Islander John Koriath has recently opened a counseling practice at the Full Circle Wellness Center, where’s he’s offering an innovative approach to mental health that blends his 30 years of work in science, psychology and the therapeutic traditions of indigenous people.
His work — with families, couples, individuals and even organizations — helps people consider their own internal “natural resources,” he said.
“When you have access to your own natural resources, you find the pathway you need to pursue to find the changes to put your life in balance,” said Koriath.
One of his fields of expertise, Koriath said, is working with people during transitions, particularly as they face the second half of their lives and sort out how they bring meaning to that time.
A tool he sometimes uses in his work with clients in transition — as well as with many others — is “coherence biofeedback training,” he said, an innovative approach to stress relief that is gaining currency because of the way it enables people to learn to listen to their internal signals and control what is going on for them physiologically.
With a clip on their ear, clients are able to observe their cardiovascular activity on a monitor in front of them and learn ways to calm that activity.
This can be a useful skill for many people, especially those suffering from depression or anxiety or those trying to lose weight, stop smoking or change another behavior, he said.
Learning those skills, he added, creates “soil for whatever seed they are trying to plant.”
Koriath, who has a doctorate in psychology, said his practice has been shaped by his education and professional experiences, including working with people at the end of their lives.
For 10 years, he was on the faculty of the Arizona State University Department of Psychology and studied psychoneurobiology, focusing on the connection between the brain and the heart, the lessons of which he uses in his biofeedback work.
He also studied extensively with indigenous people and brings the lessons from that world view to his patients as well as lessons from Aikido, which he has a black belt in and teaches. It is an art, he added, where people learn to take an opponent’s force and blend with it and redirect it instead of block it.
In addition to his private practice, he teaches leadership and personal development at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and is a certified “emotional intelligence” mentor and provides professional development services that focus on improving people’s emotional intelligence.
To learn more about Koriath, see www.vashonfullcircle.com or call him at 463-2945. He does not accept insurance at this time but does have a sliding scale. His office hours include Saturdays.