Dr. Heidi Jaeckle,
Wellness and Academic Coach/Pilates Instructor/Counselor
In 2020, I received a Doctorate of Education from the University of Arkansas. In 2008 I received a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the State University of New York Albany. In 2003 I received a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from Southern Illinois University. In addition, I have taken coursework in Health Counseling and Public Health. I have been trained in both Stott Pilates and Balanced Body methods and hold Balanced Body certification.
I work as an adjunct faculty member teaching Psychology and Higher Education. My research interests focus on the history of higher education with a special emphasis in mental and physical health of college students. My passion is helping clients through a holistic approach, bridging the mind body connection with kindness in a supportive environment. I am excited to help people reach their mental health and wellness goals.
I’ve spent most of my professional career working in higher education with college students. I have worked at the following institutions: Western Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Delaware Valley College, Davenport University, Grand Valley State University, Montcalm Community College, and the University of Arkansas. Some of my previous positions include research assistant, academic counselor, mental health counselor, lecturer, adjunct professor, and teaching assistant. I have been teaching Pilates since 2016.
My personal journey with the mind body connection began in 2003 with my first graduate course. Suffering from crippling public speaking anxiety since adolescence, I experienced extreme anxiety about the presentations required during graduate school. That same year I began doing mat Pilates with a DVD. I didn’t expect that this physical practice would increase my confidence by improving my posture and breathing techniques, but that is exactly what happened to me. It didn’t remove the anxiety, but it helped me focus on aspects of my body that I could control and did not revolve around the experience of anxiety. This was the beginning of my Pilates journey and making the mind body connection that has fundamentally altered how I feel about my body and how I exist in the world.
The following year my husband and I moved to a different state. There was also a loss in the family and the move had been stressful. I was unable to eat without experiencing digestive issues. I went through multiple medical tests with no definitive diagnosis. It was extremely frustrating and scary. I began reading everything I could on mental health and physical health. Wanting to dive deeper into studying these topics, I began a second graduate program in health counseling. It was in this program that I had the experience of someone deeply listening to me. The professor I had gave me the best gift I’ve ever received. She listened to me like I was the most important person in the world and that what I was saying was the most fascinating thing she ever heard. That experience was so transformative for me that when my husband and I moved again, I began my mental health counseling program. From that day forward I constantly strive to listen and give the same gift to other people that my professor gave to me. Making the connection between my mind and body helped alleviate the digestive issues that I experienced. I learned about making healthier choices from a holistic perspective. During the time I spent in the health counseling program at the University of Arkansas, I created two health counseling programs for college students that focused on stress management and positive goal setting.
In 2015, I began my doctoral studies and again experienced the feelings of anxiety about speaking and presenting in class. I began taking a new form of Pilates called Reformer Pilates and I was hooked. After a year of taking Reformer Pilates classes, I began my training in Pilates to become an instructor. Simultaneously, I completed my doctoral course of study and Pilates course of study. Initially I only wanted a deeper dive into learning more about Pilates to improve my practice, but I quickly found that I wanted to share what I had learned with other people. I began teaching mat Pilates in 2016 in Arkansas, while completing my doctoral studies and working as a fellow at the University of Arkansas. I have been teaching, coaching, and sharing what I’ve learned about the mind and body throughout my adult life. My passion is helping people feel better, live happier and healthier lives by focusing on positive cognitive and behavioral change combined with safe movement.
My husband and I have lived in nine states and are happy to now call Michigan home. I have one son and two cocker spaniels. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, running, practicing Pilates and Yoga, and reading.