Blog Posts

Currents: August 2017


Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns and suggestions about Currents, contact us at

Upcoming Events

mark your calendarMark your calendars for community gatherings this month!

Community Events:
Viewing of the film “Crazywise”
Tuesday, September 5th, 7-9pm
See below for more information.

September Community Council, date and time TBD.

Community Lunch:
Tuesday, September 12th, 12:30-1:30pm in the Windhorse office kitchen.

Clients and families are invited to attend a strategic planning meeting where you may offer feedback to Windhorse regarding what you’d like to see happen or change, both in the next year and in the coming five years. This meeting will take place from 1-2pm on the same day as the Community Lunch. No RSVP required.

For more information, contact us at

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Showing of “Crazywise” and Related Events

A showing of the film “Crazywise” is planned for September at the Windhorse office in Northampton. The film is a documentary created over the course of twenty-five years that compares and contrasts how mental health issues are viewed by indigenous cultures, how we treat these issues in western cultures, and the movement in recent years to explore alternative treatments to standard psychiatry. You may learn more about the film by checking their website here. Please join us for this fascinating documentary on Tuesday, September 5th at 7pm.

If you are unable to make it to the showing on September 5th, there will be another opportunity. The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community is sponsoring another showing on Wednesday, November 1st from 6 to 8:30pm in the Holyoke area, with the specific location to be announced as the date approaches. Please check the Western Mass RLC website for updated details or contact them at

We’d also like to take this opportunity to announce another film screening in the area that is free and open to the public. On Wednesday, September 13th from 7 to 9pm at the Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center, there will be a screening of the documentary film “Crazy: Psychiatric diagnosis. Psych drugs. Coercion. Agency”. This particular film was chosen because it is about one man (and his family) fighting for choice when dealing with an Involuntary Commitment Order, and at the moment Massachusetts is considering legislation that would allow Involuntary Outpatient Commitment. The Western Mass RLC is sponsoring this screening and welcomes people to come, view the film, and join the discussion that will follow. While not required, they would appreciate RSVPs via email to

Finally, we’d like to tell you about another Western Mass RLC offering. There is a small conference-like event taking place from September 20th through the 22nd entitled, “Coming Off Psych Drugs”. It will be held from 10am to 4pm each day and it is happening at the Kittredge Center of Holyoke Community College. This event includes presentations, special guests, and a panel of speakers, and is intended for people considering discontinuing the use of psychiatric drugs, as well as treaters and loved ones who wish to learn more and support this. Please see the Western Mass RLC website for all of the details, including a description of each day’s events. Registration is required.

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Board Meeting Summary from July 25, 2017

The packet for the Board was thick with reports this session.  The accountant had completed the 2016 audit and related Form 990 for the Board to approve.  He also completed the management letter to the Board, which describes anything out of the ordinary.  In meeting with the Board, he reported that he determined Windhorse to be in good shape, no material mis-statements.  He also noted that we bought a lot of buildings (two) which affected the balance sheet.  We also changed how we pay employees (from 1/26th of a year to after two weeks of work are completed) which increases the liability of pay due at year’s end.

The packet also included the revised Accounting Policies and Procedures, which the accountant had reviewed and found well written.  It gives our Fiscal Manager, Annie, a lot of responsibility in terms of monitoring.  He also asked the Board to use a matrix to see the risk assessment associated with the procedures, which Victoria offered to create by the next Board meeting.

We welcomed Marylou Sullivan to our Board.  She is the Executive Director of the Western Mass Training Consortium and a long-time friend of Windhorse.  We now have two women on the board as Sally Renecki joined in May.  Marylou took on the office of Clerk.

The next meeting is another combined Finance and Board meeting on Tuesday, September 26th at noon ET via Zoom.  If you are interested in speaking to the Board about your experience here, please let Victoria know.  They like to have 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting as a “Mission Moment” to stay connected to the work we do.

Written by Victoria Yoshen, Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton.

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Explore the Pioneer Valley: Fairs and Festivals

A lot of fun things happen in western Massachusetts as summer winds to a close and the autumn season sets in. Plenty of fairs and festivals pop up all over the Valley and beyond, and before you know it your weekend schedule is full of some scrumptious food and good ol’ fashioned, family-friendly fun! Here is a sampling of what is happening in the coming months and the websites where you can find more information:

Cummington Fair (Cummington, August 24-27)

Celebrate Holyoke
(Holyoke, August 25-27)

Three County Fair
(Northampton, September 1-4)

Brimfield Antiques Show
(Brimfield, September 6-11)

Franklin County Fair
(Greenfield, September 7-10)

The Big E
(West Springfield, September 15-October 1)

Ashfield Fall Festival
(Ashfield, October 7-8)


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It’s Time to Celebrate Corn!

Is it a vegetable? Is it a grain? Who cares?! All we know is that it’s juicy, sweet, and at this time of year, you can’t throw a stone in this area without hitting a farm stand selling freshly-picked corn. And best of all, there are so many different ways to enjoy it: boiled, grilled, steamed; on the cob or just the kernels; on its own or in soups, stews, salads; plain, slathered in butter, or dressed up; and much, much more! Here are just a few recipes to help you have your own little corn celebration. We’d love to hear about your favorite corn recipes, so please feel free to share them in the comments section.


Grilled Mexican-Style Street Corn

Cheesy Muffins with Fresh Corn

Corn Chowder

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New to the Windhorse Library

Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame: A Relational/Neurobiological Approach by Patricia A. DeYoung

Chronic shame is painful, corrosive, and elusive. It resists self-help and undermines even intensive psychoanalysis. Patricia A. DeYoung’s cutting-edge book gives chronic shame the serious attention it deserves, integrating new brain science with an inclusive tradition of relational psychotherapy. She looks behind the myriad symptoms of shame to its relational essence. As DeYoung describes how chronic shame is wired into the brain and developed in personality, she clarifies complex concepts and makes them available for everyday therapy practice.
~from the back cover


Alternatives to Violence Project: Manual Basic Course and Manual for Second Level Course

These two books are the manuals used during Alternatives to Violence Project workshops.

“The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a training programme enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are delivered by our trained facilitators and are experiential (not based on lectures).

Our workshops draw on the shared experience of participants, using interactive exercises, discussions, games and role-plays to examine the ways we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behaviour and violence.”
– from the Alternatives to Violence Project website at

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  • Colin has left his position as Team Leader.
  • Gary will be leaving his position as Team Leader in September, but will still be affiliated with two teams.
  • Spirit will be leaving his position on the Board in September.
  • Sally has joined the Board as a representative of the Portland site.
  • Marylou has joined the Board as a representative of the Northampton site.
  • Rich will be leaving his position as Housemate in September.

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