a note from Nicole, our founder
Throughout my career as a therapist, I’ve strived to send a message of innate health. Innate health is the idea that all humans are inherently whole and possess the capacity for mental health and well being within them. So when I started to brainstorm ideas for the name of my new practice I knew that I wanted the name to exemplify an innate or inborn potential for health and healing and embrace the simplicity and resilience that is symbolic of nature. The name ‘Native’ immediately struck a chord with me. The word native has many definitions and is used in multiple contexts including in reference to plants. Anyone who knows me, knows I love plants and gardening. Think of it this way: plants that are native to certain regions will thrive more readily and effortlessly when planted in those areas. Why is that? Well, because they are accustomed to the growing conditions in that area. They are capable of thriving in the predominant soil of that region and the prevailing climate even if both are less than ideal. They are naturally resilient there!
We are native in health. We are capable of thriving in whatever conditions we are “planted in” because our potential doesn’t exist outside of us, it exists inside of us. When we find our way back to our native or natural ways of being and living we too will effortlessly thrive.
As I considered the parallels between the term native as it is referenced in horticulture and the applicability to my own working definition of mental health I knew I found the one!
Thus, Native Integrative Mental Health Care was founded in 2021 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Nicole O'Barto Trainer
PH.D, MS, LPC
Nicole received her doctorate in counseling psychology from West Virginia University. She was clinically trained in the Department of Psychiatry at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. She also has specialized training in the integration of mind body therapies in the treatment of chronic gastrointestinal disorders and somatic disorders from the Allegheny Center for Digestive Health. Dr. Trainer has been studying integrative mental health since 2009 and has advanced training in mindfulness-based interventions, HeartMath biofeedback, and functional approaches to depression and anxiety, including nutrition, micronutrient therapy, and amino acid therapy.
Dr. Trainer has been working in private practice since 2011. She founded Native with the intention to shift the conversation in mental health care away from deficits and subjective lists of symptoms treated largely with pharmaceuticals to one focused on innate health and the integration of evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies. Further, Dr. Trainer believes that a more dynamic and holistic approach to mental health treatment would better prepare an individual for the lifelong process of understanding their emotional self and taking care of their mental health.
Dr. Trainer is also passionate about raising mental health awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health problems. She encourages a conceptualization of mental health that is more fluid and allows for occasional disruptions in emotional wellbeing to be embraced as a natural part of the human experience and not pathologized.
Psy.D., LPC, NCC, CTT
Deborah (Deb) obtained a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Carlow University and is working towards full licensure as a psychologist. She is a licensed Professional Counselor, a nationally certified counselor, and a certified trauma therapist. In therapy, Deb strives to create an environment of compassion, acceptance, and empowerment for individuals to explore areas of concern. This client-centered approach enables clients to find their inner strengths and access the agency to facilitate their desired changes.
Deb has a passion for working with individuals who have experienced psychological trauma, first responders, and forensic populations. Deb also enjoys inspiring and training future therapists through her teaching and supervision at the University of Pittsburgh.
Deb is a highly regarded expert in the field of trauma and has been sought after to provide trainings to first responders and criminal justice employees across the United States.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Kayla is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia. She received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. She utilizes an integrative theoretical, evidence-based practice; including working to meet the client where they are at. She treats the therapeutic relationship as a crucible where safety, support and value are cultivated to produce change. Kayla utilizes humor in her approach and consistently works to maintain awareness of self in the room. Kayla’s primary therapeutic work focuses on couples treatment through The Sound Relationship House and additive interventions used by John Gottman, Ph.D. Kayla also specializes in family dynamic and relational work from Structural, Emotionally Focused and Bowenian perspectives. She has worked extensively with the LGBTQIA+ community, primarily the transgender population through gender therapy and making necessary medical and surgical referrals. Kayla encourages all individuals to believe in their inherent worth and ability to belong and connect to one another and the world around them.