What is Trauma, PTSD, and EMDR therapy?

Trauma, PTSD, Recovery from trauma, cultural trauma, EMDR therapy, and other treatments. [Episode 13 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC has a new podcast you can listen to for free. He discusses the following topics: trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, EMDR therapy, trauma-informed treatment, recovery from trauma and PTSD, how trauma affects the brain the adverse childhood experiences study, best practices related to treating trauma, neurobiology research and more. Paul discusses the shame factor that many feel related to their own trauma and assuming that they should “be over it.” Further discussion includes shared cultural trauma and other stories of recovery from trauma. Paul talks about many treatments that can help someone suffering from trauma. If you or someone you know has suffered from a traumatic experience(s) share this podcast to help spread the news that there actually are empirically proven treatments for trauma that work!

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the host of the Intentional Clinician podcast as well as a counselor living in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul is also available for corporate and personal consulting with issues related to behavior, mental health, motivation, brain health, and optimal performance. Paul has his private practice at Health for Life Grand Rapids, located on 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. If you or someone you know is in need or just wants to give counseling a try– call Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Learn more about Paul here: http://www.paulkrausscounseling.com/ Paul enjoys email, [email protected] . Paul is also an approved Clinical Supervisor, learn more here: https://www.counselingsupervisorgr.com/

Original music, used with permission:

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

Feynman Wolfgang” from Flighty Tronys 1 by Flighty Tronys

Music available here:




ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience Study).

American Psychiatric Association (2013), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders FifthEdition, Washington DC.

Buser, S., Cruz, L. (2015). DSM-5 Insanely Simplified: Unlocking the Spectrums within DSM-5 and ICD-10. Innerquest.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Herman, J.L. (1997) [1992]. Trauma and recovery: the aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror. New York: BasicBooks.

Kessler, R.C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E. (1995). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 1048-1060.
Lipschitz, D.S., Winegar, R.K., Hartnick, E., Foote, B., & Southwick, S.M. (1999). Posttraumatic stress disorder in hospitalized adolescents: Psychiatric comorbidity and clinical correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 385-392.
Mayo Clinic. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms.

Mueser, K. T., Goodman, L. B., Trumbetta, S. L., Rosenberg, S. D., Osher, F., Vidaver, R., Auciello, P., & Foy, D. W. Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in severe mental illness. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66: 493-499. (1998).

National Center for Trauma Informed Care,

Levine, Peter A. (2005). Healing trauma: a pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body. Boulder, CO :Sounds True,


Rosenberg, C. (2017). Your eyes may be key to healing your mind.


Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, 2nd edition, N.Y.: The Guilford Press.

Shapiro F. (2013).  Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, Rodale Books.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.

Wikipedia. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

How to rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

by Jen Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

It’s that time of year again!  Gym memberships significantly increase, families and individuals adopt healthier food choices, and many homes experience greater organization, cleaning, etc!

But how do we approach the New Year in a way to make fulfilling, sustainable changes?

As January approaches, it’s easy to become overzealous in our quest for personal growth and change; however, as mental health professionals, we’ve found that when individuals set lofty, tough-to-attain goals, the outcome is often feelings of defeat rather than fulfillment.

Here are a couple of recommendations I’d like to offer, in order to help the New Year be one of intention and fulfillment for you.

  1. Start saying NO.  In fact, try to say NO to more things (commitments, activities) than you say YES to!

As Dr. Edmund Bourne highlights in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,

“Learning to say no requires a willingness to relinquish cherished beliefs about yourself—which can be one of the hardest things for anyone to do. This may involve expanding your identity beyond taking care of others, or taking care of business, and learning to take the time to nurture and attend to your own needs. It means accepting the reality that taking care of yourself—even at the expense of what you do for others—isn’t selfish. Can you really offer your best to others or your work if you are tired, stressed, or burned out?”

