Body, Mind & Spirit: Amy Zoe Schonhoff

Meet mindfulness educator, Amy Zoe Schonhoff of A Beloved Life: Mindfulness in the Heartland. Amy offers mindfulness coaching, public speaking for events, and mindfulness classes in the Kansas City metro. She was recently interviewed by Ned Kelley for his Buddha Brunch series about her journey into mindfulness and her area of specialty, mindful parenting.

Body, Mind & Spirit: Tracy Ochester

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Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT

Body, Mind & Spirit is a series introducing Kansas City wellness professionals whose service offerings address the whole person.

May I humbly introduce myself? I am Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT, clinical psychologist, mindfulness coach and registered yoga teacher. I have an independent psychology practice, Ochester Psychological Services, LLC in Leawood, KS and a mindfulness coaching practice, Clear Mind Open Heart, LLC in the Beacon Hill neighborhood in downtown Kansas City.

Please tell us a little about yourself, what you do and your journey into this type of work:

I have always been interested in the humanities and fascinated by people’s stories, wondering what makes us do what we do. I studied theology, psychology and philosophy in college, not thinking this could be a career path for me. Once I finally worked up the courage to go to graduate school, I knew I was moving in the right direction.

My interest in theology and experience with psychological interventions that include elements of mindfulness led me to develop a personal yoga and mindfulness practice. Seeing the positive impact of the practices on my own life, I decided to seek out formal training to deepen my understanding and so I could share them with others.

How does the body-mind-spirit connection inform your work?

Psychologists have long understood that the mind and body are interconnected and research shows us that faith and spirituality are correlated with wellness. My original training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and behavior impact each other in important ways and teaching clients how to intervene in any of these areas can reduce distress and dysfunction. I eventually sought out further training in mindfulness based interventions which teach clients to relate with internal sensations in a new way so they can respond with wisdom rather than reactivity.

What makes your services unique?

I am a licensed psychologist, qualified mindfulness based cognitive therapy teacher (mindfulness coach), and registered yoga teacher. I don’t think there are many of us here in Kansas City (at least at the time of this writing) with this particular triad of specialties, but I hope I will see more in years to come.

My training and especially my experience in psychology (my clients have been my best teachers) give me unique insight into human behavior while my mindfulness and yoga training help me offer simple, practical and concrete tools for cultivating wellness.

What can people expect to experience when they first come to see you?

In my one-on-one work, our first meeting is generally an interview to get to know you and what your goals or intentions are. This is also an opportunity for you to get to know me and decide whether I am a good match for you.

I also try to offer some guidance or practical suggestions for what you can do on your own between meetings to work toward your goals. This isn’t always possible in the first meeting in my psychology practice as I must conduct a full psychiatric diagnostic interview and that takes quite a bit of time.

What does your personal wellness routine look like?

I rise early each weekday to practice Mysore style Ashtanga yoga and I practice sitting meditation afterwards. On the weekends I like to take led yoga classes, sometimes mixing it up with other styles of yoga. I am a vegetarian and I try to eat organic foods at home as much as possible. I am a lifelong learner reading books, blogging, and enrolling in various classes, workshops, trainings or retreats throughout the year. I also volunteer, spend time with family, and actively cultivate new relationships.

Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT
Clear Mind Open Heart, LLC
Ochester Psychological Services, LLC

Body, Mind & Spirit: Martha Childers


Martha Childers, LPC, EdS

Body, Mind & Spirit is a series of interviews introducing Kansas City wellness professionals whose service offerings address the whole person. We kick off our series today with Martha Childers, LPC, EdS who is a licensed professional counselor in independent practice on the Country Club Plaza.

Please tell us a little about yourself, what you do and your journey into this type of work:

At midlife I read an article saying that one way to ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is to do something never done before at middle age. After two years of thought and self-exploration, I remembered that my original youthful intention was to become a psychologist. However, the first day of class in Psychology 101, the teacher said that we need to be honest with ourselves; that we study psychology to control people. I was fresh off the farm, 17 years old, and believed her. I thought, “I don’t want to control people!” So my life took another path. Now I am fulfilling the dream of my youth by helping people fulfill their own needs and desires.

How does the body-mind-spirit connection inform your work?

For several years during my 20’s, I lived in Japan and practiced a variety of Zen meditations including flower arrangement, calligraphy, koto, and tea ceremony. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of my personal and professional life. My clients routinely learn a variety of mindfulness practices to help them with issues such as anxiety, decision-making, and PTSD.

I believe that the mind, body, spirit are words we use to provide a means to communicate and make sense of the world. In reality, we are one creature in one creation moving and being as one. As a psychotherapist, I have a professional responsibility to utilize the techniques defined within this field while keeping in mind the wholeness of the being.

What makes your business/services unique?

A dear friend helped me design my office. It is a reflection of my life and my personality while providing a peaceful, relaxing place for my clients to talk freely and openly. The location is on the Plaza, which is central to the area. Parking is convenient, and for individuals who have difficulty getting around, handicap parking is just outside the office. Having lived and traveled in Europe, Asia, and Africa for 12 years, my experience facilitates relationships with multicultural couples and individuals. I know what it’s like to be a minority and to be a foreigner in a strange land.

What can people expect to experience when they first come to see you or visit your place of work?

My clients can expect a nurturing, beautiful, safe place.

What does your personal wellness routine look like?

Daily meditation provides a way for my mind to clear. Daily exercise gets my blood flowing. Nutritious food feeds my body. Careful cleaning of my teeth, hair, and body refresh me. Regular visits to the chiropractor and an energy worker help alignment and eliminate blockages. Routine visits to my primary care physician and dentist monitor my health. Mini-mindfulness practices throughout the day reduce anxiety and keep me in the moment. Sleep and rest revitalize me.

ChildersLogoHorzRGBChilders Counseling Service 816-892-0803