Blog Posts

Currents: January 2018


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 upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
January Community Council
Thursday, January 25th, 4-6:30pm at the Windhorse office.
See Community Council is Next Week for more information.

Community Lunches:
Tuesday, February 13th, 12:30-1:30pm in the Windhorse office kitchen.

For more information, contact us at

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Staff Availability on January 31st

We want to let the community know that all of the Windhorse staff will be in a meeting on Wednesday, January 31st from 9am to 11am. During those hours the office will not be “manned” and staff may not be available by phone. In case of emergency, please contact Phoebe. You can either call her cell phone directly or dial the main Windhorse number and press 6 when you hear the greeting come on. This will also call Phoebe’s cell phone. Staff will be available as usual after 11am on the 31st.


Winter Soups to Warm the Soul

Winter is the ideal time to make a hearty soup, one that will warm you from head to toe on a frigid day and fill your stomach with a deep sense of satisfaction. Such a soup can take many forms and many recipes certainly qualify, but here are two that look particularly tasty to us.

The first combines beans, swiss chard, and sausage for rich flavor and that all-important feeling of comfort. You can find the recipe here.

The second recipe is vegan, so it’s appropriate for everyone out there. It has a curry and coconut base and is chock full of veggies. The combination of curry and coconut is both intensely flavorful and quite warming, just the thing to end your day with. Here’s the recipe.

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate these types of soups into your lunch, we suggest you find a recipe you like, make a large quantity of the soup, and freeze whatever you don’t need in individual, plastic containers or heavy Ziploc bags. This works particularly well for vegan soups, as sometimes dairy can be tricky to freeze. Soup tends to last quite awhile in the freezer and you can move your servings to the fridge as you need them, a day or two in advance so they have time to defrost. Just remember to cool the soup before you add it to the containers and put it in the freezer. One way to speed up the cooling process is to let the soup pot cool a little and then put it in an ice water bath. All of this may seem like a lot of effort, but it will be worth it when you have a week’s worth (or more) of warm, filling lunches all ready to go.

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? We’d love it if you’d share it with us (or send us the link) in the comments section.

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Community Council is Next Week

This month’s community event is a Community Council, facilitated by Tristan. Council is an opportunity for us to gather together as a community and speak with each other openly. The format is inclusive and confidential. We sit in a circle with a “beautyway” in the center.  There is a ceremonial quality and a history to the practice from many cultures.  Council encourages people to speak and listen from the heart, to be true to what is real in the moment, and to listen to others with compassion and understanding. Through this we often get to know each other a bit better and feel closer and more integrated into the community. There is often a theme provided, which people may speak to during the council, but it is offered only as a starting point. People are free to speak about whatever arises that they sense needs to be spoken in the moment.

We hope you will consider joining us for Council. You can find all of the details below, as well as a flyer for the event.

When: Thursday, January 25th

Time: 4:00 – 6:30pm

Where: Windhorse office Community Room

Questions to: Tristan,

January Community Council flyer

We hope to see you on Thursday!

Adapted from the September Currents article entitled “September Community Council”.

Twisted Stitches Knitting Group Starts Soon!

For those of you who have been a part of the Windhorse community for awhile, you probably know already that knitting and fiber-related groups have made periodic appearances at the office. It’s not uncommon, especially at this time of year, to see someone sitting in the lobby or the kitchen working on a knitted hat, scarf, mitts, or the like. It’s a hobby that many of us enjoy. In response to the popularity of the craft, we are starting up the knitting group once more. This incarnation is being spearheaded by Suzanne, one of the aforementioned knitting enthusiasts (and also one of the interns at Windhorse) and it’s called Twisted Stitches. We hope you will consider joining her for what will very likely be a delightful group. Don’t have any knitting experience? No problem; everyone is welcome regardless of prior experience. Prefer crocheting or needlepoint or another craft to knitting? Great! Bring along your project and join your fellow fiber comrades. Not really interested in crafting, but want to hang out with some cool people and enjoy a hot beverage? That works for us. Come socialize and chat with us as we craft, or just sit back and be a spectator. All are welcome.

You can find all of the details of the group below, as well as a link to the flyer.

When: Wednesdays, January 24th – March 14th (no group on February 28th)

Time: 1:00-2:00pm

Where: Windhorse office library

Questions to: or

Twisted Stitches flyer

We hope to see you on Wednesday!

