Our Wellness Model
This is central to our methodology: our goal is always to provide ways for you to feel more interested in wellness, and able to overcome the obstacles. Our discussions about the Wellness model are more than a map or instruction – they help create a clear and positive path, and use resources based on decisions that you make yourself.
Our principle is that motivation and clarity about choices are still the main obstacles to changing our lifestyle habits. They are essential, but discipline is not — this is underestimated in conventional programs. Our promise is to build that motivation, and fill the need for clarity and resources.
Our approach is based on a long career in health care where teaching about wellness has been just as important as treatment. We have learned it is important for people to discuss their challenges… no matter how many there are. This is what is required for change. Challenges are the genuine barrier to improvement; that means you can not get around it. Improvement involves change — that’s universal. It is essential that people learn to resolve the struggles. Circles provide this kind of support, and fill a significant gap that has persisted in the treatment model. In fact, we believe that the subject of resolving conflict is a basic need that ought to take place in general education.
What is the key outcome of being motivated?
It means you participate fully in “your own health care.” It means ownership, not just taking responsibility. It’s not that motivated people always find it easy, but they do create great improvements themselves. We would like to document outcomes in Vermont that show real improvements, accompanied by a decrease in medical treatments and drug use.
This approach to wellness education brings both empowerment and new skills. First of all, it renews the motivation to learn — for all ages — and the willingness to accept and then seek changes. Then, it improves your grasp of the basics, although we know they are important: we all need to get enough rest, exercise in ways we enjoy, and learn the value of taking time to cook. We also need to feel assured – not confused or anxious – that we can eat well. This assurance is called food security, and one of the tangible remedies is to keep expanding the farmers markets. These markets have a lot more potential because they also bring many social benefits, but many are still too expensive, so the subsidies are important. Knowing about what makes this food better is vital, and you can feel there is more freshness in the food there than in the supermarket. The economics of food must shift, and that requires more awareness in the mainstream. So, first, we need to teach the value of food, and feel the soul in our meals and our preparation of them. The feeling that we need to invest in our health is derived from knowing (and feeling) that value.
We also need to overcome depression.
People feel much better when they become more able to rely on themselves; that is when they will invest more in themselves. When we learn about new resources and discover more about the old ones, it feels really good to apply that ability. But sometimes the strong position that gave us motivation slips away, and we are no longer confident or comfortable. Or we may be trying so hard to do our job that we forget there is a basic need for a deeper source of health. We may lose the very memory of feeling successful, and positive, or enthusiastic.
When we no longer govern ourselves effectively and become discouraged, we have to face the difficulty of making necessary changes for health. We need strength and need to find a path. Low motivation is such a tall barrier, but we can find more strength, and more ability to manage, when we’re not alone. Where does it say we have to be alone? For example, one client enjoyed telling me, “the group lessons bring me constant discoveries about myself, like finding that I am able to change, I am able to shape the way I want to be. Making changes depended on finding information that was missing for me. Now, change has become a pleasure, because I became more informed and I learned how being able to grow required letting myself change.”