When thinking about resolutions for 2023, do you immediately jump to thoughts of diet and exercise? Maybe finances or curbing bad habits? Many of us start off the new year with a goal to get our physical appearances or financial houses in order; but, perhaps there is something even more important that we should be looking at: our own mental health.
Emily Runyan, owner and therapist of Tennessee Mental Wellness in Gallatin, understands the benefits of healthy goals both mentally and physically. Incorporating her love for the outdoors, Tennessee Mental Wellness is a locally-owned, independently-operated, boutique-style therapy center complete with modern seating, natural lighting and color palettes that could place you at her alma mater in scenic Utah. This is also where Emily’s love for the outdoors and passion to help others who are on their own healing journey began. She became an instructor at a wilderness treatment program for at-risk youth in the summers. Helping build fires, hiking trails, teaching survival skills and grounding in nature set the tone for how she approaches her therapy style: back to the basics with the mind and body and staying true to your authentic self.
Emily also strives to create a culture for therapists that is far from the stuffy settings typically seen in other offices. These tactics have rightfully earned her business the ‘Best of Gallatin 2022: Mental Health Services’ award. As both a therapist and business owner, she has carefully selected counselors who would best fit the business and community values. “When searching for a therapist for my practice, I try to find someone who strives for excellence in clinical care, evidence-based therapy, who honors clients who are investing time and money into their healing and is an authentic and empathetic person.”
Apart from being a licensed therapist, Emily is a former certified Personal Trainer, Weight Management Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Understanding that mind and body are parallels, she used those skills and knowledge to become a Wellness Coach and now teaches others in the same disciplines. Wellness Coaching is offered as a group class in her clinic and includes themes of connecting with yourself to understand hunger, appetite, body movement unique to your lifestyle and creating healthy habits for the long term. “I want to break the mold that personal trainers are by the book and help people understand the importance of movement. If dancing in the kitchen is their idea of a workout, then we’re going to make that their workout. We don’t need to drag our bodies through non-meaningful movements that won’t help.”
Losing the archaic stigma of seeking therapy options continues to be a hidden benefit of the social media age and constant scrolling of the Covid homestays and shutdowns. Although it’s easy to self-diagnose from the mass of information we see every day, a question that comes up is when should you stop the scroll and reach out? Emily encourages trying the free consultations offered to identify a therapist and/or path that may be right for you and for the right season of your life. It is common to have different therapists for different struggles; anxiety, depression, divorce recovery, postpartum, teens, LGBTQIA+, corporate seminars and group therapy are just a few of the services that Tennessee Mental Wellness offers. Virtual and telehealth visits for those with busy schedules who cannot make it into the office are also options. Adding to her own mental well-being, Emily still embraces the outdoors, loves paddle boarding, hitting the slopes with her sons and hiking any chance she gets. She also continues to make a few resolutions of her own for 2023: adding an outdoor serenity area at TMW and continuing to give back to the community by adding a free weekly group workshop for those who do not have access to quality, affordable mental wellness care.