Leading Women – Judy Crane

Judy Crane, LMHC, CAP, ICADC, CSAT
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Guest House Ocala

In co-founding The Guest House Ocala, and serving as CEO, Judy brings her passion for helping others to the forefront. The Guest House is a treatment facility that focuses on trauma, addiction and mental health. Judy is a certified therapist and hypnotist, and an internationally recognized specialist for healing trauma and PTSD. She spearheaded Spirit2Spirit Healing, a new movement in experiential and holistic therapies, and also uses her experiences and leadership skills as a consultant to train clinical teams for other treatment centers. She is an internationally respected author, speaker and teacher. She explains, “You have to unravel the trauma story to understand the addiction story and write the recovery story.”

What was the catalyst that led you to this industry?
My dream has always been to be a writer, to be of value in the world, to make a difference and to surround myself with extraordinary people and experiences. And I believe my dreams continue to be a part of my journey.


What are the biggest challenges facing your industry, and how are you overcoming the hurdles?
I had my own life challenges and have been blessed with the ability to convert my challenges into a gift to help make a difference for families with their own struggles and challenges. The biggest challenge for our industry today is the overwhelming and continuing war with PTSD and trauma, as well as addiction and mental health issues including suicide. Research shows that unresolved trauma issues create the need for soothing, numbing and relief from emotional pain precisely through the use of addictive behaviors.

Please add to our struggle now the COVID-19 epidemic, which is creating a worldwide traumatic experience that we must address immediately. It will change the energy in the world and we will desperately need counselors and therapists as well as teachers, physicians, nurses, and the general population will need to understand that we have new challenges just as every new disaster creates, both new resilience and new pain.

Who are your role models and mentors?
I have been fortunate to have a wide range of mentors, from the teachers who saw my brightness as a child and told me, “Yes, you can,” to the early days of my career, when two women, Phyllis Michelfelder, my favorite boss, who was magical and just kept guiding me, and many other women, to take risks and DREAM BIG!, and Lee Ballard, who also cheered me on and supported me and taught me so very much about how to reach into my heart to be the best Judy I could be. There have been many others who walked with me along the way and finally an amazing man, John Southworth, who was a giant in the addictions field and whispered in my ear over and over his support. He was one of the first to understand that we must unravel the trauma to help people to have their best recovery life.

Do you have a mantra?
My manta is to DREAM BIG and take risks for those dreams and have faith! I have really been blessed in my life. I healed through my challenges when I was 42 years old, went back to school and received my master’s degree at 50. I became licensed at 52 years old and started my first treatment center in the Ocala National Forest at 57. I started the Guest House at 70 years old and wrote my first book, The Trauma Heart, at 70 as well.

Contact Judy at (855) 483-7800 or www.theguesthouse.com

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