Our society today tends to normalize busy-ness…. at times, we may even obtain a significant amount of our self-worth from how full our calendar is.  Saying NO may seem strange, awkward, and uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become!  Ask yourself a couple of questions before agreeing to a commitment…. First, is this what’s BEST for me right now?  In other words, am I likely to leave this encounter/activity feeling energized, or depleted?  Second, am I the best person to carry this out?  Stay true to who you are, and how you’re wired. For example, if your child’s school is looking for a volunteer to organize a fundraiser, and you know that you struggle in the areas of project management and philanthropy, saying NO to this will create and offer space for you to do things that align with your temperament and your own personal interests. Too often we agree to things from a sense of guilt or obligation, and in the end, no one wins when these are the motivators. At times, we need to give ourselves permission to say NO.

Another way to say NO is to create a NO-FLY zone for you and/or your family’s schedule. In other words, give yourself a “time-out.” Create some space/margin where you do not schedule anything. Maybe that means staying home on a Saturday morning or taking a raincheck on a dinner invitation. The art of quietness and rest has been lost, as individuals and families today are pulled in so many directions.

  1. Explore a practice such as meditation, mindfulness (check out mindful.org), or yoga to cultivate rest, optimism and intention.

According to the Mayo Clinic, learning relaxation techniques has many health benefits, including improving concentration and mood, improving quality of sleep, lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and maintaining normal blood sugar levels!

Practicing gratitude is another powerful factor in helping to alleviate stress. According to Harvard Medical School, practicing gratitude has consistently shown a correlation with greater feelings of happiness, ability to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Cultivating gratitude can be done by keeping a gratitude journal, creating a gratitude jar, praying, and thanking individuals who’ve offered help and support.

  1. Consider investing in yourself with counseling and/or health coaching!

The road to self-care and personal growth can be lonely and challenging. The staff at Health for Life GR would be honored to partner with you in your personal, relational and health & wellness goals! In fact, Health For Life Grand Rapids’ Health Coaches, Nicole Vega and Jen Belmonte are offering a special discounted New Year’s rate! Please contact the office at 616.200.4433 for details!

Or email [email protected] and [email protected]



The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th edition, by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, New Harbinger Publications 2015



Set an intention for the New Year. That alone can be powerful!

New Year's Intentions. How to say no and give yourself permission.

A New Health Care Resource for Grand Rapids, Michigan

The team at Health for Life Grand Rapids has created an easy to use website for the people of Grand Rapids called www.GrandRapidsCounselor.com . This website provides a mobile-phone and tablet friendly overview of all the Counselors, Naturopathic Doctors, and Hypnotherapists at Health for Life Grand Rapids providing many different types of therapy–all customizable for the people of Grand Rapids, MI.

The Grand Rapids Counselor.com website is easy to use and guides users through learning about counseling, to learning about the people that work at Health life for Grand Rapids, followed by what specific services are offered by the staff, followed by information for new patients (including insurances accepted, cash rates) and an easy to use form to request information. Lastly, the site features an easily accessible contact form where you can request that a Counselor, Therapist, Naturopathic Doctor, or Hypnotherapist contact you directly.

The staff at Health for Life Grand Rapids are constantly working to make healthcare more accessible. The new website called “Grand Rapids Counselor.com” was a natural extension of this service. If you have questions, you can always call our front desk at 616-200-4433  or  email our manager, Paul Krauss MA LPC at [email protected].

Grand Rapids, MI is the second largest metropolitan area in Michigan, and we (at Health for Life Grand Rapids) are aiming to bring the highest quality healthcare, counseling, therapy, and health education to the Midwest. So far, we have two licensed Naturopathic Physicians from the State of Arizona providing excellent health education at our office. Both of them are committed to the people of the State of Michigan and, at the same time, they maintain their medical licenses through the State of Arizona. Currently, we have five counselors providing excellent therapy and health education in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Each therapist has a unique focus and approach to therapeutic process and works to customize care for each person and family they work with. We also have a Clinical Hypnotherapist providing amazing hypnotherapy to clients in the Grand Rapids area.

