Our Approach

The goal of counseling is to support self-understanding and encourage new attitudes and feelings towards life situations. In addition, we believe that therapy starts in our senses (perceived sensations). Often these sensations (unpleasant memories, pain, loss, anxiety) are stored within our body and a more sensorimotor approach is our first step toward healing.

No one recovers alone and we believe that establishing safety and support within compassionate circles of care is important to one's therapy process.  It is essential to keep in mind that therapy is not a magic pill or a quick fix: therapy is a healing process that necessitates participation and investment from the patient and caretaker alike. But in the end, making small changes in self-defeating behavior and in feelings of sadness, fear, and pain can bring life-altering results. With our services, we will help you achieve just that. 


Despite your individual efforts to manage the distress and hurt in your life, even with support from your family and community, it may not be enough.  The next step in your healing journey is professional help.  With you, we design a personalized healing passport. This plan includes your goals for therapy, integrating your own inspiration for a strong mind, body, heart, and spirit.”

We specialize in intergenerational care, addressing trauma and co-occurring disorders. Our approach is culturally responsive and promotes traditional healing practices unique to the individual’s values and ways. Moreover, we use an integrative team of mental health professionals and referral sources to meet your needs. 

Our Team


Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to get into the line of work that would make a difference in people’s lives. This interest grew into my undying passion for the helping field and eventually evolved into my life's work. As a licensed therapist LPC, Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and researcher in Milwaukee, WI, I am committed to the well-being of all my clients, their families, and our communities. I wholeheartedly believe that wellness happens when we work together, and this is why I have an integrated and multisystemic approach to addressing mental health concerns.

Founder, CEO, Clinical Psychotherapist & Researcher 

Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Consultant &

Mental Health First Aid Instructor 

Lea Denny, M.S., LPC, NCC, NMT

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Deanna is a founding team member, and she began her role as Associate Director at HIR Wellness Center in 2016. 

Associate Director, HIR Wellness Center Board Secretary

Deanna Schwenner, MPA

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Barb is also a Ho-Chunk Nation member and currently a supervisor and project manager for the Ho-Chunk Nation Social Services, Community Support Services. In these various settings, Barb Consistently works toward including certain values: learn to respect honest work done well (Nel Noddings), learn to treat yourself, others, and the environment with dignity and respect (Brice Wilkinson), learn to be able to create options for yourself (Linda Sue Warner), and seek to make a fairer, kinder, and more compassionate world (Peggy McIntosh). 

HIR Wellness Center Board President

Barbara Blackdeer Mackenzie, M.Ed


Oneida Tribal Member

HIR Wellness Center Board Treasurer

Mark W. Powless, MBA


Like our founder, I have known since I was a child that I wanted to lend my voice to the most vulnerable people in society. Those that may not feel the freedom or are developing the bravery to use their own voices for self advocacy. My passion expanded after graduate school when I realized that not only were individuals in need of advocates but whole communities were suffering due to historical trauma and disenfranchisement. Becoming the a board member of HIR Wellness Center has offered me a chance to support an amazing team that recognizes the moral imperative of embracing wellness for individuals through healing communities. 

HIR Wellness Center Board Member and Clinical Supervisor

S. Michele Cohen, Ph.D, LPC, LCPC

Through my experiences, I have developed a passion for understanding the worldview of others and to walk alongside them through their journey of wellness. I believe that when it comes to individual wellness, we cannot overlook the community they are a part of. I embody a holistic, relational, and systemic approach, while striving to be an advocate for the underserved communities impacted by historical trauma. 

Program and Operations Coordinator, Volunteer Therapist

Tanya Scheidegger, M.S., LPC-IT, NCC

"Illness becomes wellness when I becomes We"
Healing Intergenerational Roots for All Nations-One Tribe 

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HIR Wellness Institute is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations made are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law. Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to sustain our services and enhance our program offerings. We thank you for your continued support! 

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