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  02/24/2016      09:00 am

Spirit Fire Radio: Negotiating Mindfulness

Guest Profile

Lauren O'Sullivan & Ben McLellan

Lauren O'Sullivan & Ben McLellan

Ben McLellan and Lauren O'Sullivan founded Sudbury Wellness. It is a unique collaboration of the Eastern Healing Arts and Psychotherapy, offering services that focus on physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Lauren O'Sullivan began her work in the crisis centers of Boston with young adults dealing with severe mental illness and the families that support them.  As she continued her formal education, she also began to practice yoga and mindfulness skills regularly. This enabled her to experience first hand the important integration of emotional wellbeing with health and management of the physical body.While continuing her work with adults, she also started working with children in the Boston public school system. This experience allowed her to begin using her mindfulness skills with children and see the profound impact these skills have on student's ability to regulate themselves. Lauren began focusing her work and education on adolescent development in 2009 after completing a Masters Degree in Psychoanalytic Counseling. She has worked with girls and their families in residential treatment centers, CBAT and STARR placements and in outpatient clinics. After becoming a clinical director and integrating mindfulness into the clinical programming she knew she had found a way to connect and truly impact those that sought her guidance.  In her current work with adults and adolescents and their parents or caregivers, Lauren integrates mind/body techniques, talk and play therapy to enhance a person’s ability to experience and understand their emotions, increase their ability to effectively communicate and manage distress in healthy ways. Her clients have included parents looking to work individually on their ability to understand and manage their emotions, teens struggling through adolescence, young adults who need support, adults dealing with depression and anxiety, and people looking to understand and adjust the patterns that they find restrictive in experiencing their life fully. Lauren completed an Advanced Clinical Certification in 2014 through Boston College and continues to complete continuing education in her field. She has experience using psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories and techniques as well as Motivational Interviewing, CBT, DBT and short term goal focused work. She draws on her experience, her formal education and ongoing education to best serve those she works with. She welcomes everyone and always starts where you are.

Ben McLellan found yoga while in college studying classical percussion. Due to the rigors of practicing and playing for many hours he developed tendonitis. “This was a very challenging time for me as I saw my music career being challenged by a physical issue.” After exploring several methods Ben was introduced to yoga by his sister. “I began practicing power yoga and felt immediate relief from my tendonitis.” He continued to practice for a couple of years and then slipped away from practice for a few years.Upon moving to Massachusetts to pursue a master’s degree in music, Ben’s life took a major turn towards living his Dharma (purpose). He decided to forego another music degree and instead stepped into the wellness realm. “My mom had always been an inspiration for me to touch people’s lives in a positive way.” Ben found his way to personal training and also began practicing yoga again. He was fortunate enough to apprentice with a seasoned teacher and soon began teaching yoga.“Since coming back to my yoga practice there has been a profound shift in my life. In fact, yoga has touched all areas of my life. This is why I do the work I do so that I can share this with clients and students to help them see that transformation and living a more auspicious life is possible.” 

Ben's current and past clientele range from those interested in weight loss, stress reduction, spiritual guidance, and aging gracefully. Incorporating aspects Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, and Meditation Ben provides a balance between the individual desires of his clients regarding their physical body and promoting and emphasizing a mind-body connection. Ben prides himself on his commitment and enthusiasm towards his work and is continually working to grow his personal practice.  Ben is a 500 hour certified Medical Qi Gong Director with Zen Wellness, a certified Level 1 ParaYoga teacher and registered with the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 200, RYT 500. Through continued education, yoga trainings, and Qi Gong trainings, Ben is able to practice what he preaches and offer his students a thorough understanding of the ever-growing practice of yoga. Ben currently studies with Yogarupa Rod Stryker of ParaYoga and Master teachers Jason Campbell and Michael Leone of Zen Wellness. He continues his studies of Yoga, Tai Chi, Bagua, Meditation & Chi Gong with continuing education seminars several times each year.