We are highly intentional about offering a diverse array of providers and services in Grand Rapids, MI.





Cultivating a Therapeutic Relationship with Your Mind and Body

Cultivating a Therapeutic Relationship with Your Mind and Body

[Episode 12 of The Intentional Clinician]

Paul Krauss, MA LPC is a therapist at Health for Life Grand Rapids and the host of the Intentional Clinician Podcast. In this episode, Paul Krauss interviews the creator of the app MetaFi, Benjamin Reisterer, LPC.  Together they discuss learning to create a therapeutic relationship with one’s mind and body, learning about our behaviors and what they mean, how to regulate our emotions and how all of this can lead to healing and transformation. Paul and Ben also discuss how a healthy therapist-client relationship can positively affect therapy outcomes and client satisfaction. Also discussed:  Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy method (created by Diana Fosha, PhD), utilizing the APP called Metafi to improve emotional awareness in both mind and body. Further, Paul and Ben talk about personal healing through therapy, and the practices of mindfulness and yoga. Many modern biological, neurological, and psychological studies demonstrate how these practices along with education about emotional well-being and regulation can improve overall wellbeing.

Correction: In this episode Paul references “Episode 2” as the episode that talks about the research about counseling. That is incorrect, it is actually Episode #3: http://paulkrauss.podbean.com/e/counseling-is-an-effective-form-of-treatment-episode-3/

Benjamin Reisterer is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan. Ben has a Ben is the founder and creator of MetaFi, an Android and iOS app designed to help promote mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and body awareness. Ben is U.S. Navy SeaBee veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Ben takes a holistic approach to the work of counseling and strives to hold a space where emotions, symptoms, and thoughts can be safely and curiously explored as he believes they hold messages meant to be acknowledged, understood, and integrated. You can check out more about Ben here: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Benjamin_Reisterer_MA,LPC_Grand+Rapids_Michigan_206353

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the host of the Intentional Clinician, a public speaker, trainer (for large behavioral health agencies), a counseling supervisor, and counselor living in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul also maintains his counseling license in the state of Arizona where he often gives presentations for counselors looking to maintain their continuing education. Paul has his private practice at Health for Life Grand Rapids, located on 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Check out the webpage https://www.healthforlifegr.com/  Learn more about Paul http://www.paulkrausscounseling.com/ Paul enjoys email, [email protected]

Original music, used with permission:

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

May You Be Born On Anarres” [Instrumental] from Music for Public Televisionby ttypes

Music available here:




Health for Life starts a Free Postpartum Support Group

Free Postpartum Support Group in Grand Rapids, MI

The journey of motherhood often evokes so many different emotions…. excitement, joy, and wonder.  However, these are often accompanied by fear, worry, and confusion.  The responsibility of caring for a new life, combined with sleepless nights, work/home balance, and conflict with partner/family members can lead to an insurmountable amount of stress. Not to mention that new mothers today are faced with a variety of decisions—work, daycare, “best” parenting theories, etc. The clinicians at Health for Life Grand Rapids have created a free postpartum support group for you. 

Please join us for a monthly group to share thoughts, feelings, stressors, and experiences.  Nicole Vega and Jen Belmonte, both therapists with Health for Life Grand Rapids, are excited to come alongside you during this time of life.  They will be offering this monthly meeting free of charge.  However, space is limited, so please contact either Nicole or Jen in order to register!

Our sincere thanks goes out to Cheri, owner of Bouncing Fitness of Rockford, who has graciously offered us a beautiful meeting space!

The first meeting is December 9th, 2017- Saturday 11:15am-12:15pm.

