Blog Posts

Currents: October 2019


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

Upcoming Events

mark your calendar
Mark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
Friday, October 25th, 2-4pm. Help us celebrate the season with this fun Halloween tradition and make a jack o’lantern or other carved creation to decorate your home! For more information or to RSVP for this event, please contact us at

Events Committee: Wednesday, November 6th, 9-9:30am 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 9-9:30am.

Community Lunch: Tuesday, November 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.
Community Education: Wednesday, November 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, 9-11am.
Upcoming/Ongoing Events and Groups in the Area:

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Development Corner

Seasonally we’ve moved from Abundance into Letting Go. Here in Northampton, the trees are brilliant and the leaves are falling. I kicked through a pile of dusty tree remnants on my friend’s walkway the other day, noticing the crunching sounds and the airborne fluttering. It was a satisfying and specific experience.

You have bounty and then you distribute it. Resources like money, time, and ideas seem to increase in value when they are shared. Giving is a satisfying and specific experience.

We are happy to provide an opportunity for you to contribute to someone else’s well-being via the scholarship fund. If you’re interested in doing so, please email me or click on the Donate button below.
Victoria Yoshen
Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton
Windhorse IMH 211 North Street, Suite 1 Northampton, MA 01060

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A Look Inside the Alternative Healing Modalities Exhibit

From September 25th through October 9th, the Windhorse office featured an exhibit entitled Alternative Healing Modalities. Its purpose was to introduce people to alternative avenues of healing and recovery, and to start a conversation around those modalities. Had people tried it? If so, did they like it or find it useful? Did they find the practitioner they used to be knowledgeable, and would they recommend them? The creators of the exhibit encouraged people to interact with the exhibit by commenting on the different modalities featured, recommending practitioners, and/or mentioning modalities that weren’t featured but that might be worth trying. Below are photos of the exhibit. We welcome you to share your voice, either in the comments section of this post, or by emailing us at We’d love your feedback and to hear about your experience with alternative healing modalities.

A statement of purpose for the exhibit and instructions about how to interact with it.
“Yellow” modalities are those that are a cross between counseling therapy modalities and body-centered approaches to healing, and/or they may be used within counseling therapies as an ingredient of that work.
“Green” modalities are counseling therapies.
“Blue” modalities are those that do not fall into a specific category. “Red” modalities are related to bodywork and/or energy work.

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New to the Windhorse Library

Freedom From Psychiatric Drugs: a manual and workbook for psychiatric survivors by Chaya Grossberg

Chaya Grossberg is a writer, advocate and non-medical consultant to those seeking alternatives to the mainstream psychiatric model. She works with individuals and families of those seeking holistic alternatives and support transitioning off of psychiatric drugs. She has worked professionally with those coming off psych drugs for over 15 years in a variety of capacities. She blogs about her findings on Mad In America and on her own website:

“[This] book is an extraordinary document. There is nothing like it in this country. It is already a classic. One of the books that will change many lives.”
~Katharine Shields, reflecting on Chaya Grossberg’s book

Chaya is running a workshop entitled Bringing in Your Personal Story (Even If You’re Not a Psychiatric Survivor) at the Holyoke Public Library on Tuesday, October 22nd from 1 to 4pm. The workshop is free to attend but registration is requested. Chaya will also be having a book talk on November 10th at A Wondering Spirit in East Longmeadow, MA. Please see the links for more information about each of these events. 

Chaya’s book is available for purchase at Amherst Books and on Amazon.


Celebrating One’s Insignificance: A Buddhist Perspective on Hospice Work and Turning toward Death by Katharine Shields

Katharine Shields has been a training consultant for new team counselors at Windhorse IMH (Northampton) since 2011. Originally from Manhattan, she lived at the San Francisco Zen Center between 1998 and 2006 before coming to the Pioneer Valley in the fall of 2016. Celebrating One’s Insignificance is her first book.

