Joanne O'Neil, M.A. Psychotherapist / Herbalist
Offices in Montague & Northampton, MA
Joanne O'Neil has been a psychotherapist in private practice for twenty-five years in western MA; integrating contemplative therapeutic practices, dynamic psychotherapy, insight dialogue, and a transpersonal view of healthy human development that holds that as human beings mature, the sense of self expands. For clients who are interested, she may also incorporate herbal remedies and teas, flower essences and alternative approaches to mental/emotional health in a uniquely holistic approach. A Reiki II practitioner, she has studied the energetics of subtle anatomy with many talented and original thinkers/teachers. Her passion for plant medicine and the healing properties available in all aspects of the natural world guide her work. In 1998, Joanne began an organic herbal tea business, Moonrise Medicinals. She delights in knowing the larger public is quietly discovering the delicious and healing properties of plant medicines through her teas, one teapot at a time.
Weaving insights from the ancient wisdom traditions, depth psychology, feminist and world theology; Joanne assists clients in exploring their personal stories with grace, humor and a deep compassion. Her experiences as both a client and therapist, mother, professional in the mental health field for thirty five years, a champion of children and adolescents and their care, and a holistic health care practitioner of the Wise Woman Tradition, have convinced her of the importance of ministering to the whole person with deep presence and reverence.
In her quiet time Joanne loves gardening and spending time in the natural world, music and singing, the arts, travel, being with-in-around the ocean, the art of puttering, reading voluminously and writing. Her first book, The Art of Presence; One Path towards Peace, published in July 2010, is available now.
What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver
Individual & Couples Counseling
In her work with individuals and couples Joanne first engages her clients in the fullest expression of their personal stories. She assists in addressing ingrained ideas, soul wounds, thorny unresolved issues, the impact of psychological and spiritual belief systems, and re-discovering how to acknowledge one’s inner emotional life to restore and maintain emotional/mental health. The therapeutic journey involves discovering inner resources for self-healing, and a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, which allows us to explore the role of empathy and compassion in our challenge to lead conscious, vibrant, creative, integrated lives.
Learning to pay attention to inner experience is an essential part of maintaining mental health.
In many traditions couples receive formal instruction as they prepare to begin a life together. Open and free feeling exchange before married life begins can enhance and enrich relationships and invites a deeper intimacy. Traditional wisdom reminds us that spiritual development cannot be completed alone. For many, marriage can become a consciously shared journey. Relationships based on mutual love and respect are essential to healing, wholeness and the patience necessary for longevity. This skill building counseling is intended to assist a couple in creating a shared vision and deepening their commitment prior to the wedding ceremony.
The desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.
Three Session Format
This format is designed for people in crisis or transition, who seek short-term counseling/coaching within a spiritual context and with a holistic orientation. The focus is to invite creative insight and a fresh perspective on a significant life challenge. Sessions are conducted over a six week period (one every two weeks) with self-reflection, utilization of contemplative practices and journaling in-between.
This philosophical inquiry is both a tangible exploration of the presenting dilemma and an intensive consultation on the immediate psycho-spiritual issues emerging. The accent is upon expanded awareness and positive self-direction.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Adolescent Life Coaching & Discernment
Young adults today are confronted with an increasing quickening of the world around them. This can create confusion and feelings of alienation, with limited social role modeling to guide and explore the big questions of Life. This is a mentoring process to help discover and claim one’s inner gifts and directions. I invite an inquiry and inventory of one's own unique ideas and inspiration, and to amplify the connections and meaning in previously established familial and filial relatioships.
As mental/emotional health depends on self-acceptance at least as much as self-improvement, learning to cultivate an observing self, of both our inner and outer lives, invites self-acceptance and a deeper integration. Accepting and understanding others depends on a willingness to accept and understand ourselves. We are guided together by a commitment to transformation and attentiveness to the process of creative opening.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.
Together we will create a context for exploring the territory of loss. Reflecting upon the mourning process associated with death and other traumatic events allows us to establish a sense of continuity and connection with others. To re-discover our capacity for lovingkindness we must first speak our truth and then courageously decide to live fully. We will delve into the subtle realms of consciousness, including dream reflections, to shed light on the journey. This process helps in the discovery, naming and receiving the gifts of both our natural resilience, and personal inner direction and wisdom for making peace.
Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror up to where you're bravely working.
"Working with Joanne is a very unique process! Her eclectic approach with both classical therapeutic techniques and integrative modalities is very effective. My experience was participatory, intimate, regenerative and enduring."