opinion, and just settling in and watching the fire. For whatever reason, the “good life” or just having a nice little life, never appealed to me. I wanted to experience more and live more and so I set out. Of course, this came at a financial sacrifice as I lived in cheap and basic quarters from my early 20s until I was married—my wife had ideas about living with the most basic of materials. But she is a lifelong learner as well and refuses to stop learning and evolving, so it works.

I may not be the most talented person in any realm, psychotherapy, writing, podcasts, singing, songwriting, piano playing, but damn it. I am not going quit.

“Small and hidden is the door that leads inward and the entrance is barred by countless, prejudices, mistakes, assumptions, and fears.” – C. G. Jung.

To hear more about my evolution that led to 10 years of providing psychotherapy, click here.

Meet Clinical Health Coach Sarah Bramstedt, M.Ed., CHHC

From the desk of Coach Sarah:

“Being healthy shouldn’t have to be hard.” This is what I had read online by a website trying to sell me a one-size-fits-all program. This is what we are subconsciously told everywhere we look–eat clean, exercise more…practice self-care… it’s simple.

But what if it hasn’t been simple for you? What if there is conflicting information everywhere you turn, you haven’t had personalized guidance for your unique body, nor a support system, and you get derailed whenever life gets too stressful…or there’s #donuts at the office?  What if your gut is unhealthy and your body is in an inflammatory state, so it doesn’t respond well to what you try?

Pursuing your health goals can be a frustrating up-and-down roller coaster, where you spend hours on the internet researching your struggles and “their” solutions, listening to podcasts and stories of other people’s successes wondering why it’s been so challenging and unsuccessful for you, or you gear up for the next popular restrictive diet protocol that is going to “change your life”…only to beat yourself up when it’s unsustainable and you still don’t see lasting transformation.

What if lasting health and wellbeing begins with your mindset, with looking at your whole life with the help of a wellness expert to see what could be getting in the way of total vitality for you?  What if you may need some detective work to get to the bottom of digestive problems, cravings, weight loss resistance, food-related mood issues, or poor energy and sleep?

My passion is helping clients uncover and beat their roadblocks to lifelong wellness, and to help them become empowered through education, mindset coaching, and practical diet and  lifestyle changes that work for their unique body. By integrating clinical “detective work” like food sensitivity labs, candida testing, or journaling and self-reflection exercises, I help clients make powerful healthy changes, while removing inflammatory triggers that cause a whole host of problems for the body and mind.  I am thrilled to be able to partner with Dr. Cain at Health for Life GR so that my clients’ health coaching programs are clinically-informed and personally-tailored for achieving holistic vitality. Take the guesswork out of achieving your wellness goals, and schedule a free health coaching consult today!

Contact Coach Sarah Today!

Or Schedule Online Now:


Sarah, Health Coach

Sarah, Health Coach

Introducing: The Manly Counselor

There is a clear problem today in America with suicide being one of the top ten causes of death (1) for men in America. Suicide grows to being one of the top three causes of death between the ages of 10-45 (2) which is a staggering thought that one of the top ways men under 45 are dying is by taking their own life. This is a sign of a deeper issue with mental health. The number one reason someone commits suicide is from depression and with only 5% (3) of men seeking mental health services depression in men goes greatly under diagnosed in today’s culture leading to more suicide among men.

Because of this mindset today Men are often told to simply “Man Up!” rather than working through their emotions and feelings of sadness and depression. Men are encouraged to be the provide for their family but today in the ever changing job climate more and more men are finding it hard to be the provider for their family and where does that leave men today? If men are told that they need to be tough and able to handle life on their own the when life gets tough and a men’s identity is tested what is a man to do?

In addition to being told to “Man Up!” there is a unspoken role that men are expected to fill in society is of the strong, stoic, I don’t need anyone other than myself mindset. We see this idea in TV and Movies with characters like James Bond (007), Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible), and Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation). Men who display a clear desire to be by themselves and do everything on their own. So how is a man supposed to talk about his emotions if he is meant to be alone? How does a man overcome a tough, mental health, situation that he can’t get out of on his own?

