Big Picture Living

by Catherine McLaughlin

The term “holistic” can mean different things to different people.


To me, it means looking at your life from a “big picture” viewpoint, and noticing patterns (good and bad) that may have developed.

Some of your patterns may be detrimental to your life experience, while others may be supportive and guiding you through. While everyone has unique factors that comprise their “picture”, there are a few common lifestyle factors that work in everyone’s favor. By making small changes in specific areas of your life, you can move from dis-ease to ease.
As a psychotherapist, I see people who are struggling in various aspects of their life. But psychotherapy is only part of the picture. Visiting a medical doctor to rule out any medical conditions that could be interfering with your overall well-being is the first step. You may also be taking prescription medication to address your symptoms. In addition to psychotherapy and medication, assessing your current lifestyle habits could improve how you interact with your symptoms - and your life.
Good [psychotherapists and] psychiatrists most often look not only to medication and talk therapy, but also lifestyle changes, regularizing sleep patterns, daily routines, circadian rhythms, exercise and diet can make an enormous difference. A mind body connection continues to grow in relevance for everyone. Riding the Tiger, PBS Documentary
I love working with people as a “lifestyle detective” to figure out how all the pieces come together and interact. Once we determine your personal lifestyle factors, we can start putting it all together to create a picture of wellness and ease. There are a few lifestyle factors everyone has in common, including exercise, nutrition, and sleep.


If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing. But scientists have proven that not only can make you feel better, it can help prevent symptoms from returning. Exercise helps the brain release chemicals that make you feel good (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids), strengthens your immune system, and raises your body temperature.

This combination can have a calming effect on your nervous system, which makes you experience fewer symptoms. Sticking with an exercise plan can positively affect your confidence, connect you more to a social network, and serve as a form of “moving meditation.”

» Read more
To learn more about Catherine McLaughlin, MA, NCC, LPC, please call 267-800-5073, email, or visit

Why Can’t I Just Get Up and Get Going?

by Brittiney George

Alternative therapies are not new, but have only more recently been embraced by Western culture as science is now backing what intuition has told us for years…that our body is brilliant in its wisdom and ability to heal. 

Your body is the keeper of your unique story. It’s like the black box of an airplane.  It records your surroundings, your emotions, past mental or physical trauma, stress, and your memories.  Together, these become your unique story as told by the body in your posture, your walk, and in habitual patterns that develop over time.

Your movements reflect the conscious and unconscious aspects of who you are and how you feel. 

Depression is one of the areas that bodymind integration can be an especially helpful tool in determining what you need. After all, look at how different the definitions of depression are:  
  • To be in a slump
  • Weighed down
  • Heavy hearted
  • Stuck in a pit
  • Hollow or hollowed out
While research shows that movement can play an important role in lifting the fog of depression, sustained momentum and improvement is often only obtained by paying attention to the primary movement that is needed. For instance, someone that is weighed down, or heavy hearted, may need to remove the weight of what is pressing down on them before they feel like they can get up. 

For someone that is stuck in a pit, they don’t need to remove something; they need to get out of something. Likewise, someone that feels hollow doesn’t need to get out as much as they may need to fill up with something new or something different before they can move on. Getting “up” or getting “going” may be the end goal, but knowing the movements your system needs to start is an important tool to be able to sustain that momentum of change. The body is brilliant at providing this insight. 

Somatic Therapy can be a wonderful way to access this information and is powerful on its own or partnered with traditional talk therapy.

Through gentle touch and talk both the right and left brain as well as the nervous system are engaged in the conversation and can provide invaluable insight into what is needed and what is available.

Brittiney George, BS, CRS, CST-L3, ICI, CEIM is a Movement Practitioner offering Somatic Therapy, and exploratory movement classes at The Resiliency Center. She also co-leads Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM), a monthly workshop series focusing on body-mind integration.

For a complimentary 55 min. Somatic therapy session contact Brittiney at 610-389-7866 or


Further Reading

  • Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    "Stress. It can sap our energy, undermine our health if we let it, even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection and disease. [This book]shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing. By engaging in these mindfulness practices and integrating them into your life from moment to moment and from day to day, you can learn to manage chronic pain, promote optimal healing, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of your life, relationships, and social networks."
  • Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Web Resources

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Featured Programs

Exploring and Creating Boundaries (CEM Workshop)

March 22, 7:30 – 9 pm

Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM) is a monthly workshop series focusing on bodymind integration. Each month the discussion and activities center on a specific theme such as stress management, emotions, and finding balance in your life. No experience or previous training is required. 

» To RSVP or to learn more contact Brittiney George at 610-389-7866 or movebackintolife@

Mindful Therapist Peer Group

Forming now!
4th Friday of the Month, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Peer Group for psychotherapists who have a dedicated personal mindfulness practice and use mindfulness in their work.

» Please contact Jen Perry, LPC at jen@heartfulness or 215-292-5056 with any questions or to register.


6-Week Beginner's Mindfulness Class

Mondays, 7:30-9 pm, Begins April 17
Cost: $299.00
This class will be small and largely experiential. Excellent for beginners – and especially geared towards people convinced they cannot meditate. We will debunk the myths that make meditating seem so difficult (or impossible)  ~  it's not, and everyone can meditate! We’ll explore formal and informal mindfulness practices. We’ll discuss and cultivate attitudes of mindfulness, including beginner's mind, acceptance, curiosity, friendliness, equanimity and compassion.

The class will focus on helping students establish a personal practice that works for them in their lives. All materials will be provided.

» Please call or email Jen Perry with questions or to save your spot at 215-292-5056 jen@heartfulness

February's Events & Ongoing Programs

Learn more about all of our offerings – and how to RSVP – by clicking on the program title on our online calendar or following the links below.


Identifying Your Strengths as a Highly Sensitive Person

Wednesday 3/1
7:30 – 9 pm

» RSVP to Elizabeth Venart at Elizabeth@ or 215-233-2002.


Supporting Moms through Motherhood

2nd Wednesday
9:30 – 11 am
» Contact Catherine McLaughlin, MA, NCC, LPC at catherine@ or 267-800-5073 for more information.

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Group for Women

Mondays, 6:30 - 7:30 pm

A weekly, ongoing process group for women with a focus on mindfulness, self-care, and self-compassion practices. Initial intake required.
» Please contact Jen Perry, LPC at 215-292-5056 or jen@ 


Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evening

Monthly on Wednesdays, 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup



The Greater Philadelphia Holistic Parents Meetup

2nd Saturday of the month
» RSVP on Meetup


Rest, Restore, and Move Class

Every other Tuesday at 12 pm 
» Learn More on Meetup


Healthcare Professionals Networking Breakfast

1st Wednesday of the month
9 – 10:30 am
» RSVP Required


EMDR Consultation Group for Therapists

Monthly on Fridays 
» Learn More


EMDR International Association Regional Meeting

Every other month on Fridays

» Contact Elizabeth Venart, EMDR International Regional Coordinator, at 215-233-2002 or Elizabeth@ to learn more.


LPC Supervision Group for Therapists

2 Wednesdays per month at 5:30 pm
» Learn More


Interstitial Cystitis/Pelvic Pain Support Group

Monthly on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

Philadelphia Writers Workshop

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Pre-registration required
» Learn More


Morning Meditation

Mondays at 8:30 am
» RSVP on Meetup


Evening Meditation

Thursdays at 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Qi Gong Classes

Thursdays at 2:00 and 6:15 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Knitting Circle

Monthly on Saturdays 
» RSVP on Meetup

» Learn more on our events page and online calendar   

Quote of the Month

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

— e.e. Cummings

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