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May 20, 2015


by Nicole Iacovoni, LCSW

Cleanses aren’t just about drinking juice for a week. Ridding the body

of build-up is a worthwhile practice, but the body isn’t the only thing that needs detoxing.

Sometimes our life, as a whole, needs a real good, deep clean. I’m talking major overhaul,

rid out, get out, detoxification.


When our mind, body, and spirit is clogged with ickiness, nothing good can come into our

lives. It’s as if we are holding up a flashing sign that reads, “Stay away positive energy!

There’s no room for you here!”. If you’re feeling stuck, lethargic, overwhelmed, scattered,

distracted, stressed out, or annoyed, it’s time to detox your life.


To help aid in the process of creating open space for all good things to flow in, here are 4

ways to detox your life:


1. Declutter your home

If you haven’t yet heard of the infamous, Marie Kondo, and her book, “The Life-

Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, please Google her and soak in her words of wisdom.

Her method for decluttering and organizing your home is invaluable and makes perfect

sense. Kondo walks you through the process of decluttering and eliminating all items that

no longer bring you joy in a structured, methodical way. To truly cherish the things that

are important to us, we must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.

Something may have brought you great joy in the past, but if it no longer does, it has

served it’s purpose and needs to be let go.


As a therapist, I’ve worked with many people with anxiety and depression, and I

understand the direct link that these struggles have to a disorganized environment. I’ve

worked with clients to help them tackle the clutter so they can free their minds and release

the negative emotions that keep them from living the life they want.

I’ve found that when my environment is clean and organized, so is my mind.

However, as I grown older, I keep accumulating more and more stuff. Not so long ago, I

started looking carefully at all the objects I’ve collected over the years, taking note of how little of it I still use. I discovered all that stuff was sucking my energy, distracting me from

what’s really important to me, and takes up, not just physical space, but mental space as

well. I looked around my house and actually started to feel anxious and overwhelmed….I

was running out of room! I needed a bigger house! I needed more time to dust! I needed

high-tech organizational systems! Really what I needed, was to SIMPLIFY.


The truth is that visible mess helps distract us from the true sources of our

unhappy feelings. When your space is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to

examine your inner state, see issues you’ve been avoiding, and deal with them. From the

moment you start decluttering, you will be compelled to reset your life and your life will

start to change. Decluttering is just the start of the journey; the big picture goal is to

create the joyous life you want once your house has been put in order.


2. Create white space

Our minds are always actively working. There are very few moments when the

chitter-chatter ceases and the mind can enjoy quiet calm. Everything from “what’s for

dinner” to “that vacation last year was the best of all time” to “do I really want to go back

for that advanced degree?” runs through our brains. Add to that more ideas, worries,

plans, problems, memories, and dreams and the thoughts start to pile up. Before you

know it, you’re feeling out of control, overwhelmed, scattered, and distracted.


The best way to create white space in the brain is to put all your thoughts, feelings,

fears, and dreams down on paper. Doing so clears the mind, organizes thoughts, and

provides a new, fresher perspective. Through journaling, we can explore our inner selves,

gain wisdom about who we truly are, discover what is genuinely meaningful to us, find

our purpose and passion, and come to know which direction to move in; separating the

work that really needs done from that which we feel pressured to do.


3. Cleanse toxic relationships

Take a moment to reflect. Who is driving you crazy these days? Identify who the

most negative people are in your life. Who complains endlessly or creates needless drama?

These are the people who suck the life out of you. They deplete your energy, consume

your thoughts, and wreak havoc on your emotions. Toxic relationships rarely bring benefit

to our lives and always take away more than they give. Most of the time, we falsely believe

we have to tolerate toxic relationships; that we’re obligated to keep the peace. However,

allowing toxic relationships to exist in our lives burdens us and keeps us from reaching our

full potential. Dealing with the crap that toxic people bring into our lives is one problem, but managing the lack of self respect we suffer as a result of allowing others to treat us in

the awful ways they do may have an even bigger impact on our esteem and self concept.