With this ongoing issue of mental health and manliness The Manly Counselor was formed with the idea of demystifying and de-stigmatizing mental health for men. Today therapy is often viewed as something that women do while men are told to simply go on with their life and avoid talking about their emotions. Because of this Adam Nash LLPC wanted to start a community where men can connect with other men and find education about their own mental health.

If you would like to join the movement towards demystifying and de-stigmatizing mental health for men The Manly Counselor can be found at themanlycounselor.com. Join the movement today!

Substance Use Disorder

Are you or someone you know suffering from a Substance Use Disorder?

If you use more substance than you intend too, have failed to cut back from substances, or spend excessive time in obtaining, using, or recovering from substance use– you may be suffering from a substance use disorder.

It doesn’t matter your viewpoint on the legality or reasons for using drugs, alcohol, or other substances. In fact, you may still support the legality or reasons for people using a substance, without personally overindulging in its use. Substance Use issues are discovered based on a misuse or overuse of the substance that causes one, or one’s loved ones to suffer.

Substance Use Disorder symptoms could include having cravings for substances, use of substances affecting daily life such as work, school, or home, and using it in dangerous situations. If you’ve given up work, social, or recreational activities that could all be an indicator of substance abuse. Being persistent despite awareness of the problem, gaining a tolerance, or having withdrawals are also warning signs you’re suffering from substance abuse.

There are multiple levels of a Substance Use Disorder. If you experience 2 to 3 symptoms– the problem is considered is mild, 4 to 5 symptoms is moderate, and 6 or more symptoms is considered severe. It is important to have a medical professional evaluate you, if you believe you are suffering from a Substance Use Disorder.

Another important factor to consider is: Are you have any underlying symptoms that are influencing you to misuse drugs, alcohol, or other substances? Such symptoms can include: Anxiety, Depression, Social Anxiety, Relationship Issues, prolonged grief, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

There are many things you can do to help yourself overcome a Substance Use Disorder. The first step is observing how you feel after an episode of using substances, or accept feedback from a close friend or family member. Some ways to begin curbing a substance use disorder are: Admitting to yourself that you have an issue, becoming involved with sober-friends, joining a SMART recovery program, trying out a 12-step program, as well as beginning to recognize your triggers (for using). Adding meditation or yoga to your daily routine can help you begin to have more mind and body awareness of how you feel, both sober and intoxicated. Working on changing your diet to include healthy proteins and vegetables and supplementing with extra omega 3’s can also help.  Light exercise is also recommended to help one curb substance use. Other methods that can provide relief are art therapy, finding a mentor or wise helper, becoming part of an activity group which does not center around using substances, getting an animal companion, finding an active “outdoor” hobby, or planting a garden. Taking apple cider vinegar, ginkgo biloba (herbal medicine), and caffeine can be a healthier alternatives to drugs, alcohol, and other substances.

Since battling a Substance Use Disorder can become quite complicated and difficult, since many people have many social influences that may make it difficult to avoid drugs, alcohol, and other substances–it is important to consider that you may need a combination of help and personal self-help solutions, including professional help, medical interventions, a support group, and personal self-care.

A number of medical interventions can help you overcome a Substance Use Disorder. In fact, Clinical hypnotherapy has proven to be very helpful, specifically for smoking addiction.

Other medical interventions that could help are:

These techniques are not meant to replace medical advice. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.

If you feel that your substance use is out of control, you can call a hotline to get immediate help, learn more here: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

To find local support groups, check out these websites:

Smart Recovery:  https://www.smartrecovery.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous: https://www.aa.org/

Learn more here about Substance Use Disorders here:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

National Center for Biotechnology Information 



Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression

With all the hormonal changes after childbirth “baby blues” can be normal, but if symptoms last more than 2 weeks you may be a part of the 15% of mothers that have a more severe form of depression.

