Student Cole McDonald

My connection to plants began early in life when I started work in a flower shop. I learned floral design and managed different flower shops through high school and college. I was always excited for our weekly flower and plant delivery to see something new.

Studying psychology and anthropology in college, I was fascinated by the contrast between American culture and other modern and ancient cultures. Learning how different groups adapt to their environments and the types of healing traditions they each employed revealed universal human truths: That we all want to be connected to other people and something greater than ourselves, and that we strive to survive — to remove obstacles (heal) so we can achieve our goals. I knew I wanted to facilitate these needs for others, and vicariously for myself!

I obtained my BA in Cultural Anthropology and Holistic Health, studied Shiatsu, Swedish massage, Reiki, and meditation. I later received a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I worked as a holistic psychotherapist, and began the East West course in 2003, just graduating this past May 2011.

I found herbal medicine to be the perfect counterpart to counseling work. People are able to quickly and thoroughly resolve mental and emotional barriers with the healing guidance of herbs. Merging my life passions at last, I have established a holistic counseling and herbal therapy practice, The Neighborhood Herbalist, in San Carlos, CA. I am currently working to fulfill requirements for the American Herbalists Guild.

Newest on my list of endeavors is the launching of the Community Herbal Wellness Clinic. My intention is to educate people and support wellness in my local community. Having grown up here in the Bay Area, it is very fulfilling to provide this type of support to my neighbors. Creating deep connections with my friends and clients is the underlying motivation for my work. Sharing in their healing process is thrilling. It fills me with JOY.

Happily married, I enjoy teaching our two young girls about plants and herbs in our garden at home. Spending time with my extended family and soaking up the sun is what keeps me happy.

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