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“Education” is Now “Community Education”

As some of you may know, Windhorse staff regularly meet together to attend Education. These Education meetings cover a broad range of topics relevant to the work of Windhorse. For example, we recently met over the course of several months to explore in-depth the book written by Windhorse-founder, Ed Podvoll, entitled Recovering Sanity: A Compassionate Approach to Understanding and Treating Psychosis. Also, we periodically have outside teachers/trainers/expects come to our Education sessions to teach us new skills, share their expertise, and/or delve deeper into an aspect of the Windhorse work. We’d like to announce that we are now changing “Education” into “Community Education”. We are opening up these Education meetings to the entire Windhorse community, so that you may attend and share in the learning. Community Education will take place on the second Wednesday of every month, from 9 to 11am, including a guided meditation from 9 to 9:30am. For those of you who receive our community calendar, you will now see that Community Education is featured on it. We invite you to join us for these meetings; there is no RSVP required. If ever there is a time when the Education is not open to the community we will alert you well in advance through a community email.

If you do not already receive community emails and you are interested in signing up, please contact us at These emails announce new groups, community events, weather-related cancellations, events that may be of interest in the wider community, and other related topics. It’s a great way to stay in touch with Windhorse and keep abreast of the happenings-on here.

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NVC Group Has Started

On Wednesday, January 10th the NVC (or Nonviolent Communication) Group started at Windhorse. Nonviolent communication is a practice based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. It offers a way of authentically connecting with others through deep listening. The group itself is skills-based and, through exercises and dialogue, teaches the participants the basics of NVC and how to make use of it in their lives. NVC Groups are not new to Windhorse; the practice of nonviolent communication is admired, respected, and used by many people here, and Windhorse has hosted groups in the past.

If you’re interested in learning more about the group and the skills practiced in it, please click here to view the November Currents article with a full description.

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Things To Do: Indoor Activities for These Cold Winter Days

Winter can be beautiful, and there are plenty among us New Englanders who enjoy aspects of it (though perhaps not  when it’s -20 degrees outside). But even the most ardent admirer of winter will admit that sometimes it can get a bit tiresome. We suggest that on days such as those you find an indoor activity to take your mind off of the cold waiting outside. Here’s a list of activities that we’ve come up with to help you celebrate the great INdoors.

  • Start on a jigsaw puzzle. From bookstores to toys stores they’re usually easy to find and they cover a broad range of images and difficulty levels.
  • Gather with others for some board games. Get together with a group of friends and have a board game night, perhaps complete with chips, cookies, and hot chocolate. Or join a MeetUp group devoted to board games.
  • Cook, share meals, have a potluck. Invite friends over to cook together or have a themed potluck, such as “Indian food” or “Comfort foods from childhood”. Or, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, take a cooking class and learn some new skills and recipes. The Baker’s Pin in Northampton has a selection of classes available for different experience levels. You can check out this semester’s offerings here.
  • Join a book club. There are some truly wonderful bookstores and libraries in the Valley and several run book clubs. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley has four book clubs. Forbes Library in Northampton has regularly scheduled book discussions, like this one, and they also host a monthly MeetUp called the Paradise City Readers. And there are likely plenty more where that came from. Try calling up your local library or bookstore and asking if they run or host a book club.
  • Try a new hobby or craft, or reignite your passion for an old one. Winter is the ideal time to stay indoors and work on something creative, crafty, artistic. Come join us at the Twisted Stitches group, a new knitting and crafting group at Windhorse. If you’d prefer something outside of Windhorse, stores such as WEBS in Northampton and Michaels in Hadley run many types of craft classes throughout the winter, and one (or more) is bound to pique your interest. For knitting/crocheting fans, you could try one of these MeetUps, or this class offered by the town of Northampton, or check Ravelry to see if there are any groups in your area that you could join (Ravelry is a free forum and resource for fans of fiber crafts). If you’re looking for something more intensive you could try Snow Farm in Williamsburg. They offer art classes in a variety of media. While not cheap, you will finish the class with some impressive skills and perhaps a new-found passion.
  • Host a tea party. It may sound like an activity for kids, but the fun is not limited to ages 10 and under. Adults can have just as much fun getting together and catching up over a pot of tea and maybe some cookies, scones, or a quiche. You could even make it a monthly event.
  • Dance like nobody’s watching. Why not? Pump up your favorite tunes or find some new ones online and get your body moving. There’s no need to go out to have fun dancing; you can have fun right in your own living room. Or, if you want something more formal, try a local dance school, such as Dance Northampton.
  • Go to a museum. They’re warm, quiet, and visually stimulating. All in all, it’s a pretty awesome way to spend a winter afternoon. Click here and you’ll see that there are plenty in the area from which to choose. If you’re looking for something slightly different you could try the local butterfly sanctuary or one of the college greenhouses. Talk about getting away from winter; you’ll feel like you’re practically in the tropics!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list and that you’ll consider trying one or two of these. If you have a favorite indoor wintertime activity we’d love it if you’d share it with us in the comments section.



  • Grace left her position as Team Leader at the end of December.

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