Maintaining Mental Health from an Inner PerspectiveFeb 28, 2023 11:11AM ● By Heather Mitchell
The Inner Perspective, the first true therapy and yoga collective in Naples, was created out of a mutual desire of Freddie Henken and Meryl Sykes to address mental health and life satisfaction through therapy and yoga. The Inner Perspective seeks to take therapy off the couch, change the way that people view and use yoga, and put them together to help people lead conscious lives they love.
Henken and Sykes, both New York natives, met in 2013 in Costa Rica at the Nosara Yoga Institute. Each of their journeys to yoga had led them to study and or work with Don Stapleton, Ph.D., and Amba Stapleton, Ph.D., teachers in the Kripalu lineage. Don was the dean of Kripalu education at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and cofounded the Nosara Yoga Institute. Henken became a lead teacher at the institute, facilitating numerous trainings and transformations. Henken and Sykes’ love of the practice and what it resulted in led them to study with many teachers and develop a romantic relationship that has changed their lives. It moved them to Naples permanently in 2015, led to a master’s degree in social work for Sykes, and to the creation of The Inner Perspective. Yoga has shaped their lives, changing the way they interact with each other and the people/environment around them, the way they view their experiences and their ability to live consciously on purpose by choice. They want to bring that to their clients.
Collectively, they have worked with hospice patients and families, students, parents and teachers within the school system, veterans struggling with PTSD, patients living with cancer and Parkinson’s, yoga teachers honing their craft and other individu- als looking to better their lives through yoga. They are passionate about using therapy and yoga to teach management of our systems, emotional responses and communication. Emotions are not experienced in a vacuum, they are in the fabric of our bodies, experienced as chemical reactions, and can be shifted consciously through perspective, focus and movement. Henken and Sykes bring these concepts to their individual sessions and to their corporate training.
Sykes specifically uses Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) an evidence-based approach that respects the autonomy of clients and focuses on their resilience, strengths and abilities, when incorporating talk therapy into her work. At The Inner Perspective, clients can incorporate movement or not when pursuing therapeutic intervention.
Their signature work includes Yoga Therapeutics, which was created by Don and inspired by his studies of Feldenkrais, years of intense practice and teaching letting go of tension and the walls individuals build over time. Henken uses this work to intuitively move his clients through practices that are accessible and healing.
This form of yoga bodywork, created by Amba Stapleton through her work with professional athletes and high-profile celebrities in need of a method to combat stress, is designed to promote relaxation and raise vital energy. Henken and Sykes are two of the few trained practitioners of this powerful tool in the world.
Movement and Talk Therapy
Sykes offers walk and talk sessions or yoga and talk sessions where a client gets off the couch and experiences therapy in a different way. She says, “The body is present through all our life experiences. Let’s let it be present for therapy and see what it has to say.”
Sykes combines it all in a master session that harnesses creative power. These sessions draw from her years of studying and using talk therapy, yoga and bodywork.
Becoming the version of yourself that is capable of creating what you want in life is the goal of the transformation sessions.
“We combine concepts and techniques from talk therapy and yoga to teach skills that help individuals manage their systems, explains Sykes. “This results in higher job satisfaction, less burnout and a ripple effect into the personal lives of participants.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call Inner Perspective, at 239-323-6031 or visit TheInnerPerspective.com.