Tanya J. Peterson is a mental health educator and author. She created Wellbeing & Words to empower people to transcend challenges, create a quality life regardless of circumstances, and to provide an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment.
A former teacher and school counselor, Peterson holds a Master of Science degree in counseling with a school emphasis and is credentialed by the National Board of Certified Counselors as a National Certified Counselor. She has both personal and professional experience with mental health care. Tanya J. Peterson is a prolific writer of books and articles that inform, empower, and entertain. She has achieved Diplomate status with the American Institute of Stress, recognized as an expert in stress and joining them in their commitment to advancing stress management and helping people manage stress and thrive.
She has authored 12 books: five novels and seven self-help books and journals. Her self-help books take people on journeys to wellbeing, discovering and using mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, and other tools for creating and living their unique version of a quality life.
Peterson’s novels center on the struggles and triumphs of living with various mental health challenges. Two novels, My Life in a Nutshell and Twenty-Four Shadows respectively, were named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 and 2016. Losing Elizabeth received the Storytellers Campfire Marble Book Award for being a book that makes a “significant difference in the world.” Her novels are recommended and acclaimed by such sources as The Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, The U.S. Review of Books, and The San Francisco Book Review.
She has created a mental health course for the renowned online education company Lernsys. Presented for kids age 8-12, the course can apply to all ages and draws on researched-based practices like mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, and health principles to help kids (and the whole family) learn to deal positively with worries, stress, and other problems. She has also created a curriculum about healthy versus toxic relationships for adolescents to accompany her novel Losing Elizabeth. She presents this to teens in schools, libraries, and community groups.
Peterson also writes extensively for HealthyPlace.com, one of the largest consumer mental health sites on the web, including their weekly Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog, weekly newsletter, and hundreds of mental health articles throughout the site. Peterson is also a regular contributor to Choosing Therapy, a large, credible resource for mental and behavioral health content. Peterson has written articles related to anxiety, wellbeing, and general mental health topics appearing in various online and print sources and has been quoted as an expert in a variety of articles in numerous sources.
Tanya J. Peterson speaks and presents in multiple locations both in her home state of Oregon and nationally about mental health, wellbeing, and books. Venus include, but aren’t limited to, community mental health centers, schools, libraries, state and national conferences, large bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, and small, independent bookstores.
Peterson has been active in her local NAMI affiliate where she served as secretary of the board of directors, co-led support groups, and gave presentations about mental health and mental illness to a variety of community groups. On a personal level, Peterson experienced a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident in 2004 and was subsequently hospitalized in a behavior health hospital where she was treated for anxiety disorders and other mental health issues. In 2019, she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders and digestive disorders and is thriving anyway.
She lives in Oregon with her husband, and the two of them are embarking on a new journey with an empty nest. She has two young adult children who are thriving in their own independent lives. She and her husband have contemplated adding a dog to their nest but aren’t quite ready to take that plunge.