Katharine’s book is available at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton. You may purchase it in the store, on their website, or by calling them at (413) 586 – 4235.

Katharine (left) and Chaya (right) at Chaya’s book talk at Amherst Books on October 10th.

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Things To Do: Get Outdoors or Stay Inside

The weather in New England this time of year can be beautifully refreshing and it can be unpredictable. For this reason, we thought we’d offer you resources for both getting out of doors and for staying inside.

If you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors and all of the wonderful things that can be found in nature around the Pioneer Valley, then we encourage you to check out A Year in Northampton, MA. This blog was written by someone who moved to the area and used their free time to explore a number of trails and bike rides. While far from exhaustive, it is informative and a particularly great resource for those who are new to the area or who are new to outdoor exploration (i.e. hiking and cycling).

For more info on places to explore in the wilderness of the Valley, you could also check out this article about hiking from the March 2017 issue of Currents or this article about biking in the August 2018 issue.

And as for indoor activities, how about a class? Why not take some time to learn a new skill or craft, or advance one you already know? Between the formal collegiate institutions in the area and the various shops and trade schools around, there are lots of opportunities to learn. If you aren’t able to do a semester or yearlong course, or if the idea of even a weeklong class seems overwhelming, then just try an afternoon class. The Baker’s Pin and Northampton Wools (both in downtown Northampton and within walking distance of the Windhorse office) offer a number of classes that only meet for two or three hours. WEBS, another yarn store in Northampton, also offers a few one-afternoon classes, as well as classes that are a little more involved or that cover more advanced techniques if you want to go a little further down the road of fiber fun. If those don’t pique your interest then how about an exercise class, like these offerings at the local YMCA (membership required), or a music class, like these available at the Northampton Community Music Center? Options abound! For additional resources on places that offer classes (as well as other things to do indoors) please check out this article in the January 2018 issue of Currents or this one from January of this year.

Do you have a hike you’d recommend? Are you taking a class you love? Do you have a resource you want to share? If so, we’d love to hear! Share any and all in the comments section.

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New Resource is Now Available

The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community has recently debuted a new section of their website called “Reading List.” While the webpage is still under construction, and right now the list is comprised primarily of films and documentaries, it already offers a treasure trove of useful materials worth checking out. You can view this new section of the Western Mass RLC’s website by clicking the link below.

Western Mass RLC Reading List

If you’ve read or seen other titles that you think should be featured on the Western Mass RLC’s reading list, you can email them at to offer your suggestion. We’d love to hear about your recommendations too, so please feel free to share them with us in the comments section.

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A Song to Share

We hope you enjoy this song entitled Thoughts by Sasha Sloan, which explores the very human experience of struggling to find compassion and love for oneself.

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Recipes: Tips & Tricks

Few people in this world are professional chefs. Most of us don’t learn the countless tips and skills acquired through years of culinary school and from working in professional kitchens with culinary greats. And, for the most part, we probably don’t have a practical use for that knowledge. But some of those tricks are useful even to the average person. Who wouldn’t benefit from knowing how to get that garlic smell off of their hands, or the best way to boil an egg? And so, in lieu of links to recipes, we thought we’d share with you links to cooking and baking tips, tricks, and hacks. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. 

40 Delightful and Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss from Life Hack, such as:

  • How to tell if your baking soda is still good.
  • How to properly measure flour.
  • How to quickly bring eggs to room temperature.

14 Clever Cooking Hacks That Will Make You Look Like a Pro in the Kitchen from Bight Side, such as:

  • How to tell if an egg is fresh.
  • How to get a good sear on meat.
  • How to quickly soften butter.

The 10 Ultimate Cooking Hacks from Plated, such as:

  • How to get the smell off of your hands after chopping garlic.
  • How to keep onions from making you cry while you’re chopping them.

And, just for fun, you might also enjoy this article from The New York Times entitled “How to Boil the Perfect Egg.”

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  • There were no new transitions this month.

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