In a time of short attention spans and countless distractions, Jason McEwen is preaching a unique message: slow down and live intentionally. In other words, put down your iPhone or other device and live fully—even the painful or uncomfortable parts.
McEwen and his wife Rachel Greene, both licensed family and marriage therapists, own two Intuitive Therapy Clinics: one in Uptown Minneapolis, which opened nine years ago, and the second in downtown White Bear Lake, which opened in January. McEwen, who worked in an outpatient clinic as well as a day treatment program for teenagers before going into private practice at the new clinic, practices traditional therapy with an emphasis on dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, which uses cognitive and collaborative methods. He specializes in working with adolescents, adults, couples and families. Greene uses a more holistic approach that incorporates intuitive therapy, psychotherapy that uses intuition to discover stored emotions below the surface.
“I encourage my clients to learn how to sit with things ... painful thoughts, memories or emotions,” McEwen explains. He says people use distractions as an escape from these experiences and feelings. “By avoiding and distracting themselves, they’re not engaging in a meaningful life.” That, he says, often leads to anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness is one of four concepts that are part of DBT, which combines techniques like guided imagery and visualization to achieve mindfulness and emotional regulation. These skills help his clients make more conscious decisions and live a more purposeful, empowered life.
Because this practice can be elusive and hard to understand, McEwen uses a tangible object on which to focus: a piece of candy. He says life is like that sweet treat; we often just eat it without really paying attention to it.
“Part of this exercise is teaching clients that thoughts and distractions will come up as they’re observing the candy,” McEwen explains. “I encourage them to label those thoughts as a ‘worry’ or a ‘sad thought’ and move on.”
Even though the couple offer different kinds of therapy, they say they speak the same language, one of hope and inspiration. “People think that as a therapist, I sit and listen to people’s problems all day,” McEwen says. “But I get this opportunity to help people find solutions. And knowing that most people feel better when they walk out my door is so inspiring and exciting.”
Greene seconds that, referring to her intuition as a muscle she’s trained and strengthened. “Even though my clients aren’t verbally communicating some of these feelings, I use my own intuition and energy to help find answers that lie within them,” she explains.
Greene also runs the business end, books appointments for both offices and handles insurance (right now they accept Blue Cross Blue Shield and Preferred One, and are working on accepting more). The couple say they’re excited to see their business partnership continue to grow. “We have a great marriage,” says Greene, “and our business together is an extension of that.”
Intuitive Therapy Clinics offer services for:
- Relationship conflicts
- Challenging family dynamics
- Grief and loss
Intuitive Therapy Clinic
4858 Banning Ave. Suite 4, White Bear Lake, 651.387.5312.