It will be located at Bouncing Fitness

6575 Belding Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341


This is a closed group with limited space, so if you are interested, please contact Nicole Vega or Jen Belmonte to register.

nicole vega health coaching

Nicole Vega, LMSW CHC

Jennifer Belmonte at Health for Life Grand Rapids

Jen Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

A Holiday Self-Care Guide

A Holiday Self-Care Guide

by Billie Walters, LMSW

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can help reduce the amount of stress you may experience during the holiday season. Some things you can do to plan ahead: Shop early for gifts, goodies or meals; make lists to organize and prioritize your “to do”; communicate with family and friends so that everyone is on the same page.

Be Realistic

Set realistic goals, ditch the perfectionism, do what is within your ability, say NO and don’t compare yourself to others. It is understandable to have visions of what you want your holidays to look like and every advertiser in the country is ready to help you achieve your dream. Nevertheless, your peace of mind rests solely on your ability to let go of the ideal and accept the reality. Do what is within your means on all levels; financially, physically and emotionally. When you feel that you are being asked to do something that is outside of your ability, comfort zone, means or whatever you want to call it, just say NO. Also, remember that life is not a competition, live yours for you.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is the ability to take the compassion you normally have for others and turn it inward. We are human beings who make mistakes so forgive yourself, do not isolate and remember that you are part of a shared human experience. For more on self-compassion, to test your level of self-compassion and find exercises, go to www.selfcompassion.org.

Use Moderation – With Everything

As a culture, we tend to overindulge during the holiday season and this can lead to physical symptoms as well as emotional drain. Practice moderation when consuming alcohol or foods high in sugar and saturated fats. Set a budget for you gift buying and stay within your limits when purchasing this season – this can be extended to all purchasing during this time as we are lead to believe that we won’t experience savings any other time of the year. Use moderation when cooking and even decorating your home. While it can be satisfying to get in the spirit of the holidays, everything you do takes energy and your energy can be conserved by using moderation.

Practice Gratitude

One of the main ingredients in creating your own happiness is gratitude. It is popular to count our blessings on Thanksgiving but being thankful beyond Thanksgiving can give us a boost to our mood. Some ways to practice gratitude are writing a gratitude journal, going for gratitude walks, sending a thank you to someone who has been a positive influence in your life and just saying “thank you”.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can be your calm in the holiday storm. You do not need to take up a strict meditation practice (although that could be helpful) but here are some tips to help you lessen your risk of anxiety during these busy times. Be present – be in the present moment and focus on what you are doing and who you are with, limit distracting thoughts. Let go of judgment – being in the moment can lead you to notice things that may not be pleasant. Let go of how you feel about it and accept that it is. If you are in a long line at the mall, you may notice that someone is wearing strong perfume. Notice the smell and accept that it is strong without judging the experience. Also, limit your distractions – it is so easy to distract ourselves with technology or thoughts of things that we have no control over. Set limits for yourself and if you notice that you are getting distracted, stop the thoughts or the technology and get to your to-do list or join in with conversations that may be taking place around you.

Ask for Help

You can follow these steps to help reduce holiday stress and anxiety this season; but if you notice that you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You can talk to a trusted friend or relative or contact our office to make an appointment to talk to one of our therapists or doctors. Billie Walters is an expert on learning to practice self-care methods. You can call Billie Walters for a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation at 616-258-6419. Learn more about Billie here and here .

Buddhist Psychology as a Science of the Mind

Buddhist Psychology as a Science of the Mind [Episode 11 of the Intentional Clinician podcast]

In this episode Paul Krauss MA LPC interviews Sivie Suckerman, MA LMHC about Buddhist Psychology as a philosophy, a science of the mind, and its various clinical and life applications. Paul and Sivie discuss the universal teachings of Buddhist Psychology in a way that is accessible (and non-threatening) to anyone, no matter their background, culture, or religion (or non-religion). Sivie and Paul discuss the differences between “regular mindfulness” and utilizing mindfulness exercises along with Buddhist Psychology. True to the Intentional Clinician, there are many details about how utilizing the concepts from Buddhist Psychology in counseling can help with anxiety, depression, and more.

