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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!
Keep an eye on your email for the announcement of the February community event. If you aren’t currently on our community email list and you’d like to be, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 6th, 9:30-10am in the Windhorse community room.
The Events Committee plans Windhorse community events. Clients, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and share their ideas. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 9:30 to 10am.
Tuesday, February 12th, 12:30-1:30pm at the Windhorse office.
This is an opportunity to enjoy a potluck lunch while meeting and socializing with others in the Windhorse community. All are welcome to come for the whole hour or just stop by for a visit. Please feel free to bring your own lunch or contribute something yummy for the group.
Wednesday, February 13th, 9-11am with an optional guided meditation 9-9:30am.
Join the Windhorse staff during their monthly discussions and trainings on topics relating to the work of Windhorse. Open to the entire Windhorse community. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 9:30-11am. You are also welcome to attend the 30-minute guided meditation from 9-9:30am.
As an organization, we offer supervisory support and training to our clinicians to a greater degree than many facilities can afford to match. This is part of mutual recovery, as our clinicians are asked to be vulnerable and show up as people, in the face of many emotions or states of mind, and any fears that arise need to be worked with, and resiliency and connection need to be maintained. Some of the work being done in the mainstream world is very helpful, such as Dr. Stephen Porges and Deb Dana’s Polyvagal Theory and its application to counseling. Another practice that is compatible with our approach is the Open Dialogue work that Mary Olson brought over from Finland. We’ve sent several clinicians to participate in Open Dialogue training over the past several years, as we feel it benefits both the work of those individual clinicians and the work of our organization as a whole. The Institute for Dialogic Practice is offering a training starting this spring that provides a third level of expertise, and we would like to send two or three clinicians who have already completed the first two levels of training. This third level of training will help articulate how to teach the forms and philosophy of Open Dialogue to other clinicians and provide us with even more tools in our work with teams and families.
This new level of training is a tremendous opportunity for our clinicians and for the Windhorse Northampton office, however the cost of the training was not built into this year’s budget. As the training may not be offered again for many years to come, I am appealing to our broader community and asking for help in funding this worthy cause. If you are interested in seeing the practice of Open Dialogue continue and expand at Windhorse, then I would be grateful if you would make a donation in any amount. Your contribution will be used specifically towards the cost of tuition, and Windhorse will cover the employees’ time and travel expenses.
Thank you for your continued participation in the Windhorse community!
Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton
211 North Street, Suite 1
Northampton, MA 01060
How to Handle the Ice
Apart from hockey, ice skating, ice fishing, and perhaps a few other activities, there are few redeeming qualities when it comes to ice outdoors. Sure, it’s beautiful on tree branches viewed in the morning light, but it’s treacherous on roads, stairs, and sidewalks, and can cause serious bodily harm when not approached with care. It is with this in mind that we collected the following information for you, in the hopes that it may help you brave the ice with confidence this season.
Rock salt is great at melting ice, but it can damage nearby plants and grass, and it can cause chemical burns on the paws of dogs and other animals. There are plant-safe and pet-safe ice melters available, but those can get a bit pricey. So what are some other options? Well, below are links to three different sites that offer up recipes for ice melt using items you likely already have in your home.
Other handy tools for ice are boot attachments like spikes or cleats. These are devices that you can attach to the soles of your boots to give you better traction on icy surfaces. And they definitely work! Just be careful when wearing them inside on smooth-tiled floors (as the writer of this article wiped out once when she did that). There are a number of brands available, including Yaktrax, ICEtrekkers, and STABILicers, among others. The manufacturers of these products often provide a number of different styles tailored to specific activities, so that you may purchase the cleats/spikes that best suit your needs, be it something for running sneakers, for heavy duty hiking boots, or for everyday shoes.
And lastly we’d like to share with you this link that provides winter safety tips from the CDC. Though it doesn’t address ice melters or shoe spikes per se, it does address other items of concern relating to cold temperatures and inclement weather. After all, there’s more to worry about in winter than just the ice.