There are many symptoms that could indicate you are suffering from postpartum depression. Some of these could include avoiding family and friends, not being able to take care of yourself or your baby, or having sadness or guilt consume your thoughts. If you have trouble feeling close to your baby or making decisions, those may be indicators you have postpartum depression as well.

Other possible symptoms could be fears that you’re not a good mother, severe mood swings, anxiety, or panic attacks, and too much or too little sleep. You could also suffer from a lack of interest in daily tasks or thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for longer than 2 weeks you could be experiencing postpartum depression.

While the symptoms seem vast, there are a number of things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms. One of the things you should do first is educate yourself on PDD symptoms and treatment. In your research you may find there are a number of support groups with other moms feeling just like you in your community (Grand Rapids, MI). While it’s great to talk about your symptoms with others who understand, it’s also important to take time for yourself and rest.

Other activities to do that can help with PDD are not isolating yourself, letting the housework go, wearing your baby and talking to them during daily activities, and knowing that a major adjustment to a birth is normal and it will likely pass without treatment. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can help with postpartum depression.

In addition to engaging in some of these activities, it’s important to exercise when you can and maintain a healthy diet (consume extra omega 3’s). The body can overcome incredible things when fueled and rested properly, and always remember, it is never too early to seek treatment.

In addition to the small things you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle, there are several medical interventions that can help you. Counseling, naturopathic medicine, hypnotherapy, and seeking a psychiatrist are among these.

Quote from Billie Walters:

The journey to motherhood is assumed to be magical and delicate when in reality, it can feel brutal and deflating. Your body changes, inside and out! Your entire life changes and all too often, women are expected to snap back to their former selves almost as soon as the baby is earth-side! Women need to know that it is okay to feel however they feel during pregnancy and after giving birth. Women need to know that it is okay to ask for help and seek support; that may be one of the most courageous things a mother can do (and mom’s do a lot of courageous things!).

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Relief, and More

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Relief, and More

What’s bipolar disorder?

Euphoric (or extremely elevated) or irritable mood and increased energy or activity for one week (or more) that displays 3 out of 7 symptoms of Mania including social or work impairment, followed by one-two weeks of a depressive episode. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

What are possible symptoms of Mania?

  • Decreased Sleep
  • Talkative
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Increased goal-oriented activity
  • Impulsiveness

What are possible symptoms of Depression?

  • Sadness
  • Interest Loss
  • Guilt or Worthlessness
  • Energy Loss
  • Concentration Loss
  • Appetite Change
  • Psychomotor Agitation or Persistent Irritability
  • Sleep Change
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Hopelessness
  • Low Self-Esteem

Note, there are several types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  • Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

What are some things I can do that’ll provide relief?

  • Remind yourself that racing thoughts are not true, just part of the illness
  • Journal your symptoms and experiences
  • Practice mindfulness and being present
  • Create a routine/structure and stick to a strict sleep schedule
  • Avoid any mind-altering substances, including alcohol
  • Create feelings of accomplishment and being productive
  • Educate yourself on bipolar to be able to better understand yourself
  • Exercise frequently and avoid sitting for long periods of time
  • Don’t isolate yourself, but spend time with supportive friends or family members
  • Make time to relax a priority and enjoy leisure time
  • Eat a healthy diet and get your omega-3’s
  • Get involved in your community through volunteering and/or mentoring
  • Work on having consistency with your schedule of socialization with supportive people
  • Working on learning de-stressing skills
  • Finding things to do that help you express your creativity

What are some medical interventions that can help me?

  • Counseling
  • Seeing a Psychiatrist
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Intensive Outpatient Group Counseling including DBT therapy
  • Inpatient Hospitalization (if needed for stabilization)
  • Magnesium and Vitamin D (Mayo Clinic)
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Working on Sleep Hygiene and a structured sleep schedule
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

These techniques do not replace medical advice. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.


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