Michelle Walsh, PhD, LMHC, LPC

CONTEMPLATIVE PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Bridging the science of well-being and the wisdom of contemplative traditions.

Your goal is to help others. My goal is to help you.

My Approach to Therapy

Although emotions are integral to the human experience, many of us get overwhelmed by them.

Emotions have valuable information for us, and when we uncover their messages, understanding them becomes a source of strength.

As your therapist, I will teach you how to get out of the spiral of overthinking, take action to go after what is most important to you, and heal your heart to restore a sense of clarity, excitement, and joy.

I emphasize using contemplative approaches such as meditation and mind-body practices because in working with thousands of clients over two decades, I found that the traditions from which they are drawn provide the most effective techniques with accurate and practical explanations of how the mind functions with methods to transform it.

By investigating the science behind contemplative practices and conducting extensive research within these traditions, I am able to personalize them for your needs and help you develop skills that you can incorporate into daily life.

Professional Background

Seeking to investigate what makes people happy, how to cultivate a meaningful life, and how resilient people deal with stress and overcome tragedy, I have lived and worked in diverse cultures throughout the United States and several other countries.

This mission led me to roles in environmental education and conservation work in Alaska and Montana, immersion in Asian cultures studying meditation and yoga practices, and to the halls of academia engaging in scientific research.

I have designed mental health interventions and programming for over twenty years as a licensed, board-certified clinical counselor and certified yoga therapist in public health and education. After spending several years researching the use of contemplative practices in Himalayan traditions, I returned to healthcare because it became clear that we need innovative methods to support people in learning how to care for their mental health.

Committed to transforming and improving healthcare systems, I work across various settings, including schools, universities, hospitals, wilderness therapy programs, outpatient and residential mental health, and substance use treatment programs. I also provide pro-bono therapy services for local non-profits serving under-insured people to expand access to care.

In all of these settings, I am invested in helping people explore questions of well-being: what does it mean to lead a healthy life? And how do we cultivate a life that is fulfilling and meaningful?

I look forward to an opportunity to work with you!

Education

  • PhD in Buddhist Studies with a concentration in Contemplative Sciences, University of Virginia
  • Master of Arts in Religious Studies with an emphasis in contemporary Asian practices, University of Virginia
  • Advanced Clinical Training, Harvard Medical School
  • Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology, Naropa University
  • Bachelor of Science double major in International Affairs and French with a concentration in Anthropology, Florida State University

Licensure & Certifications

  • Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
  • Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • National Board Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • National Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)
  • Certified Integrative Yoga Therapist, International Association of Yoga Therapy (C-IAYT)
  • Trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

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