If you suspect a toxic relationship has taken root in your life, you must ask yourself,

“what is the value in this relationship?”. What would have to change for the relationship

to be healthier? Is it possible for the relationship to change in ways that would allow you

to feel positive, optimistic, happy, and at peace? What can you do to help make that shift?

If the relationship has potential, get to work on it. Involve the other person and share

your vision for what the relationship can become. Get them invested in transforming the

relationship with you so it can bring you both great benefit and value. If you’re finding

little to no benefit from the relationship, give yourself permission to part ways. It’s

perfectly acceptable to recognize you’re on a different path and you don’t want a

particular traveler beside you on your life’s journey. Simply wish your foe good fortune

and happiness, end the relationship, and don’t look back. There is absolutely no reason to

hang on to rubbish- toxic people included.


4. Sweat it out

When was the last time your broke a good sweat? We often fall into the habit of

controlling conditions to make everything pleasant. After all, our brains are always

seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain. We put dimmers on lights to suit our eyes, turn

on air conditioning to keep us cool, turn on heat to keep us warm, and very rarely

experience the natural elements; whatever they may be. All of this artificial living keeps us

comfortable, but does us a disservice when it comes to flushing our system, releasing

negative energy, and soaking up the earthy goodness nature has to offer.


It’s time to get outside, in the heat and humidity, and work your butt off. Spend the

day gardening, landscaping, chopping wood, washing the car, or sweeping the porch. A

hard day’s work is food for the body and soul. Crank up the music and dance like you’ve

got nothing to lose. Run as far and as fast as you can. Feel the sweat bead and stream

down your skin, picturing every last bit of negativity, dirt, grime, and gunk flowing out

with it. Walk or bike instead of driving. Take in the beautiful, natural sunlight and

connect to the life-giving energy of mother nature.


These steps may seem simple and trite, but the return upon investment is

impressive. Once you detox your life, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago.

You’ll also be more aware of when your life is getting cluttered with unwanted toxins again, which makes you better equipped to keep balance, clean space, and peacefulness at

heart center.


Nicole Iacovoni, Founder & Executive Clinician, received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from The University of Denver. Utilizing scientific based techniques, she is masterful at helping clients navigate and address family transitions, mood management, relationship issues, life trajectory, and general self care concerns. She also has expertise in cultivating emotional resilience and healthy identity development in young adults. Nicole has dedicated her career to building a wellness center where clients generate positive change, enhance esteem, overcome obstacles, and create a peaceful, well-balanced life course. Her vision has resulted in a multifaceted therapeutic setting that provides complete mental health services, yoga and meditation classes, massage therapy, nutritional counseling and health coaching, educational workshops, and community building groups and events.


You can get more information about our counseling services with Nicole here.


May 17, 2015

by Shawn Clavelle, WTWC Health Coach


Now that we’ve finished spring cleaning our houses (or at least those of you who are more on top of it than I am!) it’s also a great time of year to do a spring body cleanse, otherwise known as, detox!  Simply put, detoxification is a process of eliminating or significantly reducing the toxins in your body.  Many different thoughts may enter your mind when you think of a detox.  Perhaps deprivation, digestive suffering, irritability, emotional ups and downs, and all the other wonderful things that can come from doing a detox.  I’m not going to lie, there is a certain amount of physical and emotional discomfort involved, but there is also the most wonderful feeling when you have finished which is absolute BLISS!  I will begin by discussing a few reasons detoxing is a controversial topic in the nutrition world and then outline the three ways you can do a detox.  


Let me start by listing who should NOT do a detox program.  Anyone who has elevated blood pressure or heart disease, low blood sugar, diabetes/insulin resistance, kidney disease, ulcers, or if you are pregnant.  If you do not have any of the above conditions, you should be able to tolerate a detox option suited for you. 


