Who’s Who: Michelle McKean
August 5, 2021
Article by: Mike Butler
Is there ever a perfect time to be featured in this column? Possibly! If you have a new business, a new show, a new something to promote, it’s great to be able to reach an audience to support you. If I were you, I would flag and tag this profile for possible future use, because Michelle McKean is a STAR and even if you might not require her services now, you may down the road. Let’s get acquainted with this wonderful woman.
Michelle McKean grew up in Pictou County and was blessed with an amazing family. After high school she went to Acadia, which is when she fell in love with Wolfville. After she graduated, she worked for Child Welfare while completing her BSW through distance at the University of Manitoba; this allowed her to move on to a role with Mental Health Services in New Glasgow. “I completed my MSW at MUN,” she says, “and it allowed me to get to where I am today, both professionally and geographically.”
Michelle is a superhero, but she calls herself a social worker and she has spent the last several years working in the ER here in the Valley. The last year and a half made for lots of room for reflection, so she decided to explore a private practice.
“It was conversations with my massage therapist Lucy Richard (also in Wolfville), that inspired me to take the leap,” Michelle says, “We had great chats about the mind and body connection, and how talk therapy and massage therapy both play integral roles in mental wellness. Lucy provided me a space to use while I learned the ropes of running a business by allowing me to share her office; I am forever grateful for her role in this huge step.”
Private practice allows for more autonomy and Michelle loved the idea of creating something that puts people ahead of politics. People come to therapists at their most vulnerable, and they trust them with their deepest fears, worries, and insecurities. Michelle has struggled herself, so to be part of the process of helping others in a safe, barrier-free way feels like a privilege for her. “It took me a long time to understand my own struggles with anxiety and depression,” Michelle says, “I fell into the category of ‘I shouldn’t be anxious or sad, I have a great family, job, friends, etc.’ I felt ashamed, and used maladaptive coping to band-aid what was really going on. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I really started to accept that a lot of what was going on with me was mental illness, and that it was okay.”
Moving to Wolfville has allowed Michelle to be even more free within herself. She always longed for a sense of belonging in a community, and she feels it here. Michelle wants to provide a service that allows people to feel understood and safe, to help people learn how to manage their mental health and find hope, and to ensure they know they are not alone.
This area has not only inspired Michelle to be true to herself and help others, she thrives on the beauty and the accessibility of the area like so many of us. Walks, hikes, on-foot travel to just about anywhere, and the freedom to explore and fall in love with Wolfville every day is a highlight for Michelle. Her office looks out onto the Harvest Moon Trail which makes this an ideal option.
And what does the future hold for this up-and-coming gem of our community? Michelle wants to continue to evolve and grow as a clinician but also as a person. She thinks we all need to recognize that we are never really done learning. She is in the process of refreshing her yoga teaching skills and will be offering yoga as a supplementary tool to the therapeutic process soon (when safe and appropriate). For now, she’s living a lot of her dreams here in the most wonderful, welcoming town ever. And we gladly welcome Michelle and her gifts to the town! Bravo!
Michelle McKean owns and operates Pivoted Perspective Therapeutic Services