It's not as hard as we think

It's not as hard as we think

Truth be told, Houston is too much for me most of the time. Too much traffic, driving, violence, pollution, humidity, congestion, and stimulation. I thrive being near the water or in nature where I can tune into the rhythms of earth and life- where I look around, exhale, and my soul can sink in and feel peaceful. When I’m exhausted and overstimulated, my body, soul, work, and family suffers.

So what happens when we can’t get away to nature or whatever restores us? How do we access the rest we need?

Why is it so hard to rest?

Why is it so hard to rest?

As we head into fall and the inevitable cold and flu season, I’m taking a moment to reflect on something that has been on my mind for a while...why is it so hard to rest?

Whether it's turning off the phone an hour before bed, sleeping when baby sleeps, giving ourselves the rest we need post-birth, or even sitting down and mindfully breathing for a minute - why is it so dang hard? 

Coaching vs Therapy: What's the difference?

At Well Family, we believe you are the expert in you. We are healthcare professionals guiding you towards your healthiest life and highest potential. You are not broken. You are not your diagnosis. You are whole and resilient, no matter your circumstances. 

So should you go to therapy or hire a coach?  What’s the difference, anyway? Both coaching and therapy can be immensely helpful, depending on the individual and their circumstances. Both can be therapeutic and healing. Yet, there are some key distinctions between the two, so let’s take a look.

Coaching is a growing field that encompasses a very broad scope and is largely unregulated. Anyone can call themselves a Coach. There are executive coaches, life coaches, health coaches, spiritual coaches, and now an emerging role in nursing practice - Nurse Coaches.

Nurse Coaches are unique in the coaching realm in that we have a Board Certification and adhere to our ethical standards and nursing scope of practice as defined by the state in which we are licensed. We use our clinical training and experience to inform our decision-making and critical thinking process when working with clients in a coaching relationship, just as we do in any other nursing role. We take a holistic approach to wellness that encompasses the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and environmental aspects of life. And we make referrals for our clients’ safety and wellbeing when appropriate.

Coaching is focused on empowering clients in, “goal-setting, actualizing potential, taking action, enhancing quality of life, and functioning at their highest capacity”(1). Coaches often guide clients in discovering a compelling vision for their future in order to move from inaction to action. Past issues may come up in discussions; however, the past is not the focus in coaching.

Therapy is usually focused on a specific issue or diagnosis that is interfering with a client’s level of functioning. The focus is often retrospective, addressing past events, trauma, and pain. Treatment is based on relieving symptoms of the dysfunction and addressing problems using, “therapeutic interpretations of how present thoughts and behaviors may be a result of historical events” (1).

Another key distinction between coaching and therapy is that coaching is a collaborative model in which the coach and the client are partners co-creating a professional relationship for the client’s highest good. The coach is an expert in the coaching process only and does not necessarily provide answers, give advice, or suggest solutions. When appropriate and when requested by the client, Nurse Coaches can provide health-related guidance, education, and evidence-based information when it serves the client’s goals. The focus and/or goals in coaching are client-driven, and coaching sessions are usually direct, with defined goals and action plans.

Therapy often uses an expert model in which the therapist, counselor, or psychologist is the expert providing analysis and interventions that include giving advice and making suggestions for overcoming problems. Clients commonly expect the therapist knows more about the client’s issue or diagnosis than the client does.

In Nurse Coaching, there is usually a defined period of time you will work together- ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months- depending on your goals. During that time, the Nurse Coach and Client make powerful agreements that set the tone for professionalism, mutual respect, and a willingness to move beyond your comfort zone for the purpose of growth and transformation. In Nurse Coaching, we create a safe coaching container, in which you have access to ask questions, check in on progress made towards goals, and troubleshoot inevitable obstacles and challenges in between coaching sessions.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when exploring a new relationship with a therapist or coach (or any other healing professional for that matter):

  • Is it a good fit? 

  • Are they fully present and listening?

  • Do they take a holistic approach to your wellbeing?

  • Do you have a clear sense of the goals/objectives in your work together?

  • Do you leave your sessions feeling empowered and supported?

  • Is there a defined plan or period of time you will be working together?  

I recently worked with a Licensed Professional Counselor for several months to heal a past trauma and it was immensely helpful and insightful. I was able to integrate that experience in a way I had not before.

Depending on your reasons for seeking support and guidance, it is not uncommon to work with both a Coach and a Therapist, in addition to any other member of your healthcare team. There is a place for all of us in the dynamic evolution of healthcare away from disease and symptom management and towards a more integrative model focused on health promotion and holistic wellbeing.


  1. The Nurse Coach Collective

  2. Dossey, Barbara Montgomery, et al. Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing. International Nurse Coach Association, Miami, 2015.

