Jon Keyes, Licensed Professional Counselor
Therapist and Herbalist
I am a licensed professional counselor and herbalist with an emphasis on holistic ways of helping people suffering from mental and emotional distress. Along with my wife Kate Kirkham (acupuncturist), we created Hearthside Healing, a home based practice devoted to helping people heal holistically. My practice is focused on helping people uncover their blocks, move through deep challenges and transform through therapy and the use of supportive herbs.
In my twenties, I attended The Evergreen State College and hold a BS in Health Sciences and Botanical Medicine from there. From 1996-98 I apprenticed with Joyce Netishen, a master herbalist. In 2005 I graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). I am also a certified Health Coach and received my training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2013.
In 2007, I helped start the Montavilla Farmers Market because I believe that what we eat, and where the food comes from is a key aspect to a healthy community. I saw the positive impact that bringing local farmers and whole fresh foods had on my neighborhood. As a holistic therapist, I believe that whole foods, exercise, healthy relationships and positive lifestyle choices are key foundations for good mental health.
I have also worked as a therapist in an acute hospital setting with people diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses. Because of my work in that setting I am adept at helping people who are looking at both a holistic and a psychiatric way of examining emotional wellbeing. For some, the psychiatric approach has not been helpful, or even quite harmful, and they are looking to incorporate holistic tools for working through emotional distress. I feel it is deeply important to offer alternatives to the mainstream way of treating distress.
As an author, I have written for many publications including Llewellyn’s Herbal Almanac series as well as writing “Guide to Natural Health“. Some of my articles can be found here. I have also written for Plant Healer Magazine, Beyondmeds.com and am a regular contributor to Mad in America, a site devoted to reforming the modern mental health system.
I have also been specifically interested in traditional ways of treating mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In many indigenous cultures, mental illness has commonly been treated with the use of diet, herbs, ritual, prayer and sacred movement. Though I believe talk therapy has a strong role in helping people struggling with mental illness to develop better insight, I also believe that simple, traditional techniques and tools such as changing diet and incorporating herbs can powerfully transform our lives. In essence I view myself as a “folk counselor” and ally myself with the widely divergent and unique traditional ways of helping people integrate and heal from emotional distress.
My own personal journey also involves experiencing my own health problems in the form of insomnia and arthritis. I believe that these ailments were a “wake up” message from my body to help me understand deeper facets of myself and to teach me how to walk in a better way when I was neglecting my own health and well being.
Sometimes illness can be a great gift, as it offers us the opportunity to slow down and tune in very carefully. Sometimes in the noise and distraction of every day life we can tune out our innermost voice, but dis-ease requires us to pay very close attention. And often paying attention leads to breakthroughs in insight and development of wisdom at a deep level. My goal is to assist my clients to develop that insight, and make those breakthroughs that lead to dramatic and positive transformation.