Where same cannot survive


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael J. Yates        DATE: July 19, 2017 PHONE: 865-719-7221

Where shame cannot survive

The popular American scholar, writer, and speaker, Brene Brown, is widely regarded for her insightful ability to unpack the human experience around shame. She once said, “If we can share our story with someone who listens with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

Living a life absent of the feelings of shame is not easy, nor is it easy to be yourself, fully. Everyone has a story. Some lives are penned in radiant colors of vitality, while a great many have chapters penned with the indelible ink of trauma and tragedy. For people living with the constant internal messaging that “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy enough,” their story may be uniquely difficult to share with others. Indeed, everyone has a story.

Being who we are is often a rich tapestry of these chapters intertwining and connecting for a life fully and authentically lived. Yet, along the way, many of us may need a little help in untangling and transcending the difficult, painful chapters of our story.

Raquel Nichols has a story, too. Her vocational story weaved a twenty year path as clinician and director, from Kentucky to New York, where she received numerous recognitions, certifications, and awards. Today, she now holds the position of Clinic Director and Therapist at Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services in Oneida, where she also coordinates the Integrated Care Initiative in partnership with Mountain People’s Health Council, Inc.

Raquel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider Designation (LPC/MHSP) in the State of Tennessee. Her education and training, particularly as a Nationally Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS), have prepared her well to preform diagnostic assessments and develop individualized treatment plans for both adults and children who are experiencing behavioral health symptoms, such as stress, anxiety, grief and depression.

“I came to realize,” Raquel said, “that everyone has challenges and everyone has struggles. If I could sit and be totally present with someone who was hurting, and really listen to their story and apply my professional training, then it could make a world of difference in how they feel about themselves. Many times hope can be found in the most vulnerable moments of someone sharing their story with someone who will listen with empathy.”

Raquel recognizes that therapists are part of a team at Ridgeview and Mountain People’s Health Council, and it is the team culture that reflects Ridgeview’s mission of hope, healing, and recovery. Nichols added, “We have a highly skilled multidisciplinary team here at Ridgeview and Mountain People’s. Everyone ‘gets it,’” she emphasized, “we’re here to help people heal and recover to be themselves, wholly and fully.” The multidisciplinary team of professionals includes everyone who has contact with the people Ridgeview and Mountain People’s serves, including psychiatrists, therapists, nurses, care coordinators, substance abuse treatment counselors, and support services.

For many individuals experiencing complex mental health needs, the availability of additional support and encouragement can be critical to their healing, recovery, and long-term success in meeting their goals and having their hopes realized. With the promotion of healthier self-esteem, resilience, and hope, individuals can experience life goals realized and author their own story of promise.

As for the next chapter of Raquel’s story, “That’s easy,” she said, “Next chapter of my story is right here in Scott County with a listening spirit of empathy and understanding for all who seek our help.”

To learn more about outpatient therapy services at Ridgeview, please contact us at 482-1076, or come visit us during our Oneida walk-in clinic hours of 9:00 – 10:00, weekdays. Regular office hours remain 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays.


Michael Yates is the Director of Development at Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services and has a combined 25 years of experience in community behavioral health & public child welfare services.
Ridgeview is a private, not for profit community mental health center with locations in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties. To make a referral or schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-834-4178 or for more information, you can also visit our website at www.ridgeview.com.
If you have an emergent need please do not hesitate to contact our 24 hour crisis line at 1-800-870-5481. Follow Ridgeview on Facebook.