WESST Client Profiles
Inner Guidance Attachment Healing Center
Michele Coleman is the founder of the Inner Guidance LC, dba Attachment Healing Center. Early in her career as a family therapist, she witnessed firsthand that children were not receiving the care they needed to heal from trauma. Much has changed during the 15 years since she opened, but the core values remain the same. “We save children’s lives, and that work isn’t always pretty.”
Using knowledge gained from extensive research into neuroscience, attachment and trauma, the Attachment Healing Center works to break negative cycles, create authentic relationships, and teach children and their families how to live and think in more constructive ways. Many institutions have told us that “kids with attachment trauma don’t ever get better” Dr. Coleman states. The Attachment Healing Center has a nine-month waiting list because they truly transform lives. Parents and caregivers too, need to be re-taught how to attentively listen and become the sort of adult figure a child can trust, thus breaking the cycle of negative behavioral patterns. Services are regularly provided in home to ensure that a child is in the environment they spend most of their time in. This approach has made all the difference.
Dr. Coleman has always had a heart for children. She herself is an adoptive parent and understood the “inner work” that was needed to support her children. “We exist to help children heal. We guide them in learning to trust adults.” When speaking of testimonials she proclaims, “The transformation is so real. Even their faces change. They relax and smile, it’s just beautiful.” Dr. Coleman’s practice ends the “revolving door of treatment.” She worked tirelessly to receive the training she needed, all while operating her practice, raising a family, and managing 30 employees throughout the state of New Mexico. Perseverance pays, in 2016 she received her Ph. D in Counselor Education from the University of New Mexico.
One of the major challenges Dr. Coleman faced in the early years that still remains daunting at times is attracting professionals in the industry that are serious about supporting children through in-home treatment programs. Dr. Coleman realized that benefits and health care plans would encourage staff retention. The company offers 401K, vacation, and sick leave. She also identified that you must seek out employees who share in the vision of what you want to co-create. “This work isn’t easy, kids and adults have some stuff to work out!” Going into a home environment is where a child feels more comfortable being themselves, she explains. And so, all their “issue’s” come out. “Our staff works from that place, it takes time, mentally and physically the work can be draining.”
Another obstacle Dr. Coleman faced was understanding the level of tax liability a new business assumes, even in the field of mental health, it’s still a service and requires gross receipt tax collection. She learned early on to understand the tax bracket you fall into. Dr. Coleman shakes her head “you don’t know what you don’t know… until you do.” As it relates to taxes, Dr. Coleman’s advice to those who don’t understand tax liability is to “have a team who can teach you.” She also advises that you should also identify a good attorney and accountant early on. “Overcoming obstacles is hard; the first step is to identify what the obstacle is then slowly work through it.”
WESST helped Dr. Coleman develop a business plan in the early stages (15 years ago). Most recently she received guidance in finding answers for questions like how to obtain healthcare for her employees at reasonable rates. This was huge! Additionally, as Dr. Coleman responds to New Mexico’s request to train others in their treatment modality, WESST’s in-house film crew jumped right in to film her training series in its state-of-the art onsite Comcast Digital Media Studio.
Inner Guidance, LC dba Attachment Healing Center is New Mexico’s intensive outpatient mental health clinic for children and families. This mission has not changed since the beginning. Bringing balance to families is the key to creating a society that cares for each other. The training for parents and caregivers through their carefully crafted treatment approach is exactly what our community has needed and no matter how hard it has been, they never deterred from this mission of service. Children are the future, and we create a much better world when we invest in the youth and their families.
Dr. Coleman is living the dreams of many collectively, from her family and heritage, to supporting a community that was often overlooked. She has worked with phenomenal clinicians through the years, and this has made all the difference. “Those who get our model do a phenomenal job serving our clients.” The specialized care that is provided allows for seeing growth in families, this is life- changing and this truly was a dream come true for Dr. Coleman. Living the dream is also about the future. In Dr. Coleman’s future, she desires to publish her books and then hit the road to teach the many psychiatrists across the nation who have requested her to train other therapists and clinicians on the Attachment Healing Center, Healing in Resonance, treatment approach. Long term, she sees a fully operational live-in care facility offering treatment in natural settings complete with gardens and animal therapy.
Inner Guidance Attachment Healing Center
"I took the introductory class called MarketLink. It was amazing in terms of outlining the things I needed to know as a new business owner. Additionally, I was able to network with my classmates and we supported one another through the process. It was because of my positive experience in this class, that I reached out to WESST this year when I needed guidance. Neema has offered excellent advice as my business consultant, providing many of the resources I needed access to. Tom was just phenomenal with his entire film team; they were supportive and responsive to our needs."