We hope at least a few of these tips and tricks prove useful to you this season, and that you find many ways to stay warm, happy, and healthy!
Things To Do: Getting Outside of the House
It can be oh so easy to stay inside during the winter months, hiding from the cold temps and unfriendly gusts of wind under thick, cozy blankets while watching reruns of your favorite television shows. But we’d like to encourage you to step outside your home every once in awhile and take advantage of the many fun and interesting things that the Pioneer Valley has to offer. Sure, this wouldn’t be a great time to go bike riding or swimming, and even a hike may be too much to ask given the polar vortex that will be gracing our doorsteps in the days to come, but there’s plenty more to do in the Valley that’s outside your home (but still indoors). How about taking a class and learning something new? If you’re looking for degree-focused classes in a college setting then you’re in luck because the Pioneer Valley is replete with higher education institutions, like Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, UMass, and Hampshire, as well as the area’s fine community colleges. But if you’re looking for something a little more laidback, you could check out the adult education, personal enrichment, and lifelong learning centers at Holyoke Community College or Greenfield Community College. They have everything from workforce development classes to basic computer software classes and EMT training classes, as well as everything else under the sun, including classes on baking, dancing, photography, music, and arts. If you’re specifically interested in instruments and music, you could check out the Northampton Community Music Center. The Northampton Parks & Rec Department offers a number of adult sports and wellness programs, as well as offerings in knitting, photography, and a community band. If cooking is more up your alley, check out the classes offered at The Baker’s Pin. If you’re looking to get your blood flowing, try the exercise classes at the Northampton or Holyoke YMCA, or the Northampton or Hampshire Athletic Clubs (but keep in mind that you may be required to sign up for a membership before you’re allowed to participate in their classes).
And if all of that info wasn’t enough, check out the links below for other indoor things to do and places to go in the Valley that were featured in earlier issues of Currents:
If you come across an activity, class, or special spot in the Valley that you enjoy then we’d love to hear about it. Please share it with us in the comments section.
New Art Group Started This Month
On Friday, January 25th, Windhorse began offering a weekly Art Group, open to the entire Windhorse community. Please join us as we playfully explore creating art through a variety of mediums, including watercolor, pastel, collage, clay, beadwork, and fiber, among others. Windhorse will supply the materials but you are also welcome to bring your own. And feel free to come with current projects if you have them. The direction of the group is driven by the goals and desires of the participants, so we encourage you to bring your ideas and suggestions for how you want to begin or evolve your creative explorations within the support of a group.
What: Art Group
When: Fridays, January 25th through March
Where: Windhorse office
Questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, we’d like to send a big thank you to Katherine and Sam for facilitating this group!
Hope to see you there!
A Poem for the Season
by William Carlos Williams
Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
outside my window:
You will not succeed. I am
bound more to my sentences
the more you batter at me
to follow you.
And the wind,
as before, fingers perfectly
its derisive music.
Though not a poem, we thought you might also enjoy this song, a rendition of “Hope Lingers On” by Low Lily.
Recipes: Dark Greens do a Body Good
From their appearance it may seem like dark, leafy greens would be fragile and unable to withstand the harshness of winter, but the reality is that many of them are very tolerant of cold temperatures and can even be harvested in the middle of snow season. I have a very clear memory of my brother-in-law trudging through the snow to one of his hoop houses and picking fresh Swiss chard just a few days after a massive blizzard. That stuff is hardy! And the hardiness of dark greens is great news for us. During the bleak months of winter our bodies can use some help and the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of dark greens can offer a nice pick-me-up. So here are some recipes we came across that use dark greens in a variety of ways. Try them out and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Go forth, Windhorse friends, and eat more kale! 🙂
- Davis has left their position as Team Leader.
- Lionel has left his position as Still Point Manager.
- Elycia has joined the staff as a new Administrative Assistant.