What People Are Saying
We are very proud of the words our patients, clients and community share about The 7 Tools, about Dr. Steve Hall and about Grace Porter. Click the testimonials below to learn more!
Taming The Bear was undoubtedly one of the most impactful experiences in my 15-year journey with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. Incorporating the Seven Tools of Healing into my daily life provided perspective and practical skills that allowed me to transform my perceptions and effectively manage my emotions. It is a life changing experience I would recommend to any service members or veterans that have been to combat and then find themselves in a battle to rediscover their souls.
-Charles Bailey, US Army, Retired, OIF and OEF Combat Veteran
Before Taming the Bear, I can honestly say I didn't know what I didn't know. I joined the course at my friend's suggestion, and my only expectation was that I would walk away with a few stress-handling tools. I didn't realize how the course would transform my life. I also don't think I realized my life was in need of a transformation.
Curiosity is my favorite TTB word. (Sorry Compassion, you're a close second!) The whole course was a master class in being curious about whatever it is that causes stress and anxiety (or any other trigger emotion), and then following that curiosity deeper and deeper. It's a beautiful, messy, spiraling, magnificent scavenger hunt into your own unique headspace. I REALLY fell in love with this part of the process.
Grace is the magical guide that allows all of this work to flow in an organic and authentic way. She's beyond intuitive and amazing to watch and learn from. She created a space for all of us to grow, at our own pace, and within our own boundaries.
Throughout the course, I found myself more open. Open to laughter, open to mistakes, open to living a big juicy messy life. I can breathe easier. I can see the world around me a little clearer. I feel more connected - to myself - to my family - to my job - to what I want my life to be.
I am eternally grateful - for all of it. Thanks Grace!
This class was not about recognizing that I was overstressed and under resourced, but instead about recognizing why I continue patterns that lead me to stressful situations as well as my response to stress and how it is based on my beliefs.
Taming the Bear is a journey into yourself to begin the process of understanding deeply held and likely unconscious beliefs that are causing you more stress and internal dissonance and leading you to make decisions that keep you stuck in these stressful patterns. Through compassionate awareness, this class then offers you tools to be able to hold yourself with tenderness while you work on creating new belief structures / thought patterns to create a life with less stress and more joy and success!
My favorite thing about Taming the Bear is the community of people being real about themselves and their lives as we learned how to be more real each week. Watching the empathy for ourselves and each other grow.
“I was so excited when Patti suggested that I take the class. I was in a space where my stress level was the driving force that determined so many of my thoughts and actions, and I wanted to change that. I loved the experiential practices every week. They reinforced the class material in a way that made it "sink in" more. I also really enjoyed hearing the experiences of everyone on the weekly calls. Even though we were all processing different life experiences, it was empowering to see how The 7 Tools were applicable to each situation.
Previously, I was trying to make friends with my stress through activities like yoga, hiking, and meditation. These are still important tools for me, but now I realize that these activities were mainly helping process the after effects of stress. I would be paralyzed by stress and *then* employ these tools to "feel better." The 7 Tools has added a framework for attending to my stress as it arises throughout the day.
I am not generally a willing group participant, especially when it comes to sharing my feelings. Although this was definitely the most challenging part of the course for me, I was not expecting to look forward to the calls every week. After going through the process, I now feel more empowered to share how I am feeling - and I know why it is helpful to do so!
The 7 Tools course is an in-depth study of the steps anyone can take to reframe their relationship with stress. Throughout the 12 weeks, participants learn practical skills that encourage a compassionate, fully present understanding of the stress response that leads to personal growth.
I was skeptical before signing up for the class because I have been "battling" stress for a long time - and have been on a constant, fruitless search for "answers" to the "problem." Early on, I realized that this course would be different because we weren't "battling" or "solving" anything. It took me a few weeks of working with the course materials, but I found a way recognize and transform how much of my relationship with stress was about overcoming it.
I loved the presence and kindness that Grace brought to the calls each week. It was so cool to listen as she helped guide participants with questions to delve deeper into tricky blind spots. The grounding energy she brought to the calls was much appreciated.
Dr. Hall has a unique ability to bring lightness - and bumper sticker-ready humor - in a heart-centered way that honors the depth of the work we are doing without getting weighted down in the difficult emotions that can arise when delving into the origins of our stress responses.” -Sara Siegel Web Developer
Taming the Bear is gentle and kind class that explores not only what is a stressor and where it originates from for me, but what tools might help me on a regular basis to get to where I am preventing feeling stressed rather than reacting to it.
The combination of both Grace and Steve's thoughts was really nice. I could feel a different background in education but with a common thread/message and it had me feel that much stronger about the approach and methods. Grace’s listening capacity and kindness were overwhelming and I really appreciated Steve’s responses as they directly got me to think about my practices.
[In the past I have only addressed stress] on my own using TED talks, books, yoga, exercise…but that was more to essentially ‘Breathe’ or ‘deal’ instead of taking a deeper look into beliefs, faith and the way I work that is either helpful or harmful. Taking that look and assessing among and with others kept me accountable to really do the ‘work’ and gave me a perspective I had never seen before.
I have worked with Dr. Hall for the past 51/2 years. I say “worked with” because Steve’s approach to healing is as a partnership. He is always aware that his clients are the captains of their own healing process. Working with him empowers the individual to come at healing with an open attitude and a willingness to explore health challenges from different levels. He brings with him an extensive knowledge of allopathic and naturopathic medicine, as well as openness to the power of spirit. There is always greater understanding and greater awareness. I learned that my health problems are keys to my own personal empowerment.