Sivie Suckerman MA LMHC received her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2007 and has practiced in community mental health, crisis services, school-based mental health, residential, and women’s health agencies. Currently, Sivie has a full time private practice in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle and has been in private practice for 3 and a half years. She is also a Certified Mindful Schools Instructor and Level II Little Flower Yoga Teacher. In addition, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting with an emphasis in Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts in 1998. Learn more here: http://www.siviesuckerman.com/

You can subscribe to the Intentional Clinician on itunes or though podbean.

Paul Krauss MA LPC practices counseling and is a counseling supervisor in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul has his private psychotherapy practice at Health for Life Grand Rapids, located on 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Check out his clinic which features himself and many gifted clinicians (each with their own specialty). If you or someone you know is in need or just wants to give counseling a try– call Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Here is Paul’s email: [email protected]

Learn more at www.paulkrausscounseling.com and www.counselingsupervisorgr.com and www.grandrapidscounselor.com

Original music, used with permission:

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

“The Twin” from Archetypes by PAWL

“Moment in the Sun” from Archetypes by PAWL


Poetry Changes Everything

Poetry Changes Everything [Episode 10 of the Intentional Clinician]

In this episode, I interview Marcel “Fable” Price, the current Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. We discuss poetry and the transformative act of writing and self-expression. We talk about how participating in a live poetry event can be helpful for people of all ages. Fable and I discuss our current “superconnected” internet culture and how overuse of the internet can lead to “disconnection” and how putting down your phone and picking up a pen and paper can help people struggling with mental illness. In addition, getting out of your domicile and going to an open mic or live poetry can be a way to sublimate your pain and difficulties into art. We discuss Fable’s journey from a difficult time in his life into his love for writing, poetry, spoken word and hip hop–and how poetry is now actually his job. All of this and much more is discussed in this episode:

Marcel “Fable” Price. Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids Michigan. Author of “Adrift in a Sea of M&M’s” Fable is a Bi-racial North American writer, teaching artist, community advocate, spoken word poet, and motivational speaker. Fable The Poet is highly noted for his work with the youth; spreading Mental Health Awareness using his own stories to consume the audience. “At times, we all feel fragile. We are paper boats entertaining the waves of life.” He is an official partner of Mental Health America and is known across the nation for crowd-interactive features that leave those attending enlightened and empowered. Buckle up, prepare to make a new friend, and enjoy the ride.


[email protected]


Follow the journey:





If you like the intentional clinician podcast, you can subscribe on itunes or through podbean.

Paul practices counseling in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul has his private practice at Health for Life Grand Rapids, located on 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. You can reach Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Here is Paul’s email: [email protected]

Learn more at www.paulkrausscounseling.com and www.counselingsupervisorgr.com and www.grandrapidscounselor.com

Stay tuned for more intentional clinician episodes. Feel free to send in show topic requests. Thank you for listening. -Paul Krauss MA LPC

And if you are in the Grand Rapids area, check out Fable the Poet performing live!

Fabel the Poet of Grand Rapids, MI

7 Days of Self Care Challenge

7 Days of Self Care Challenge

by Nicole Vega, LMSW, CHC 

(A counselor in Grand Rapids, MI)

In a world of expectation, chaos, and struggle, it is vital that we find time to center ourselves and create a body that allows for inner and outer resilience. One of the best ways to allow for this is to learn practices that allow you to connect with who you are now, and who you desire to become.

To assist you on this journey, I have designed for you, what I call the 7 Day Self Care Challenge, or as I often refer to it as, the Love Yourself Challenge. In this challenge we are going to start with small daily practices, to leave you with a new set of tools that will help you to improve the quality of your life. These are things we can all do, even if you are incredibly busy with a career, raising a family, or both. Over these next 7 days you will try a new technique aimed at improving your overall well-being, so that by the end of this challenge you can determine what best suits your individual needs.


