Orthopedic Challenges & Preparing for Surgery

“Kate O’Shea is a pioneer in teaching us how the integration and self-knowledge can bring forth improved life and recovery” ~ William T. Evans MD


If you are in pain, or otherwise limited, and not happy with your medical experience, let’s talk. I help people dealing with immediate challenges, those still limited by past injuries/surgeries and those preparing for orthopedic surgery. Comfort and good health includes both the practical and the emotional. We can address both.

I was born with a dislocated hip, had partial hip replacement in 1968 and have never needed another hip surgery. Finding physical comfort and happiness is very personal and not always easy. My journey inspires my work and led me to write the self-care guide “Finding Your Balance,” later published by North Atlantic Books as Healing Hip Joint and Knee Pain, .

In the words of a recent client going through bi-lateral knee surgery:

“Having Kate accompany me through the weeks before and after surgery means,

* She listens to and understands my hopes and fears non-judgmentally and keeps me positive!

* She treats me with such compassion and respect that I don’t feel like a sick person–I feel lucky.

* I have consistent and guilt-free care rather than trying to hobble together a plan based on family and friends.

* I don’t have to think of and remember everything; she will do it for me which means I can relax and focus on myself.

*She recognizes my needs even before I do and knows how to support those needs in a realistic, healthful way.”


The purpose of my work with others is to support them in getting better faster, as they build habits of awareness and self-care which enhance and sustain their wellness on all levels. This purpose is expressed in my writings, my teaching and my work with individuals.

I approach wellness as a process, a path of self-stewardship with the gentle persistence and heart, undertaken with the patience and caring you would give a child or beloved pet. I started out life with a significant orthopedic challenge (congenital hip dysplasia) that profoundly shapes my approach to life. Wellness and life balance is a conscious, step by step path of active compassion for yourself.

I have been sharing what I learn about the heart of well-being as a mindbody wellness practitioner since 1978. My passion is to inspire others to connect with their inner strengths and resources which make it possible to thrive in the face physical challenges and the stress of modern life. I offer a variety of practical, time tested tools to do so.

My background includes a Master’s degree in psychology and certifications across the wellness spectrum: Wellcoaches® Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Dragon’s Way® Instructor, Arthritis Foundation Self Help Instructor, Peggy Huddleston’s Prepare for Surgery Heal Faster Workshop Leader, Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner, Karuna Reiki Master

My personal path is founded on mindfulness meditation practice since 1975. More recently my life is enriched by my study and practice of Wu Ming Qigong. I have thrived with significant orthopedic challenges since birth. The practice of wellness, in it’s broadest sense, is my life’s vocation. Inspiring others to connect with their strengths and possibilities is my joy.

The Birth of Orthopedic Psychology:

I have special interest in working with people living through orthopedic and mobility challenges, inspired by my personal experience with congenital hip dysplasia and partial hip replacement with 1968. The procedure in 1968 was my last surgery. I have lived many similar experiences that people in pain are facing. I know intimately the issues of vulnerability, physical instability and uncertainty.

My approach is precise, compassionate, and above all, practical. The tools I share have been tested and proven effective in reestablishing, improving and maintaining my own and others’ mobility, comfort and stamina. I know that we can recover far beyond our expectations: I have done so and I have helped others do the same.

I am dedicated to bringing the joy and power of self knowledge and self care to those with physical challenges.

I coined the phrase Orthopedic Psychology in 1993 to name the dynamic in which our sense of self is shaped by the strength and stability of our inner architecture (our skeleton), and conversely how the functionality of our structural strength and stability is enlivened by our sense of self.


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