Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Glendale Psychologist Incorporates Mindfulness, Yoga Into Mental Health Therapies

Dr. Susan Trafton

Dr. Susan Trafton

Dr. Susan Trafton grew up on a farm in southern Illinois during a time when career options for women were slim. “I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, when people had a mindset that women would be either secretaries, teachers or nurses,” the psychologist recalls wryly. She decided to go into teaching and discovered that it’s actually similar to being a therapist in that it helps people grow and learn.

Trafton always had an interest in literature, so after completing her undergrad studies at Indiana University-Indianapolis, she worked as a high school English teacher. “I learned about myself in those days through literature,” she says. After three years, she went back to school to get her master’s degree in counseling from Indiana University-Bloomington. She wanted to help students more directly, so she got her doctorate degree—also from IU-Bloomington—to become a psychologist.

While finishing her dissertation, Trafton was introduced to Milwaukee through some good friends that lived here. She loved how Wisconsin’s diverse landscape of inland lakes, woods, prairie and the Lake Michigan shoreline differ from the topography of southern Illinois and Indiana, and she eventually relocated to the Badger State.

During her career as a psychologist, her interest in alternative wellness increased as she noticed the connections between psychotherapy, psychology and spirituality. Trafton worked at the Lighthouse Clinic, on Milwaukee’s East Side, before opening her own practice in 2017 at GreenSquare Integrative Health Center, a community of privately owned and operated complementary healing practitioners.

Trafton provides psychotherapy mental health services for individuals, couples and groups, and works with adults and some adolescents. She incorporates mindfulness meditation and yoga into her approach while providing a safe space for people to open up and heal. She also teaches three regular classes. The class Engage the Body, Open the Heart, Heal the Mind teaches mindfulness to help the participant learn to deal with his or her thoughts, emotions and body sensations in a skillful way.

The Sustainable Happiness class helps people develop skills to heal beyond emotional wounds so that they can learn to find happiness within. “They learn ultimate happiness, regardless of what’s going on outside of us,” Trafton explains. “We can ultimately find happiness inside through meditation, breath techniques, mindfulness movement and positive psychology.” The class brings together Eastern teachings with Western teachings, with yoga and breath work, and integrates current knowledge about positive psychology and neuroscience.

Rounding out the class offerings is Yoga Nidra. “It’s not movement yoga, but yoga of meditation and relaxation to help a person let go of stresses. It’s derived from ancient India,” Trafton explains. “It helps one relax, let go and become still within, connecting with the joy, peace and love that we all carry inside and is our birthright.”

Trafton says she’s seen great results by incorporating mindfulness meditation and yoga to help her patients heal wounds of their past. “In my office, I’m working with people to help them process emotions that haven’t been fully resolved,” she says. “The classes are more educational, and I get to talk to the clients in a direct way to get them to use these skills. In the classes, people struggling with life get the support of other people going through the same issues.”

Trafton sees mainstream American society becoming more accepting of yoga and mindfulness skills, and she notes that area school districts, including Milwaukee Public Schools, are teaching mindfulness and yoga to children in order to help them deal with stress and learn coping skills. At her office and in her classes, Trafton notes that her work helps her heal and grow, as well.

“As I become more connected and enjoy the peace and love inside myself, I know more about how to take my clients down that same journey,” she concludes. “I like the deep connection with other people. They develop a trust in you and reveal their deepest, darkest spots. Being there with my clients and providing unconditional love as they’re opening themselves up and revealing the pain within is deeply meaningful.”

Dr. Susan Trafton’s office is located at 6789 N. Green Bay Ave., Glendale. For more information, call 414-305-7496 or visit GreenSquareCenter.com.

Sheila Julson is a free-lance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

VegOut Health Fest Celebrates Healthy Lifestyles

Now in its second year, the FM 102.1 VegOut Health Fest will feature more than 50 merchants and vendors offering wellness information, products and services; healthful food; educational lectures presented by health experts; and beer, wine and cocktails.

Wellness Body, Mind & Spirit Expo Brings all Modalities Under One Roof

The North Shore Wellness Body, Mind & Spirit Expo unites people from all over the region, making new connections with alternative health practitioners easy, stress-free and fun.

Meet Community Supported Agriculture Farmers at Local Farmer Open House

Community supported agriculture, a model in which consumers buy a share of a farm’s harvest each growing season and get direct access to their fresh, locally grown produce, fosters connections between farmers and consumers while encouraging ecologically sound farming practices.

Life Coach Intertwines Multiple Skill Sets to Help People Achieve Goals

Keridak Silk specializes in helping people resolve issues with love or family relationships, as well as building confidence in all aspects of life.

Dr. John Whitcomb

John Whitcomb, M.D., director and founder of Brookfield Longevity and Healthy Living Clinic, has always fostered a passionate curiosity for discovering the “why” behind illness.

Energy Worker a Goodwill Ambassador for Animals

Stacy Krafczyk combines her passion for animals with her energy healing abilities at All Spirit Healing, where she offers animal communication services, intuitive readings, reiki, after-life communication and coaching.

Ananda Healing Collective Embodies Collaboration, Community

After searching deeper and discovering how acupuncture enabled her body to heal from emotional childhood traumas, Aubrey Poglajen made the mind-body healing connection and embarked on a quest to heal others.

Building Personalized 
Connections After Breast 
Cancer Diagnosis

Since 1999, Milwaukee-based After Breast Cancer Diagnosis has offered comfort and encouragement through a nationwide network of mentors.

Open the Heart at 
Midwest Yoga and Kirtan Fest

Kirtan—call-and-response chants set to music—began in India centuries ago as a spiritual practice and a layman’s way to connect with the divine.

Understanding Reiki

During a reiki treatment, the energy is said to clear and balance our physical, etheric, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies by transmitting high frequency healing energies of unconditional, universal love through the practitioner to the client.

The Elephant in the Room

Suicide is the most feared emergency of them all. It’s a hard topic to discuss, in both clinical and non-clinical settings. It is the elephant in the room, and society needs to have a conversation about it.

New Berlin Chiropractor 
Offers a Comprehensive 
Approach to Wellness

Dr. Eliesha Evans, of Evans Chiropractic & Pain Relief Laser Clinic, has a steadfast determination to help her patients get well.