Dear Friends,

In one of our earliest Journal entries, 005, we introduced the existence of four principles as the core of the Windhorse approach. That entry focused on the first principle: the notion of Basic Sanity—and any mental health challenge as an overlay to that sanity. In our most recent entry, #022 – “Creating Environments of Sanity”, Chuck Knapp brought us to the second principle: We are inseparable from our environment. Here, Chuck hosts fellow Windhorse psychotherapists and team supervisors Gabrielle Bershen, Marta Aarli, and Jack Gipple in a discussion about this principle… You might notice that this podcast is a bit longer than usual. Our participants start by laying some necessary groundwork about basic sanity (and relatedly, basic goodness) of the individual, drawing on a variety of metaphors. The key point is that, at Windhorse, a client is not viewed as a constellation of symptoms or problems. Instead, that person is accepted as fundamentally sane, which may be obscured in various ways due to their confusion.

That paves the way for our participants to consider environment, and our inseparability from it. The Windhorse approach places home as the locus of recovery. Thus, creating an environment that rouses the health of all, through the most mundane tasks and daily schedule, is critical. Gabrielle, Jack, Marta, and Chuck offer insights and examples of how working this way—from the outside in—can reach clients who need time to develop trust in their particular team before opening up about their deepest struggles. These senior clinicians also address how the state of the home at any given time provides a window into a client’s mental world.

We hope these ideas resonate with you as you reflect on how environment either supports or obstructs your own clarity and calmness of mind. And we welcome your comments.

Thank you for listening,

Lori S. Heintzelman