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Pathways to Healing 

Counseling Service Focuses on Healing, Learning and Growth

Writer / Matt Keating 
Photography Provided

Pathways to Healing Counseling
Getting through stressful periods can be tough. Many people are currently dealing with anxiety, but there is a place to go for help. 

Kristen D. Boice, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and owner of Pathways to Healing Counseling, LLC, says there are positive ways to deal with stress and depression, and Pathways to Healing can help.

“Pathways to Healing Counseling provides individual, couples and family counseling services,” Boice says. “We specialize in working with trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, navigating life transitions, and healing relationships.” 

Boice, who is also the host of the “Close the Chapter” podcast, says Pathways to Healing offers counseling on trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, personal growth, depression, anxiety, as well as emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, and much more.

“We also address issues such as family-of-origin issues, grief and loss, stress management, addictive behaviors, work and career issues, anger management, self-worth issues, guilt and shame, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,” Boice says. 

Boice also helps people with her “Mental Health Mondays” chats with Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen.

“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor and myself recognized the need in the community to talk about how to cope with this unprecedented time,” Boice says. “We started weekly, and now biweekly, live video streams about mental health issues, and what individuals and families do to take care of themselves with practical tools and strategies.”

“Mental Health Mondays” steams live on the City of Noblesville Facebook page biweekly from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

“We welcome everyone to join, ask questions and participate in the discussion,” Boice says. 

Boice says many people suffer from depression and anxiety during the winter months, but there are ways to eliminate stress.

“You need to prioritize your time and energy,” Boice says. “Figure out what is most important to you. Learn to say no to things that don’t matter. It is OK to set some healthy boundaries and not take on responsibility for everything. Explore what you value and whether what you are doing matches up with what matters to you. Don’t over-schedule or over-commit yourself.” 

Boice also recommends breathing through discomfort and being present. Pathways to Healing Counseling 

“Take a deep breath and pause,” she says. “Be still and present in the moment. Anxiety is about the future, and depression is about the past. Learning to be more present in the moment helps you be able to shift and feel less worried.” 

Boice notes that it also helps to “write it out and get it out.” 

“Research shows how powerful expressing your emotions and processing your thoughts and feelings through journaling is,” she says. “Take a few minutes a day to check in and write out how you are feeling.”

Boice also recommends “dropping the people-pleasing.”

“No one ends up being happy when we try to please or make others happy,” she says. “We actually become stuck and stressed. We can only be responsible for our own happiness because we are in charge of our own emotions. We can’t own how other people feel. We can acknowledge their emotions and offer empathy.”

Boice says people should “watch the negative self-talk.” 

“We are often our own worst critics,” she says. “Learn to counter the negative thoughts with positive ‘I am…’ messages. For example, if you say to yourself, ‘I am stupid,’ say to yourself, ‘I am smart.’ Try to avoid the word ‘should.’ We tend to ‘should’ all over ourselves, which only creates guilt. Change the ‘should’ to a ‘could.’”

Boice also recommends avoiding guilt trips. 

“If you or someone else tries to take you on a guilt trip, stop and jump off the train,” Boice says. “Guilt is about feeling bad about a behavior or choice we have made. Examine it and then give yourself some grace. No one is perfect. If you know in your heart it is the best decision for you, trust yourself. Don’t give your power away.” 

She says people also need to notice their expectations.

“Are they too high?” Boice says. “Are they serving you well? Are they realistic? If not, rethink your expectations. These tend to create anxiety and feelings of not being good enough. They often are created from a fantasy and not reality.”

She also says to ask for help. Pathways to Healing Counseling

“This is often one of the most difficult things for people to do,” Boice says. “Maybe you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling. You will feel more supported and better able to cope with whatever comes your way. Don’t take on too much.”

Boice also recommends movement and being in nature. 

“Move your body 30 minutes a day with a walk around the block or whatever you are physically able to do,” Boice says. “Research has revealed it reduces anxiety, stress, and improves your mood and your well-being. Nature is a powerful way to shift your mood even when it’s cold outside. Take a few deep breaths and notice the difference it makes in your body.”

It also helps to focus on self-care. 

“People often feel selfish if they focus on taking care of themselves,” Boice says. “This is one of the key factors in managing stress. Get a massage, go for a walk, journal, read a book, listen to a podcast, talk to a friend or do something you love. You matter and you are worth it.” 

Contact Pathways to Healing Counseling, located at 1212 Westfield Road in Noblesville, at 317-316-3077. For more info, visit pathwaystohealingcounseling.com and kristendboice.com.  

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