— AM, Philanthropist
Before taking Taming the Bear I felt that my adversarial relationship with stress was causing me to avoid opportunities for deeper personal relationships and full enjoyment of my career. I have tried several paths to change this including counseling and meditation. The integration of The 7 Tools into these practices gives both a powerful structure and process to handling my stress.
I have learned to pay attention not only to my thoughts about a matter, but to how I am experiencing that matter in my body. In Taming the Bear I learned to invite that feeling to take me to its roots. I have been able to apply this technique on my own and continue to develop new insights, which allow me to let go of painful things from my past.
In taking Taming the Bear, one not only invests in their own better future but becomes a part of a group of individuals who grow together through a common understanding of themselves and a desire to relate in a healthy way to their loved ones, careers and life events. Grace’s calm and caring leadership style makes this growth and group development possible.
Grace is an insightful and caring counselor who is well versed in The 7 Tools and is able to connect with each member in the group in a way that makes use of the tools personal and meaningful.
-59-year-old health care professional
I do what Steve suggests and it works. His explanations are complete, make sense, and leave me feeling my concerns have been heard, validated, and appropriately addressed. If anything, they are too thorough. I've never felt there was anything missing from my work with Steve.
Steve is compassionate, kind, and has a real calling to heal. He is knowledgeable on so many subjects, constantly researching, and sharing his findings in a way that is easily understood. He embraces the mind, body, spirit connection fully. He has a remarkable way of bringing all aspects of healing into a session. I always leave his office thinking "this is what the practice of medicine should be.
— Joanne H. Almvig Seattle, WA. USA
For many years, I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I carry a lot of tension most of the time. I take medication for anxiety and have gone through psychotherapy with a number of psychiatrists and psychologists over the years.
Grace helped me stop fighting my own thoughts and feelings and practice actively accepting them and forgiving myself. I hadn’t realized how much I was resisting and rejecting my own internal voice. Telling myself repeatedly that I shouldn’t feel a certain way wasn’t helping me to release negative feelings. Instead, I was unintentionally reinforcing them.
When I remember to practice the tools, I feel calmer and more centered. Even when I fall back into old thought patterns, I feel less distress, understanding that there are steps I can actively take to feel better.
With kindness, patience, and empathy, Grace helped each of us in our group to explore our feelings and habitual responses to problems and to go a little deeper with each session. She went beyond explaining the tools she was teaching intellectually, and helped us “practice” using them to resolve specific emotions and issues.
Steve Hall, MD is my go-to referral doc whenever I have a client with complex conditions who has not received answers and support from traditional medical practitioners. Steve’s extensive knowledge base and gentle manner are oriented toward educating and empowering his patients. Unlike most medically trained physician, Steve has a depth of understanding of the more natural and homeopathic means of healing. He addresses each patient within the context of their whole life, rather than seeing them as a person with a pathology that needs curing. I implicitly trust him and highly recommend him for addressing chronic conditions like auto-immune disorders, IBS, and chronic headaches.
-RR Yoga therapist and teacher
I’d definitely recommend your coaching program to somebody who was open minded. You made change sound easy, like it’s not a big deal and will come gradually. I know I’ve done things in my life that weren’t good choices but they were the choices I had and I have to live with them. Talking with you helped me be more accepting of those parts of my life. I knew why they happened and I’ve learned to accept them now. I understand how things were holding me back a lot before and now I can move forward with these things.
I think you’re very good at elaborating on the difficult concepts that are explained in your book and applying them to the issues we talked about. I think that was very useful. You definitely have a talent to make yourself…how do you say thing? To bring the awareness of what’s going on in our bodies or minds. I felt there was always compassion and kindness in your words. This came across in our calls and that very positive for me.
-Anne, Bellevue, WA, USA
I definitely enjoyed working with you. When I’m working on issues it’s nice to have someone that I enjoy talking to. I was surprised to see that I was actually willing to take a risk sharing one of my deepest wounds, one that I haven’t been able to budge for years. You’re very non-judgmental and so when I shared personal things you didn’t go “What? Oh my goodness, you’re such a bad person.” Or some other response that I often get whenever I talk about my issues with other people. I am learning that there are safe people to share things with, so thank you.
The biggest thing that impacted me during the coaching program was learning how important it is to have compassion for yourself. It also really helped me to learn how to change beliefs through first accepting the situation and learning to deal with the root of it, rather than always, instead, focusing so much on the need to get rid of the emotion. I learned to focus on what created the emotion, the root of it.
I also liked the book because it’s really easy to understand and it gives great aha’s and gives another perspective on things. I like how the change process is really simple when you follow your ideas. I’m looking to make long lasting changes and be able to retain that change.
Thank you so much for your approach to healing. I changed in a positive way because of the work we did together.
-Persephone Brooks (Co-occurring counselor), Redmond, WA, USA
I was diagnosed with series of chronic infections when I was 25. Would get many recurrent gut and sinus infections, sensitivity to sound, and light, and had chronic fatigue. I had to leave my dream job and my life kind of became all about fixing the root causes of my disease. I realized after many years of treating the physical symptoms that sometimes the most important work you can do to heal physically is heal the way your body reacts to how you think and feel in your thoughts and emotions. I learned through Taming the Bear that stress is toxic to the body, physically, and it is possible to re-train how I react to potential stressors so that toxic sludge of adrenaline doesn't chronically pump through my body every day and that kindness, forgiveness and radical acceptance eventually become habits instead. This class was very crucial to my surviving and thriving in this modern world.
-KP Non-profit worker and musician
Stress is as complex as our response. Learning and applying the Seven Tools (expertly guided in observing yourself and your classmates by a great father and daughter team) will allow you to reverse engineer your response to your own stresses - taking the bite out.