Hi, my name is Mary Kay Irving and it is my mission to help and support professional women seeking to create a healthier, happier life including more abundant feelings of hope, physical energy, interpersonal connection and daily inspiration. I do this with a compassionate heart and offer a unique and fully integrative approach combining nutrition therapy, EMDR therapy and lifestyle coaching, including meditation guidance and relaxation training.
With years of training and experience and an intuitive soul that has been seasoned through overcoming my own personal and health challenges, I am the perfect guide for others on their healing journey. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Nutrition Therapist and Trauma Therapist working at the intersection of physical, mental and spiritual health.
I’m happy to meet you and to let you know that you are not alone on this journey to create a better life of health and happiness. Since I was a young girl I have had a passionate interest in helping other people and in learning about all the things that impact our behaviors and feelings. I first put that passion to use by studying psychology in college and then obtaining a Master’s Degree in Social Work.
I worked my dream job as a psychotherapist and trainer for many years, all the while periodically struggling with my own episodes of depression. As a therapist, I of course had access to all the latest research and methods of treatment for depression and anxiety. I participated in years of therapy, meditation, exercise, changed my diet and even took medications all to help my own bouts of depression.
A lot of healing and growth took place for me over the years through a variety of these methods as well as from the help of skilled professionals and supportive friends. I was particularly impressed with EMDR therapy, it’s speed and comprehensive shifting of stuck thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Still, despite my own progress, I would repeatedly, like clockwork go through more episodes of minor and sometimes major depression.
When Illness Strikes
Then, in 2006 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through traditional treatment of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Yes, I lost my hair. Then, more loss, when a series of high stress factors bombarded my world for the next 2 years. Ultimately, I experienced the longest and most debilitating depression I had ever experienced.
This was in 2008 after both my father and my aunt had died, my finances were ravaged from my cancer treatment, the housing market collapsed and my town experienced a devastating tornado. Needless to say, my stress was off the charts and to be completely honest there was a time I was not sure I was going to make it out of this alive or with my sanity intact.
It took a long time to recover from that intense episode and I am forever thankful for my supportive friends and family for helping me through. If you have ever had a brush with death through illness or accident, you know that it changes things. Perspective and focus shifts and time can become more precious. Over the next several years as I focused on strengthening my health, I became more aware of the foods I was eating and began to research nutrition and supplements. After another health scare, this time with pre-diabetes, I went back to school to study nutrition in depth.
Nutrition Saves the Day
My spiritual practice also deepened throughout this time and I became more aware of the types of connections I had with friends and family. I became more discerning about what I wanted to nurture and keep and what to let go of. I spent more time respecting and exercising my body. I put myself, body, mind and spirit back together…or rather, began to treat myself in such a respectful and nurturing way that allowed the true brilliance of my underlying essence to shine brighter than before.
A large part of this included completely changing my diet. When I did, I was blown away by what happened next. My energy, memory and focus popped. It was as if I suddenly woke up after being in a deep sleep. My fatigue, brain fog and depressed mood melted away, my cystic skin blemishes completely cleared and my digestive distress disappeared. I was suddenly sleeping through the night. All of this happened for me in a matter of weeks!
I even lost about 25 pounds over the next six months without changing anything about my exercise routine. For me, I had found the missing leg of the triad of health. As a therapist and long time meditation practitioner, I had focused primarily on emotional healing through psychotherapy and mindfulness practices. I thought I was eating healthy but learned though my nutrition schooling that most of what we have been taught about nutrition has been wrong. For me, correcting the nutritional imbalance was the key and the missing piece to my own piece of mind, mood, energy and overall health and happiness. For many others I work with, the missing piece is a stuck negative belief or distressing life event that hasn’t been fully digested and integrated into helpful and adaptive lessons. For these clients, EMDR has been their key.
What’s Your Key?
Over the years, I had worked with therapists and very skilled doctors who did their best but they were each missing a key piece of the puzzle. This is where my skill and experience can help you complete your own puzzle. I offer my clients a complete psycho-social and nutritional assessment to help determine whether your missing piece can be helped with a nutritional intervention or some EMDR trauma work or spiritual healing or deepening with meditation practices.
Some benefit from a weaving or strengthening of all of these areas. I needed therapy and nutritional changes and when combined with healthy lifestyle practices (exercise, proper sleep habits and relaxation for example) it was as if someone had turned on the HD and color switch and gave me back my life. The changes were so profound that I am now compelled to offer this information to as many others as possible. In my practice I am proud to provide these interventions to anyone who wants to reclaim their health and live their happiest, healthiest and most inspired life.