Detoxification has been a controversial topic in the wellness arena for a few reasons.  Some believe that our bodies are already equipped with organs that do it for us such as our liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and skin.  Others will say that you are wasting your money buying those expensive “cleansing kits” because all you really need is healthy food and liquids to achieve the same results.  Wherever you are on the belief spectrum, you cannot deny the unbelievable feeling when your body is functioning at top notch.  If it behooves you to try one of those expensive kits, knock yourself out!  Most of them contain natural substances that will not hurt you.  You won’t know how something will work for you until you try it.  Just listen to your body and learn from what signals it is sending you.  


There is a laundry list of reasons to do a detox.  Some of the benefits include decreased fluid retention, clearer skin, better sleep, improved PMS, improved digestion and IBS, decreased cellulite, improved energy, and decreased body fat.  Not to mention the psychological benefits that come along with it including improved mood, uncovering emotional food issues, mental clarity, and stress relief.  Who doesn’t want these with our  increasingly busy schedules and demanding jobs?  Here’s the will feel terrible at first, most likely for several days to a week.  You will feel worse than you did before the detox, but this is necessary for your body to transition.  Warn your family members and your work colleagues if you decide to do a detox because they will wonder who took over your body and when the real you is coming back!  It will be important to be prepared and organized with a good support system in place to get you through.  So, now that I’ve scared you a bit, here are your options:


1. Fasting Detox:  water and broths (I do not recommend this to many people.  You must be in the right environment and phase of life.  Do not attempt if you have a full-time job, kids, etc.).

2. Cleanse Detox:  raw and vegan.  

3. Food-based Elimination Detox:  getting rid of the most common food triggers, towards vegan/raw.


If you were wondering, all of these require you to abstain from alcohol, caffeine, over-the-counter medications, trans fats, and refined sugar.  Thus the reason you will become irritable, emotional, and tired for the first several days.  Expect some mild headaches, bloating, digestive discomfort, and mood swings, but like I said, the end result is amazing so don’t give up!  It will also be important that you pick the right time to do this.  Don’t try it when you have lots of deadlines at work or are on a family vacation (they may not want to bring you home).  


So, for all of these pleasant side effects, having a good support system is crucial.  You could also include things like meditation, breathing exercises, steaming, and massage to make you feel better during the process and that enhance detoxing.  Having someone to hold you accountable like a partner or coach is also a good idea.  Talking about all those uncomfortable feelings allows them to be released, just like the toxins in your body.  


If you are interested in learning more about doing a detox appropriately I offer FREE 30-minute consultations and give clients a questionnaire on their ability to detox.  I recommend the book The Great American Detox, by Alex Jamieson.  She is the nutritionist who created the detox for the actor on Supersize Me.  Like I said before, you will feel AMAZING afterwards and want to do it again next year.  Cheers to good health!


 Shawn Clavelle earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Vermont. She is currently a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition working toward certification as a holistic health coach. Shawn’s vast clinical experience and knowledge of the healthcare system makes her proficient at helping others design their own treatment plan through structured goal setting and continuous evaluation of progress. Using a holistic approach with a focus on nutrition, she helps uncover the obstacles to good health and provides simple options for making better lifestyle choices.  


Shawn has been leading a Spring Health Boot Camp this month! Each Tuesday in May from 5:30-6:30, she shares information and guidance on how to lose weight healthfully and cultivate a health centered lifestyle. You can join in any time! Learn more about it here.


You can learn more about Shawn's Health Coaching & Weight Loss services here.

May 6, 2015

by Scott Young, MS CCC LNC, WTWC Children's Counselor



Last month I discussed some potential causes of anxiety in a child with Asperger's Syndrome. Now I would like to talk about the ways to manage the anxiety in a child with Asperger’s. To manage the anxiety in Asperger's kids, moms and dads are encouraged to do any – or all – of the following:                                                                                   


-Adapting the School and Home Environment. Students having Asperger's Syndrome may need to have a special education plan implemented to address their many social, emotional, sensory and learning challenges. This may entail organizational and academic supports, decreased work load or service to address sensory motor deficits. Students may need to take breaks away from the classroom to spend time in less stimulating environments. In addition, short, frequent movement breaks such as a walk up and down stairs or jumping jacks can help children focus to complete school and homework. Students with Asperger’s and anxiety often benefit from smaller classrooms and a classroom aide who can help them develop social skills and make friends. These students often excel in certain areas such as computer use or art and can gain self-esteem and decrease anxiety when parents and teachers provide opportunities for them to shine.


