About Me

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato, MA

  • 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 courses and workshops are virtual (connect from anywhere). For coaching, there are options for either sessions via Zoom or in-person in my office in Brunswick, ME.

With a background in clinical mental health counseling and mind-body certifications and trainings, 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. I am both a teacher and perpetual student, and aim to create an inclusive and equitable environment in which we can engage in work that matters deeply — for our own well-being, and to support how we show up for others and for our communities.

My background

  • Small business owner of Wholehearted LLC: Coaching and teaching focused on compassion and well-being.
  • Small business co-owner of Fieldbrook Advising: Facilitation for groups and organizations focused on Life Design and well-being.
  • Yoga and mindfulness 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

Additional trainings:

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
  • Compassion Based Resilience Training


  • Graduate coursework on the integration of mindfulness into therapy for emotional well-being
  • Clinical internships included integration of mindfulness into therapy
  • Completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Intensive, Omega Institute
  • Contemplative Psychotherapy (Mindfulness) Certificate program 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
  • Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Training, self-paced course by David Treleaven


  • 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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