Learn more about me and my practice

Jen Donovan completely rebuilt her life and career as a result of her experience with severe chronic illness. After finding no answers from conventional medical approaches, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of key mentors, found a path to healing.

With her diverse training in mental health, systems theory, polyvagal theory, nervous system regulation, ancestral nutrition, and the gut microbiome, Jen has developed Six Support Protocols to provide a clear, structured, ALL ENCOMPASSING approach to finding a thriving life again.

When not working with clients, she spends her time traveling with her husband Mike, seeking out regenerative farms, natural hot springs, and wondrous natural places.



Frequently Asked Questions about working with Jen!

I have three primary specialties, symptoms of mast cell and histamine dysregulation, psychiatric and emotional symptoms, and symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysregulation. I have worked with hundreds of clients addressing these symptoms. That being said, the body is a complex system, and these symptoms do not come in isolation. Generally accompanying these issues are autoimmune issues, digestive issues, skin issues, hormonal issues, and a multitude of others. When I work with someone, I do not provide “band aids” to specific symptoms of conditions. I work from a holistic approach to support the foundations of your health, which allows your body to heal itself! I take ALL your symptoms into account when working with you- because the body is an integrated whole. This means that the same practices that will address your depressive symptoms will also address your hormonal symptoms, and the same practices that will address your histamine symptoms will also address your digestive symptoms. It is freeing and empowering to use this approach as opposed to feeling overwhelmed by a long list of conditions with a specialist and protocol for each one.

Our first meeting is a 60-90 minute initial intake and assessment. In this section I take a detailed family and personal health history. We discuss the progression of your symptoms and identify potential root causes to your primary concerns. During this session I want you to develop a clear understanding of WHY you are experiencing these symptoms and WHAT the underlying root causes are.
Treatment planning is a collaborative process with your goals, current ability levels, preferences, and financial capacity in mind. I individualize every protocol for your specific needs and life circumstances.
Once we end the session, I take a few days to type up your plan, which will include lifestyle adjustments, nervous system regulating practices, a therapeutic nutritional protocol, and supplements if indicated.
How often we meet depends on your individual needs. We can meet up to once a week or as little as once every six weeks depending on the level of support indicated in your case. Our work together can continue until you meet your health goals, and then follow ups can continue as long as you need to maintain your goals.

I cannot provide suggestions or updates to your protocols over email or text- these are for scheduling needs and general updates only. For specific clients who have high amounts of needs, I do offer a video chat plan. After the initial intake session, we will use the app Marco Polo which allows you to send videos through the week. I will answer your questions within 24-48 hours. This allows quicker turnaround and more comprehensive support for more complex cases. Inquire about this plan if you are interested.

I use many different dietary frameworks all informed by ancestral nutritional patterns. One size does not fit all- even two people with the same surface symptoms may need different kinds of nutritional support. Many of the protocols I use are informed by the GAPS diet, medical ketogenic diets, the Weston A. Price diet, high protein diets, low oxalate diets, low lectin diets, low histamine diets, and many others. However, I individualize my nutritional protocols for each and every client during a collaborative conversation during our initial intake and assessment. The protocol we decide on often needs to be adjusted every few weeks to every few months depending on your progress and changing symptoms.

Supplements should be SUPPLEMENTAL- meaning nutrition and lifestyle always comes first. That being said, high dose targeted supplementation of key vitamins, minerals and amino acids can sometimes accelerate the progress towards your health goals. Supplements are suggested on a case by case basis- my recommendations will never break the bank and dependent on your specific situation, no supplementation at all might be indicated.

I do not work with vegan diets. I believe that some inclusion of animal based foods is necessary for optimal health and healing. I do help people transition off a vegan diet once they are ready to.

I will work with vegetarian diets in some cases, if you are willing to include foods such as eggs, dairy, and potentially even some seafood. For other situations, it may be difficult to meet your nutrient requirements even on a vegetarian diet, but this would be discussed on a case by case basis.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology, a master’s degree in Family Therapy, and am a certified Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises Provider. I am also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Practitioner. I worked with adults, teens, children and families for many years in a community mental health organization, specializing in chronic stress and trauma related conditions. Wanting to take a more holistic approach with my clients, I went back to school to get my nutritional certifications. I have also been trained and mentored by Mary Ruddick, CNC, an internationally known nutritionist specializing in severe disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

I primarily develop my treatment plans through comprehensive assessment of symptoms. Blood work results can be misleading- because the body is always trying to maintain homeostasis, blood work can miss deficiencies that are happening on the level of the cell. GI tests for bacteria, parasites and other infections are also often inaccurate. A small amount of stool is not representative of what is happening throughout the entire microbiome. I find that assessment of symptoms is more helpful in providing you with a functional plan for what we can track and observe on a daily basis!

I am not formally trained to assess blood work, or to diagnose any specific medical conditions. That being said, through my education and clinical experience, I have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge and am happy to provide my insight. My assessment of your lab reports is not a substitute for a doctor or other trained professional’s opinion.

Contrary to popular belief, diagnosis is not an exact science. Diagnoses simply describe a cluster of symptoms. It does not tell us anything about the underlying cause or what needs to be done to reverse the symptoms. We can, in fact, work to support your body through nutrition and lifestyle interventions without receiving a diagnosis. If you have struggled to get a diagnosis, this does not hinder our work together.

Healing is a loaded term. Your body is healing all the time- even right in this moment! What we are looking for is SYMPTOM REVERSAL. This means that the same things that triggered your symptoms in the past no longer do. How long it takes for this to occur varies wildly depending on the person and their particular family history, personal health history, ability to be compliant with their protocols, and a host of other factors. Be prepared for a long term process. This method is not a quick fix. Very generally speaking, people start seeing improvements and the first signs of symptom reversal between one month and six months. However, depending on the person, it can take one to three years or more to reach their ultimate health goals. I cannot guarantee any specific results. However, I have worked with enough people that these are the general patterns I see consistently.

I cannot provide emergency or crisis services. In this situation, please call 911. Unfortunately, due to the volume of email and texts I receive, I can only guarantee replies within 24-48 hours so non-emergency but urgent needs should also be taken to crisis services. I cannot provide advice or suggestions to people who are not established clients.