Day 1: Take 10 Minutes to Breathe

Science has come along way with what it can tell us about how quieting our mind and breathing can impact our health. This simple activity of breathing intentionally and being still can help to quiet the nervous system and rewire our brain. Some call this act of quietly breathing with intention, mediation. I prefer to call it “surrendering to your breath”. Many people see the act of surrender as giving up, however, I have learned as both a clinician and coach that just like vulnerability is key for creating positive changes, so is surrendering those thoughts and actions that keep you stuck on a path in which you feel lost.

Day One take 10 minutes to breathe


Day 2: Drink Half Your Bodyweight (in ounces) of Water

So why do I want you to drink water on this self-care journey? Well, because water is an incredibly simple and powerful way to nourish both our bodies and minds. We need water to survive, and many of us are running around drinking everything but water these days! To be mindfully aware of how much water you drink in a day, creates the habit of being aware of how you do other things. I often find clients believe they need to change 100 things before progress can be made, however, this is not the truth. All change comes about with choice, making at least once choice. to do something differently.

day two drink half your body weight in ounces


Day 3: Start Your Morning with a Nourishing Breakfast Smoothie

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason, and although I feel all meals are important. I find that starting your day out with a nutrient rich meal, sets the stage for you to make better choices throughout your day. I encourage my clients to start out with making breakfast both simple and nutritious, which is why I am a big fan of smoothies. When I am working with clients I will often state that their smoothies should consist of healthy fats, protein, and low sugar fruit, such as berries. My personal go-to shake in the morning is a combination of avocado, strawberries, unsweetened almond milk, water, and a plant based protein powder. This meal keeps my blood sugar balanced, cravings for junk low, and allows me to begin my day feeling fueled, rather than temporarily satisfied.

day 3 nourishing breakfast smoothie


Day 4: Find Movement You Enjoy and do it for a Minimum of 10 Minutes

As someone who has been on her own health journey for over 3 + years, and has supported many other individuals along the way. I can tell you that finding movement you enjoy is key to consistency in your workouts and improvement in your overall well-being. I also want to emphasize that the type of movement you enjoy may change as you age, and as you enter different seasons of life. I know this has been true for me. I used to be someone who enjoyed very intense workouts because I thought they would make me “skinny” or “get me to my ideal weight”. I have learned through much trial and error, however, that my body truly thrives with more gentle movement, such as yoga. I have also reached a healthy and ideal weight by surrendering to the type of movement that my body truly needed, rather than forcing it to do others.  

day 4 move for 10 minutes


Day 5: Go to bed by 9 p.m.

As someone who is without a doubt a “night owl”. I have always found myself going to bed later in the evening and sleeping in as late as I could, maybe even hitting snooze a few too many times. I had always decided this was just “who I was” and that I could not change it. I have learned, however, that for many of us, going to bed earlier can create a powerful shift in our energy, productivity, and well-being. While I know we cannot always go to bed early or even on time. I do think it is something to aspire to, at least a few times a week, in order to refuel and reset our bodies. Sleep is where our body naturally repairs itself, so it is vital for your overall health, no matter what your age. So for day 5 of this challenge I am asking that you power down early and pay attention to how you feel the following day.


Day 6: Give Back — Participate in an Act of Service

Now before you look at this and think “I don’t have time to volunteer”. I want to be clear this is not about a grand gesture, or devoting hours to a volunteer position. An act of service can be anything. It can be making a delicious meal for a family member, offering to babysit a friends children for an hour or two, picking up the groceries for your spouse, etc. When we help others, we feel more connected. It is this connection that allows for better psychological, emotional, and physical well-being.

day 6 give back- act of service


Day 7: Take an Epsom Salt Bath

The last task within this challenge is simple, yet so many people struggle to take the time to do it. The act of taking a warm relaxing bath, has many health benefits. So adding in another element such as epsom salt or essential oils can help boost an already beneficial act of self-care. Why do I specifically suggest epsom salt baths? I suggest these because they promote many benefits to the body, including: soothing sore muscles, boosting levels of magnesium in your body, and decreasing swelling, to name a few. So if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, this may end up being your favorite day of the challenge!

day 7 take an epsom salt bath


Lastly, whether you choose to participate in this challenge or not, it is important for you to know, that you are worth taking the time to care for. You are worth setting aside a few minute or hours a day, to give back to YOU. We live in a society where self-care can be seen as selfish. It is NOT selfish to have a desire to want to feel balanced and well cared for. People who care for themselves, can better care for others. You are worth it.

