Wendy Nystrom, MA, LMHC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a degree in Expressive Arts Therapy/ Counseling Psychology from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I was drawn to this program both for the holistic nature of the counseling approach, rooted in working with the whole person- emotional, mental, physical and spiritual -which is where we can find healing. I also appreciated the integration of arts modalities (including art, music, writing, and drama) into the healing process. Often, when we feel a bit stuck, moving sideways and exploring creatively can open new avenues of understanding and insight. Since the word psychotherapy comes from the Greek words for “soul healing” it is only right to pull in the richness and diversity of human experience.
I am committed to creating a safe space for my clients to find their own inner wisdom and understanding. My role is to help you discover your own authentic self, peeling back the layers of emotional blocks, self-doubts, misunderstandings and inner or outer experienced oppression. I work to hold a space where individuals, couples and families can create meaningful change and connection, transcending trauma, anxiety, depression, and the limitations we put upon each other without being fully aware we are doing so. My approach is strengths-based, trauma-informed and person-centered. I utilize a variety of modalities to fit the needs of individual clients. These include art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, poetry and writing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, somatic (body) work, play therapy, sand tray therapy, mindfulness, family therapy, couples therapy and trauma-informed care.
Much of my training and experience has been with children and adolescents. Prior to starting my private practice I worked for ten years in community mental health with children and families. I have experience collaborating with wraparound teams working with at-risk teens, students with disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, and those with complex trauma or attachment disturbances. I am passionate about helping both youth and their families come to greater wholeness and hope. In working with younger children, I will often utilize child-directed play therapy, adding in slightly directive work with art and drama. Play is the natural language of children, and the means by which they work to bring meaning to big emotions and complex struggles.
Both my child and adult clients will also have the opportunity to meet and snuggle with Zorro, my 22 pound Japanese Chin who assists me.
Moving and starting anew shaped my childhood. When people ask me where I grew up, I generally simply reply “the Midwest” as that covers all the states I spent my childhood in – North Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, with summers in Kansas visiting relatives. My adult life has been spent primarily on either the West or East Coasts. Moving frequently gave me a broader appreciation for cultural differences and for the need for connections, whether those connections are short or long term.
I grew up with a sibling with childhood health challenges, which gave me an understanding of the challenges faced by families with a challenging child/ sibling. During late elementary school, I lost three grandparents in two years. I found healing and connection in theatre, art and writing. This led me to pursue a degree in theatre as an undergraduate. Since then, I have led many theatre and arts groups in schools and the community including elementary children, at-risk teens, developmentally delayed youth and youth on the Autism Spectrum. The discovery and healing found by youth in arts endeavors, and my own empathy and compassion eventually led me to Lesley University and my work in therapy.
For more in-depth information about my practice, please visit my website: www.wendynystromcounseling.com