By Kylie Blanchard

file801343155029Mental wellness is an important component of overall health, and services such as counseling and life coaching can help individuals develop the necessary tools to cope with life’s demands. Two area businesses are placing an emphasis on mental wellness and life coaching and, in the process, are helping individuals find balance, happiness and wellbeing.

Saint Sophie’s
Saint Sophie’s opened in Bismarck in 2012 and offers mental health counseling for individuals three years and older. With a clinic location also in Fargo, the decision was made to open a location in Bismarck due to a growing need for mental health services in western North Dakota, says Rebecca Madeen, mental health therapist at Saint Sophie’s in Bismarck. The facility is now one of the few clinics in the area to offer mental health telemedicine services.

Madeen says she treats individuals struggling with anxiety and depression, and also provides children’s play therapy, as well as marital and family counseling. “Most of my patients are women who are presenting issues that align with their different life phases,” she notes.

Nearly 90 percent of the individuals seeking her counseling services are women and she adds this is likely because women are more apt to seek help for mental health issues. “Women are most in tune to themselves and don’t have as much of a stigma related to seeking mental health services.”

She says many women struggle with anxiety and depression, often because of today’s fast-paced society, which places many demands on individuals. “Women get pressure from all different places in their life,” says Madeen. “They are moms, wives, and are often in a workplace and that demand, coming from all parts of life, can cause anxiety and depression.”

She encourages individuals to seek help for mental health issues, because it will benefit their overall health. “Mental health can impact your physical health and can show in physical symptoms such as not sleeping, headaches and stomach aches.”

The overall stigma attached to mental health services is lessening, notes Madeen, but this still prevents some individuals from seeking counseling. “Society is becoming more accepting of mental health issues and treatments,” she says.

Appointment at St. Sophie’s, located at 3000 N 14th Street, can be made without a doctor’s referral and most health insurance plans are accepted. For additional information on Saint Sophie’s and its services call 701-751-8008.

Big Blue Couch Coaching
Big Blue Couch Coaching was opened in March 2014 by best friends and Certified Life Coaches Mandy B. Anderson and Raychel Chumley. The facility offers life coaching services, which Anderson explains is different from traditional counseling services. “Counseling focuses on healing the past, whereas life coaching focuses on the future and getting results toward goals,” she says. “We will work in partnership with a client who is going to a counselor as long as the counselor agrees the client is ready. If at any point we feel the client needs deeper counseling care, we will postpone coaching until a later date when the client feels ready for the accountability and growth that coaching provides.”

Anderson says Big Blue Couch life coaching services focus on women ages 22 to 55, and emphasize topics such as health and finances; marriage and relationships; and life transitions and divorce recovery. “Our focus is to help women take control of their lives by equipping them with the skills to conquer obstacles, build confidence, and live vibrantly,” she notes. “We offer health coaching workshops, financial coaching workshops, marriage workshops, and confidence building workshops throughout the year at our office,” she notes.

Big Blue Couch Coaching is offering two conferences this fall that are open to women of all ages. The Celebrate Your Man™ Conference is scheduled for September 13th and the Beautiful Wholeness Conference is being held on November 8th. “We also offer free training each week via a podcast that can be found on our website and on iTunes. It’s called the Girls on the Big Blue Couch Show. Each episode has a specific coaching focus to help women continue growing,” says Anderson, adding Big Blue Couch Coaching will also be launching life coaching books by year’s end.
The majority of life coaching deals with a person’s mindset and setting individuals up for future success in every area of their lives, notes Anderson. “The way we think about ourselves and the world around us creates the reality that we experience. Feeding your mind with truth and positivity on a daily basis can help prevent mental health issues and, at the very least, make it easier to heal should mental health issues arise.”
Big Blue Couch Coaching is located in the IDEA Center at 2720 East Broadway Avenue. Additional information on its services and conferences is available at


Kylie Blanchard is a local writer