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Why I Started Native

counseling_therapy A woman sitting at a desk with a notebook, explaining why she started Native.

Throughout my career as a therapist, I’ve strived to send a message of innate health. Innate health is the idea that all humans are inherently whole and possess the capacity for mental health and well being within them.

So, when I started to brainstorm ideas for the name of my new practice I knew that I wanted the name to exemplify an innate or inborn potential for health and healing and embrace the simplicity and resilience that is symbolic of nature.

The name ‘Native’ immediately struck a chord with me. The word native has many definitions and is used in multiple contexts including in reference to plants.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love plants and gardening. I routinely share that in retirement I want to be a small-scale flower farmer, but I digress.

Think of it this way: plants that are native to certain regions will thrive more readily and effortlessly when planted in those areas. Why is that? Well, because they are accustomed to the growing conditions in that area. They are capable of thriving in the predominant soil of that region and the prevailing climate even if both are less than ideal. They are naturally resilient there!

As I considered the parallels between the term native as it is referenced in horticulture and the applicability to my own working definition of mental health, I knew I found the one.

We are native in health. We are capable of thriving in whatever conditions we are “planted in” because our potential doesn’t exist outside of us, it exists inside of us. When we find our way back to our native or natural ways of being and living we too will effortlessly thrive.

Thus, Native Integrative Mental Health Care was founded in 2021 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

At Native, we believe it is essential to educate our clients on symptoms of mental illness and provide a framework for helping them understand their emotional experiences. However, we also think it is equally important — if not more important — to encourage our clients not to define themselves by the state of their mental health.

We believe that the science and study of theories including: neuroplasticity, meditation, neurocardiology, epigenetics, and nutrition exemplify the powerful relationship between mind and body and our inborn potential for healing.

The study of these sciences as they relate to health and wellbeing highlight both the mind and body’s ability to change and heal. I always tell my clients that the natural propensity of mind and body is to move toward health-both mental and physical.

The intention at Native is to provide integrative mental health care. This type of health care incorporates evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies when appropriate. These types of therapies range from ‘third wave’ talk therapy, nutritional consultation, meditation, relaxation training, and biofeedback, just to name a few. We provide a client-centered approach that is collaborative and affirming.

By working together, we aim to instill a sense of hope in our clients as they move forward with their lives. And the confidence within themselves to know that no matter what they have experienced or how difficult their life has been at different points in time, there is always more right with them than wrong. They are capable of anything.

I believe that this is a unique time period both in our culture and in the history of psychology. I think we have been presented with an opportunity to increase mental health awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health problems.

I think it is important that we embrace a definition of mental health that is fluid and allows for changes in our emotional well-being to be considered a natural, normal part of living. A definition that encourages us to explore our emotional and physical states to understand better what we need to sustain emotional wellbeing throughout a lifetime.

At Native, we strive to offer the optimal healing environment both in the design of our office space and in the intention our clinicians hold in their hearts. We believe the therapeutic relationship developed between client and therapist is fundamental for healing and change, and we seek to create relationships that model intentional attainment, acceptance and love.

We hope you will join us today. To learn more about Native and to inquire about our services, click here.