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Origins (History)

Windhorse has been developing its innovative approach to recovery from psychiatric distress since 1981. The first Windhorse center was established in Boulder, Colorado by Naropa Institute faculty members Jeff and Molly Fortuna and Dr. Edward Podvoll, a psychiatrist and author of the book Recovering Sanity .


Through their work in East/West Psychology at The Naropa Institute, the Windhorse founders developed the skills of mindfulness/awareness which they integrated with their approach to assisting persons with severe mental distress. 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 IMH and in 2010 we also began offering services in San Luis Obispo, California.

Currently, Windhorse IMH is part of an alliance of mental health organizations that are based on the writings of Dr. Edward Podvoll and the approach he developed with Jeff and Molly Fortuna. This alliance includes Windhorse Community Services in Boulder, CO as well as a Windhorse organization in Vienna, Austria and one beginning in Turin, Italy. 

To answer your questions about our admissions process, please call us: In Northampton, call Eric Friendland-Kays at 413-586-0207 x333, in San Luis Obispo call Admissions at 805-548-8951 or learn more at Admission Process.

To answer your general questions about our organization feel free to call Jeff Bliss at 413-586-0207 x103

Learn more about Our Approach and What is Unique? 


"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