Roots & Wings Holistic Wellness and Art Center, which debuted at the Malibu Lumber Yard above Cafe Habana in August 2017, is a unique destination that offers natural treatments, therapy and classes for the entire family. Through art workshops, family meditation, parenting classes, transformational divorce groups and classes for kids and teens, the center takes a proactive approach to wellness. Roots & Wings also offers one-on-one sessions in a range of topics, such as family and child counseling, parent coaching, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy—a fast and effective means of processing trauma), meditation and neurofeedback. Their classes, counseling and artistic outlets are geared to increase happiness and heal stress.
The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is the brainchild of Malibu resident and Clinical Psychologist Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D., and features a creative repertoire of resources. “When you come to our center, you not only receive the most effective treatments from skilled, experienced and compassionate therapists, but you also support free parent education, teacher development and school assemblies,” says Johnston-Jones.
Johnston-Jones believes that in order to truly heal, people need to learn that they are more than what has happened to them and to go beyond diagnoses and labels that they had attributed to them in the past. In the hospitals she was working at, some of her colleagues lacked warmth and therefore didn’t connect with their clients, or worse, they treated them as if there was something inherently wrong with them. Therefore, the practitioners that she selected to be a part of Roots & Wings are warm, nonjudgmental and highly skilled.
Johnston-Jones is currently teaching free monthly parenting workshops at public schools in Malibu and Santa Monica. (This month’s class is at Point Dume Marine Science School on Dec. 13 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.) Additionally, Johnston-Jones offers free teacher training, by request, in a variety of subjects. Weekend art classes cost $20 per class. (Saturday painting classes run from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday 3D art classes are from noon to 2 p.m.)
“We’d like to replace punishment, detention and suspension with free meditation, counseling and therapeutic arts to give kids who are showing symptoms of stress—through poor behavior—the healing that they need,” says Johnston-Jones. “We also make sure that the parents and the teachers are part of the treatment.”
Johnston-Jones notes that abuse and neglect, along with being teased and experiencing stressful situations (from a parents’ divorce to being yelled at), can lead to a lifetime of chronic illness, drug use and depression. The largest study of emotional stress, with tens of thousands of participants—the Adverse Childhood Experience Study—confirms the facts. At Roots & Wings, Johnston-Jones and her staff aim to provide children with the skills they need to cope with stress, such as positive social-emotional and identity development and increased parent-child attachment, leading to overall family happiness.
As a youngster growing up in San Diego, Johnston-Jones was always motivated to give back and make a difference for future generations. Her younger brother suffered from bullying, which led to substance abuse. Seeing her brother suffer led her into the field of psychology. She believes that you can prevent drug use and suicide by healing youth who are suffering or going through a stressful time.
Therefore, she is on a quest to raise $300,000 during her inaugural year to fund the hiring of a psychologist and a mindfulness teacher as well as help support basic operating expenses. She notes that this money will enable 144 children to receive free counseling, provide 200 families with sliding scale counseling, and offer 11,000 families free parent education in the Malibu and Santa Monica school systems.
“We would really appreciate personal and corporate donations,” she adds. “We hope that we will inspire many others to donate and know that they will be changing others’ lives in very positive ways,” says Johnston-Jones, who will be donating 50% of the profits from her new book, Raise Yourself: Become the Parent Your Child Deserves You to Be, available Jan. 1 at DrJenniferJones.com.
For additional information on Roots & Wings counseling, classes and programs, or to donate, call Roots & Wings at 310.894.6597 or visit RootsNWings.org. Roots & Wings Holistic Wellness and Arts Center is located at Malibu Lumber Yard, 3939 Cross Creek Road, Suite D-210, in Malibu.