Ask the Therapist 

Dear Reader, 

Welcome to the New Year! A new year offers us all an opportunity to explore what is working, what is not, and how we want to be intentional moving forward. It gives us a moment to start again, start fresh. I love these moments where we get to re-imagine aspects of our lives. And it doesn’t always feel “good.”  With a rebirth, there is always a death. Some way of how we were going about a relationship, a job, a way of being that we are saying goodbye to. If it wasn’t working for us, it’s funny to think that we would actually have a hard time giving it up. But our past selves, including old behaviors, old relationships, and old stories were once the new ones that we built our lives upon. More on that in a moment. 

So I want to speak to the intention that I would like to pursue this article for 2024. Time and attention are valuable resources these days. And the fact that you are taking some of your own resourcefulness to read this article right now is deeply appreciated. Being a therapist and writing on such important topics as our mental health, relationships, and spiritual wellness, is no small thing. I humbly write each word and expression with care. And then when Stacie asked me if I would write again, I realized that I hadn’t even ever really introduced myself since starting to write for the magazine several years ago. I’d like to offer you a little more context as to who I am and where my ideas, beliefs, and what I write inside of this article in response to your questions come from. So here is a, still brief, but further introduction. 

My name is Jaclyn Paulson (maiden name Rathje). Although except for my deceased sister and two clients, people call me Jackie. I was born and raised in a town of 700 people in southwest Minnesota. I went to college initially to study communications but quickly changed my major to counseling after reading my mother’s social work books (she was attending college in her 50s). I lived in St. Paul for a few years working until my mother died of cancer when I was 23. My oldest sister died exactly one month later in an ATV accident. Because of their deaths, I moved back to my hometown to be closer to my dad until I moved to Sioux Falls and attended graduate school for Counseling. My father died shortly after when I was 27, also of cancer. I have lived in Sioux City with my husband for the past ten years. He is on the Fire Department and we have two children, Maggie (5) and Gus (4). I share these brief but impacting stories because they have shaped how I live and serve. 

I believe part of my mission is to support myself and others in the art of living a fulfilled life, one of depth and cherishing each moment – not by always being grateful, but by always being open to feeling what is there to be felt and holding others to do the same. Facing death has opened up realms of truth and sincerity within me and also allowed me to access some of the deepest fears and sorrow that one could face, and I feel almost fearless in holding space for the depth of others. It is why I ruthlessly share and express myself, create as much as possible, and say YES when I can; including to yoga teacher training in 2012, opening a yoga studio in Sioux City in 2016, continuing my training and expansion of my work by traveling and studying with many teachers and continue to offer in-depth individual and group offerings that allows people and women especially to harness the power of their heart and that feeling all of our feelings is not insane, but really what it means to truly being ALIVE.  Most of all, the losses of my family (as well as my seven astrological placements in Sagittarius 🙂 ) shapes my WHY in all the work I do, including how I share with all of you in this article; which is: 


When you ask a question and read a response in this article, know this truth above is a very real belief inside of me that informs how I respond and what modalities I work from. Practicing compassion, curiosity and an invitation for all to be welcome are essential themes that I live and work from. And so I return to the first paragraph of this article, which is about grieving the past as a part of opening to the future. There is a poem I would like to share with you below called “I Have Been a Thousand Different Women” by Emory Hall. I will let her artistry and your own curiosity speak to the rest. 

It’s an honor to write for you all again in 2024. Please do not hesitate to send me your questions in the next year. It is a pleasure to be here, in service to our Siouxland community. 

make peace

with all the women

you once were.

lay flowers

at their feet.

offer them incense

and honey 

and forgiveness.


bless them

and let them be.

for they are the bones

of the temple

you sit in now. 

for they are 

the rivers

of wisdom

leading you toward 

the sea. 

// i have been a thousand different women 

With love, 



Jackie Paulson teaches yoga, is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Iowa, and yoga teacher in Sioux City. She holds a deeply held intention in her work: to empower somatic awareness that increases the connection and sacred wisdom within individuals and communities. Jackie facilitates in-depth yoga trainings, experiential process groups, individual + couples therapy, and energy work. The inspiration that fuels her teaching includes philosophy, myth, depth psychology, and subtle body practices. A lifelong student of the practice, Jackie completed her 300hr Yoga Teacher October 2017 and continues her education of Tantra and Somatic therapy with teachers from around the world.

Jackie’s Contact info: 712-490-7705 or

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