About the author: Nicole Vega is a fully licensed clinician and certified health coach. Nicole received her Master’s in Clinical Social Work in 2012 from Western Michigan University and became certified as a health coach in 2016. Her work is founded on the principle that individuals are the experts of their own lives, and therefore their own best healers. Nicole believes it is her role to establish a safe therapeutic space where she can assist her clients in focusing on their strengths and uncovering the tools needed to address what is causing them discomfort and stress in their lives; which may be manifesting as anxiety, depression, weight gain or other obstacles.

Contact her directly at https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/nicole-vega/   

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 616-389-0291

nicole vega health coaching

Hypnosis: Frequently Asked Questions

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Hypnosis

by Stacey PreFontaine CMS-CHt, FIBH

Hypnosis is an ancient form of healing and transformation that goes back many centuries. A number of well-known historical figures have used hypnosis in order to accomplish great things. For example, Winston Churchill used self hypnosis daily during WW2 in order to stay mentally sharp and focused during long hours at work. Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Nikolai Tesla used self hypnosis each afternoon and credit self-induced trance with producing many of their best ideas. In the last few centuries, hypnosis has fallen to the wayside in part because depictions of hypnosis in movies and on TV portray a scary, trance-like state that renders people powerless. For these reasons, I’d like to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about hypnosis.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural albeit altered state of mind, a state of calm focus. Our brains move in and out of this state of alert focus several times a day without knowing it. For example, have you ever driven home from work and not remembered taking your highway exit? Or sat in front of a campfire, staring into the flames, feeling incredibly relaxed? These are examples of the hypnotic state.

Is hypnosis safe?

Yes. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state that our brains can use for beneficial purposes. There are a few instances where hypnosis would not be indicated for an individual but this is very uncommon. Examples include individuals who are acutely psychotic, a child under the age of five, or an individual who does not give their permission to participate in the process.

Can I be hypnotized?

Anyone with a normally functioning brain can be hypnotized. Some people may go deeper into trance than others, but depth of trance is not an indicator of success for change. A light trance is suitable for most clients.

frequently asked questions about hypnosis Grand Rapids, MI

What does hypnosis require?

Hypnosis requires 3 things:

  • 1. a desire for change
  • 2. permission to go into hypnosis (giving yourself permission)
  • 3. the ability to follow simple instructions If you can answer “yes” to the above requirements you will experience hypnosis.

Can I be made to do or say silly things while in hypnosis?

NO! Your session is all about YOU. During your appointment, you are aware at all times and will remember everything you choose to remember.

Is hypnosis mind control?

Absolutely not. Hypnosis occurs in your own mind and is a tool you use to create positive change for yourself. The hypnotherapist is merely a guide during the session.

What are the side effects of hypnosis?

Side effects include a deep sense of peaceful relaxation, lightened mood, improved sleep, and rapid positive change!

What can hypnosis be used for?

There are numerous applications for hypnosis and it is difficult to create a comprehensive list but here are some of the most common issues:

• stress management

• smoking cessation (one session!)

• weight management

• pain management

• motivation (for just about anything)

• improved sleep

• enhanced creativity

• accomplishing business or personal goals

• grief recovery

• trauma reversal

• phobia reduction or elimination

• increased focus

• improved memory

• increased confidence

If you are wondering if hypnosis could benefit you, call Stacey PreFontaine at 616.828.2153 and find out more. Stacey practices hypnotherapy at Health for Life Grand Rapids. 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

international board of hypnotherapy grand rapids, MI

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