What are your qualifications?  

Jacob Hess received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in the Clinical/Community Psychology Program, a top 10 psychology department in the nation. His research focus was long-term recovery from mental/emotional challenges – and he has subsequently gone on to train as a mindfulness teacher with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. He has taught hundreds of adults and teenagers mindfulness – and helped create online educational materials that have reached hundreds of thousands of people grappling with emotional and behavioral struggles all around the world.   

Talon Greef has many years of experience (more than twenty) helping families in the most difficult of situations with a child.  He is a Certified Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) and has experience as an in-home family preservation worker and currently specializes in helping families with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum, families struggling with high conflict divorce issues and consultation on high conflict divorce matters in order to avoid costly litigation.

How did this come about? 

Significant attention problems were first recognized as a legitimate behavioral health concern decades ago.  Since that time, the vast majority of people grappling with chronic inattentiveness have been encouraged to address the struggle medically.  

Jacob was first alerted to the potential of this approach by watching teenagers in his mindfulness classes. That prompted a randomized controlled trial exploring the effect of this class on teenagers.  In addition to improved depression and anxiety levels, the results confirmed measurable improvements in attentiveness as well.  After working with Talon for years at Utah Youth Village, Jacob saw his unique ability with behavioral support – and imagined the potential of combining the strengths of both a behavioral and mindfulness support.  (The most effective psychotherapy for depression – Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy – essentially does the same thing, combining CBT + mindfulness; that’s essentially what we’re trying to do here for those grappling with attention). 

Is it required that I have a doctor’s supervision while I try this?  

No.  That being said, if you are currently under a doctor’s care – we recommend you consult with them about this additional support.

Is this something I can legitimately prescribe as a doctor? 

Yes!  Just as “prescriptions for exercise” are becoming routine in cardiovascular care, we firmly believe it’s time for “lifestyle medicine” to become part of the tool-belt of physicians.  If you or someone you know is a medical professional who may be open to recommending this intervention to clients, feel free to reach out to us for more information (sustainablyheal@gmail.com)

Is this complementary to other things I’m doing?  

It certainly should be – working hand-in-hand with other things.  Especially if there’s something else you find helpful and effective, this should only bolster and confirm its effects.  If you have specific questions about this, we’d encourage you to consult with any professional supervisor – medical, or therapeutic – to discuss specific ways this may complement your other care.  

Can I do this while taking stimulants or other medication? 

Yes, you can.  Although we are still exploring the ways stimulants and lifestyle adjustments influence each other, there is every reason to expect this can be a complementary support – even reducing your long-term reliance on medications. 

Is this just for kids – or can it make a difference for people who are older? 

Neuroplasticity (the changeability of the brain) is fastest when people are young – that is true.  But it doesn’t stop when we are old! Just ask those conducting research on Alzheimer’s prevention – there’s a lot we can do to help our brains move in the right direction!  That’s why we also have an adult consult that can help those grappling with chronic attentiveness at an older age.  

Is there really research that shows attentiveness can change?  

Yes!  Check out our science page for more.

ADHD means I have a hard to focusing…so, how well am I really going to do interacting with online support?  

No question, online interaction can be harder than in-person support, for any of us!  There is evidence our overdoing of online things itself has been a major factor in corroding our attention too.  So, why not stay away from online things altogether? Great question, for sure.

If you’re able to step away from online interaction, this probably isn’t the best support for your situation.  But if you’re online regularly (aka, most of humanity), why not convert some of that time to move your brain and life in a better direction? That’s what we’re trying to do here.  

We’re going to try and support you each step of the way.  Of course, we hope you will be leaning on other support in family and friends, and any professionals you trust. But it’s precisely because of all the evidence suggesting these things can help improve attentiveness that makes us so excited to see what we might add to improve your own situation. 

I’m not sure I’m motivated enough? 

Like focus, motivation is obviously an issue.  But it’s workable! In fact, some of the key details of this approach aims precisely at motivation itself – including the fact that we’re going to do it together.  The adaptability and flexibility of the approach we’ll introduce also allows you to find a plan that makes the most sense for you, your life, or your family situation.    

What if I can’t make the time you’ve set to meet?

If the time we’ve set just won’t work for you, send us an email with alternative times on either Friday or Saturday that could work for you (sustainablyheal@gmail.com). Our current introductory video session (where you can ask us questions and learn more) happens every Friday afternoon at 1 PST/2 MST / 3 CST/ 4 EST – with the ongoing support to families happening immediately after from 1:30 – 2:30 PST / 2:30 – 3:30 MST / 3:30 – 4:30 CST / 4:30 – 5:30 EST.  To register for these online support calls, click here.

The good news is you may not need to attend these on a regular basis.  You could come to an initial introductory call, and then run with the guidance we provide.  It’s entirely up to you.

What does this cost?    

We don’t turn anyone away for financial need.  For those who can afford to contribute something for the help they receive (we’re okay if you wait to see if it’s helpful first, by the way), we’d be grateful for your donation of whatever you can.