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Origins (History)

Windhorse has been developing its innovative approach to recovery from psychiatric distress since 1981. Naropa Institute faculty member and psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Podvoll, and many students including Jeff and Molly Fortuna established the first Windhorse center in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Edward Podvoll and his students formed the first “team” around a client. As the approach evolved, Dr. Edward Podvoll authored the book Seduction of Madness, now known as Recovering Sanity. Today, the cultivation of mindful attention to body, mind and environment and the development of true compassion are core values of the Windhorse philosophy of healing.


Windhorse Associates (our original name) was incorporated as a private, non-profit nondenominational health care organization in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1993. In 2008 we changed our name to Windhorse Integrative Mental Health (IMH). In 2010 we opened a site in San Luis Obispo, California.

Since the inception of the Windhorse approach, a number of sites have followed the healing philosophy of the book. Windhorse IMH is a member of this alliance, which has grown to seven active sites worldwide. The World Wide Windhorse Council meets monthly to share experience and innovation. 

For more information please call Admissions Northampton at (413) 586-0207 ext. 333, or Admissions San Luis Obispo at (805) 548-8951. We can also be reached via email at marketing[at]windhorseimh.org.

Learn more about Our Approach and What is Unique or our  Admissions Process


"Mental disturbance almost always seems to bring with it crippling self?doubt and low self?esteem. These are all too often reinforced by the stigma encountered in many ways in our society. An attitude of unconditional respect and acceptance, therefore, from those who are closest to the client is the ground from which recovery can begin."

Connie Packard, MSW, Founder