Interested in learning more about working with a Certified Nurse Coach? Let’s Connect!


Brandie Mitchell, RN, LMT

Brandie is a Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas.

Healing Hands Project

Healing Hands Project

Earlier this year, Well Family signed a contract with The Woman's Hospital of Texas to provide massage therapy for the patients there- mostly "high-risk" women on bedrest in the Antepartum Unit. While we have been able to serve several women, we are in no way meeting the needs of many of the patients there, many of whom are on medicaid and cannot afford our services.

Gift Giving Ideas

Who doesn’t love a good gift giving guide?

Here are some of our top picks for encouraging thoughtful gift giving to those you love (including yourself)!

Need a little more guidance? Reach out and we’re happy to offer a complimentary consultation on Beautycounter or doTerra gift ideas!

Let's Go Keto!

Let's Go Keto!

If you've been hearing the buzz about keto/ketosis/ketogenic diets, there's a good reason.

2018 has been the year of partnership for Well Family. We've partnered with The Woman's Hospital of Texas to bring high quality massage therapy to the patients there. We've partnered with Beautycounter to get safer products in the hands of everyone. And now we've partnered with Ali Miller, RD to bring you the opportunity to learn and experience the benefits of a Ketosis weight loss program. 

Peaceful Touch® and Storytelling to Process Trauma

What is Peaceful Touch®?
Peaceful Touch® began in Stockholm, Sweden in the early 1990s. The program began with a focus on teachers and school aides learning basic Swedish massage techniques in order to provide massage for children. Everywhere they began to introduce the program, the children themselves assimilated the basic massage strokes, and began to give and receive Peaceful Touch® with each other. 

Both research and instinct inform us that touch is essential to human growth and development.  However, in our fast paced culture it is common for children to lack healthy touch in their daily lives.  

It's not Magic, It's Oxytocin
Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone” and is released in the body in response to touch. New research shows that this extraordinary biochemical impacts our ability to recover from stressful experiences and promotes healing and connection by mitigating the harmful impacts of the stress hormone cortisol.  

Peaceful Touch® Benefits
In classrooms where the peer-to-peer based healthy touch programs are used, teachers report positive results for children including:

  • Greater empathy for peers
  • Improved concentration
  • Less fighting and aggressive behavior
  • Better functioning in groups
  • Lower levels of anxiety and stress
  • Peaceful Touch and Storytelling for Trauma Recovery
Children at Shady Oak Primary School practicing the Flood Story. 

Children at Shady Oak Primary School practicing the Flood Story. 

By using Peaceful Touch techniques while telling the story of Hurricane Harvey, children are integrating the cognitive and the emotional parts of their brain, while touch stimulates oxytocin release and calms the nervous system.  The integration of the two parts of the brain along with the activation of the relaxation response of the nervous system can help children feel safe to work through trauma they may have experienced.  Touch and storytelling are powerful ways to encourage resilience and healing in children and families and we believe that schools have the opportunity to lay the foundation for families to emerge from this experience feeling stronger and more connected.

Peaceful Touch takes place in a group setting in the classroom. It is essential that children ask permission before giving Peaceful Touch and participation is optional. The permission process is crucial for teaching healthy boundaries with touch. These lessons carry over to all aspects of touch and boundary setting in the classroom, playground and even at home.

Whether an adult or child was directly impacted by the storm, we believe everyone benefits from integrating the experience with resilience and strength to move forward together. 

For a free training in Peaceful Touch and Storytelling for your school or organization, please contact us here.

Download the Flood story classroom or family activity here.

Smells Like Trauma

Smells Like Trauma

When I was 15, I lied to my parents about going to the movies, and instead climbed in a two seater truck with my friend and two boys I had never met. We drove to a field in Rosenberg to hang out with a cooler full of Bud Light. I had never tasted beer before, and because I didn't feel confident saying no to the boy who kept trying to kiss me, I drank that beer instead. 

Do One Thing

Do One Thing

By now most of us have heard that multitasking is not that great for our brains or our well-being. Studies have found that multitasking may actually damage the brain, decreases our productivity and attention to detail, and leaves us feeling stressed and even unhappy. So here we are at another crossroads between knowing and doing. Because let's be honest, how on earth do we get anything done as mothers and NOT multitask at some point?

It Takes a Village to Live Well

It Takes a Village to Live Well

Sweet, sweet September. Of course it’s still warm in Houston, but there’s a light at the end of the hot, humid tunnel and pumpkin everything is just around the corner.  The start of school is a great opportunity to pause and take a look at our lives and decide what we want- for ourselves and our families. If you’re like me, self-care is always a challenge. Knowing when to ask for help and receiving it gracefully is a challenge. Slowing down and listening to what I really need is a challenge.