Shell Lake's Vitality Village, tucked away in the Industrial Park in Shell Lake, brims with practical services dealing with both healing for the body through reflexology, and reiki, and healing for the soul with qualified mental health therapists. According to the newest Soar Counseling therapist, Wendy Muska, mental health check-ups should be on the same level as physical ones, but somehow, here in the Midwest, people are reluctant to sit down and discuss their emotional health and the resulting problems.

Wendy comes to the profession on two level playing fields; she has twenty-three years of working in the mental health field and on a personal basis, brings her message of hope and healing for families, herself experiencing the devastation of divorce and the joy of remarriage to her ex-husband.

It was a neighbor in Siren who was a social worker, that introduced her to the field of social work.

While Wendy was in junior high school, her neighbor encouraged her to volunteer to help with developmentally disabled adults and she pretty well decided back then that this is what she wanted to do with her life, being a part of someone's life journey.

Being a typical college student, she changed her focus several times going from social work to nursing and then English and philosophy. She did graduate with a degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

She later became a lifelong learner in a career she calls "a calling."

She's currently finishing her Masters of Education in Community Mental Health Counseling after working in all mental health areas, addiction recovery and with individuals with developmental disabilities.

She's also traveled through eight years working in family court meditations and assessment centers and has spent years working within the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse program and the Washburn County Mental Health Services.

The wheels came off her personal cart when her own marriage fell apart, and she and her husband finally called it quits. Now what? This is the time she decided that she needed to go further in her career and began her Master's degree studies in Superior.

Through counseling, her own marriage was restored, and now in addition to counseling a broad range of issues with a broad range of ages, it's the marriage/couples and family counseling she likes best. “We all bring baggage into a marriage, and unless we deal honestly with it, marriage becomes hard to impossible.” ​She also offers a Christian faith-based approach to clients.

Now that she is a full-time therapist for Soar Counseling in both Shell Lake on Tuesdays and Fridays, and in Siren on Monday's and Wednesdays, she holds sessions, often as few as four to six, and payments can usually be covered by insurance policies thanks to broad changes in 2010. Because she feels so strongly about what she does, she offers evening appointments and is willing to work out prices for those without insurance coverage.  

The goals of Soar Counseling are to teach their clients how to take back control of their lives and to find balance, happiness, and peace. They offer new ways to discover their client's personal potential by showing ways of investing in themselves. Wendy's appointments are handled through the Shell Lake office whose phone number is 715-468-2841, and you can email them for more information at

The three words that describe the mission of Soar Counseling are Therapy. Counseling. Care.

About the Author

Diane Dryden

Diane is a features writer for She started her fifteen-year career as a features writer for the Washburn County Register and has written for assorted newspapers and national magazines. She has also just released the third novel in her Chicago series of books – Scott Free in Chinatown. You can visit Diane's website at or her facebook page at

Last Update: Sep 04, 2018 11:03 am CDT

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