-When able be flexible but try to maintain a normal routine. Many children with Asperger's Syndrome know what"s going to happen next in there lives by following a schedule. Plan for transitions (e.g., allow extra time in the morning if getting to school is difficult). If he is old enough, teach your Aspergers youngster increasing independence in anticipating and coping with anxiety in a variety of situations so when a change in routine occurs he knows how to respond. Develop, practice, and rehearse new behaviors prior to exposure to the real anxiety-producing situation . Implement new behaviors in the actual situations where anxiety occurs.                                     

-Gradually shift “anxiety control” to your Asperger's youngster by preparing him for anxiety-producing situations by discussing antecedents, settings, triggers, and actions to take.

-Don’t dismiss his feelings. Telling your Asperger's youngster “not to worry about his fears” may only make him feel like he’s doing something wrong by feeling anxious. Let him know that it’s okay to feel bad about something, and encourage him to share his emotions and thoughts. Don’t punish mistakes or lack of progress or when he can not put his feelings into words . Many Children with Asperger's have  problems expressing their thoughts. 

-Help your Asperger's youngster identify the source of the anxiety if he is old enough. Create an anxiety hierarchy, and put the events in order from degree of anxiety the events produce  Make a list of numerous anxiety-producing situations, from ones that are easy to control to those that are more difficult to control (this is called “anxiety mapping”). When giving instructions on how to control anxiety, provide a step by step approach. This will make it easier control the anxiety.

-Get him/her outside. Exercise can boost mood, so get him moving. Even if it’s just for a walk around the block, fresh air and physical activity may be just what he needs to lift his spirits and give him a new perspective on things.                                                


-Keep your youngster healthy. Make sure he’s eating right and getting enough sleep. Not getting enough rest or eating nutritious meals at regular intervals can contribute to your youngster’s stress. If he feels good, he’ll be better equipped to work through whatever is bothering him.

-Limit your Asperger's youngster's exposure to upsetting news or stories. If your youngster sees or hears upsetting images or accounts of natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis or sees disturbing accounts of violence or terrorism on the news, talk to your youngster about what's going on. Reassure her that she and the people she loves are not in danger. Talk about the aide that people who are victims of disasters or violence receive from humanitarian groups, and discuss ways that she may help, such as by working with her school to raise money for the victims.

-Listen carefully to your Asperger's youngster. You know how enormously comforting it can be just to have someone listen when something’s bothering you. Do the same thing for your youngster. If he doesn’t feel like talking, let him know you are there for him. Just be by his side and remind him that you love him and support him.

- Offer comfort and distraction. Try to do something she enjoys, like playing a favorite game or cuddling in your lap and having you read to her, just as you did when she was younger. When the chips are down, even a 10-year-old will appreciate a good dose of parent TLC.

-Consult a counselor or your pediatrician. If you suspect that a change in the family such as a new sibling, a move, divorce, or a death of a family member is behind your youngster's stress and anxiety, seek advice from an expert such as your youngster's school counselor, your pediatrician, or a child therapist enough to understand this concept.




Scott Young, MS, CCC, LNC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1992 and has been a nationally certified Christian Counselor since 2003. Having worked professionally in inpatient psychiatry for 16 years and with children and adults as a mobile therapist, Scott specializes in family counseling, children’s counseling, parenting concerns, individuals with special needs, developmental and learning disabilities, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, anger, social skills, self esteem, depression, and character building. Scott has seen the importance of looking at each person holistically and considers all areas of health when working with clients. Scott earned a doctorate in Naturopathy in 2014 and offers a comprehensive approach to overall health and well-being by integrating counseling, botanical and herbal medicine, naturopathic and holistic medicine, and lifestyle therapy. Scott is passionate about working with children and serving as an advocate for children with special needs.



Click here to find out more about our Children's Counseling program.

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