About Me

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato, MA
wholehearted LLC

Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher
MA, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Certified Coach, Wellness & Health
Certified Designing Your Life Coach and Facilitator
Certified Yoga Teacher, 200 hr

Navigating life’s ups and downs with compassion, wisdom and ease is my favorite topic to explore, study and teach. I have found immense healing, insight and wisdom in my own life through these embodied practices.  I am delighted to also be positioned to teach these practices.

I offer one-on-one coaching and teaching, courses and custom workshops. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you, and to see what we might discover!

Currently my offerings are virtual with some limited opportunities for in-person offerings in Brunswick, ME.

With a background in clinical mental health counseling, mind-body practices, I incorporate a range of evidence-based practices into my work. I have found tremendous value in embodied exploration— working with experiences with the mind, body, and heart.

As a teacher, facilitator, and coach, it is my role to share the wisdom of various practices, the science and research which support their efficacy, to encourage you to creatively engage with the practices, and to support you as you apply what you learn to navigate the realities in your own life.

Through my personal practice, I have an appreciation for varied challenges that present themselves along the path to transformation and change. I therefore tend to approach teaching with some humility, humor and an invitation to be honest about and learn from all of our experiences.

I continue to be inspired by the clients and students with whom I have worked — by the creative ways in which they applied wisdom teachings to get unstuck, to grow in their ability to love themselves, and to face heartbreaking realities with courage and resilience. One of the greatest benefits of teaching and continued practice is learning from and being inspired by others.

My background

  • Small business owner of Wholehearted LLC for my coaching and teaching
  • Small business co-owner of Fieldbrook Advising for Designing Your Life Facilitation
  • Yoga teacher
  • Previously served as a therapist (while under supervision during licensure process)
  • Previously served in Development/Fundraising roles within Higher Education and Arts & Culture


  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Summa Cum Laude, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Sociology, State University of New York at Geneseo

Professional Certifications and Trainings

  • Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Trained Teacher
  • MSC for Healthcare Communities Trained Teacher
  • Certified Wellness and Health Coach
  • Certified Yoga Teacher (200 hour)
  • Certified Designing Your Life (DYL) Facilitator and Coach

Other areas of training and focus:

Compassion and Self-Compassion:

  • 8-month Community for Deepening Practice – weekly sessions with a cohort of fellow MSC teachers to deepen self-compassion practice and teaching
  • The Way to Freedom: 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva with Pema Chödrön, Omega Institute


  • Graduate coursework on the integration of mindfulness into therapy for emotional wellbeing
  • Clinical internships included integration of mindfulness into therapy
  • Completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Intensive, Omega Institute
  • Contemplative Practice in Higher Education workshop / retreat, Omega Institute
  • Contemplative Psychotherapy (Mindfulness) with the Nalanda Institute — currently underway

Trauma-Informed Trainings:

  • Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training
  • Trauma-Informed Children’s Yoga Training
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk


  • 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Course (silent retreat)

I continue to participate in trainings for my own study and practice, and to infuse what I learn into my offerings.

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