Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together - Handel Behavioral Health
Mental Health Blog

Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

Interview with Dr. Jane Eagles, MEd, PhD, LMHC

October 27, 2023

Headshot of Massachusetts Handel Behavioral Health therapist with a hand resting on the side of her face. The backdrop is painterly pink on paper texture with thin diagonal vertical yellowish white lines cutting through and a transparent orange layer with organic oval like shapes cut out, outlined with choppy brown, and exposing the pink behind.

“I look at life as a puzzle, and therapy as flipping the pieces over and putting them together.”

Dr. Jane Eagles, MEd, PhD, LMHC has over 30 years of experience working in multiple health care settings. She began her career as a cancer researcher in the laboratory and wrote summaries of research protocol  for a national cancer study group, Cancer and Leukemia Group B, that were then presented to the hospital’s Institutional Review Board to ratify. After getting her M.Ed.she then worked as a hospital based substance abuse clinician, at the same hospital where she’d done her original laboratory research. Following this, Jane worked as a Hospice and Cancer support group therapist.

Jane then worked as a school based clinician for students, kindergarten through 12th grade, and their families. Before working with HBH, she ran a private mental health practice for children, adolescents, adults, and families.

These experiences allow Jane to understand the impact the systems within which we live have on individuals: including our physical, emotional, intellectual, social, relational, environmental, and spiritual systems. When one or more of these systems is out of balance, we start to experience systems, such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relational problems, or difficulties communicating with others. 

For more than 30 years, Jane has helped children, adolescents, adults, and families identify the causes of their challenges, while utilizing the client’s  innate strengths to overcome  those challenges, and reach their identified goals.

A strong believer in lifelong learning, Jane followed her passions and curiosity to earn a B.A. in Biology, and 25 years later, a M.Ed.in Counseling Psychology, and 10 years after that  her Ph.D. in Health Psychology.

In her free time, Jane enjoys writing poetry and essays, handwritten letters, and taking photographs to illustrate her work. She also writes a column called, “Good News,” for her local newspaper. We sat down with Jane to learn more about her extensive background in the mental health field, and approach to working with adolescents, adults and couples online throughout the state of Massachusetts.

What led you to become a therapist and what experiences have you had in the field?

Jane’s journey to becoming a therapist began with her five year old self when her parents decided to drop her off at church, for her first day of Sunday School. Jane continued to attend intermittently throughout the year. 

At the end of the Sunday School year there was an awards ceremony and a pin given out for perfect attendance. Jane’s attendance had only been intermittent, she received no pin, and it was something she desperately wanted. 

For the next eight years, Jane achieved perfect attendance and earned not only a one year pin, but all 8 of them. 

Jane says, “I’ve always been someone who follows what they believe in, even when it’s challenging.”

Jane grew up in a white, homogeneous small town, so when her church youth group visited the UN Headquarters, in New York City, it was an eye opening experience for her to be exposed to different cultures, ethnicities, and races. 

Jane knew from there that she wanted to expand her worldview and understand different types of people.

After earning her B.A. in biology, Jane’s husband was stationed in Georgia for Air Force training. 

She worked as the Base Librarian, offering personal education and career development services to airmen. Jane’s prior experience was limited to working in her college library, filing books as one of 3 jobs to help her pay her way through college.

After her husband completed his military service, he and Jane moved to the Boston area for him to begin post graduate training. There, Jane began her cancer research job, began raising a family, and attended a Congregational Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth group leader, a Deacon, and a member of the church’s pastoral search committee that brought the first female pastor to her church.

Jane says, “I’m a person who’s not afraid to speak up for what I believe in.”

While living in the Boston area, Jane joined her local League of Women Voters, and chaired a study group advocating for solid waste management and building community awareness around recycling issues. The advocacy led her town to finance one of the first curbside recycling programs in Massachusetts.

 Jane says, “When my daughter was in high school, our church sponsored her to attend The National Youth Event in Grinnell, Iowa, awakening her own political awareness of oppression in South Africa.”

It was at this time that Jane returned to college  to earn her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College. 

Jane’s  son, who’s a visual learner, inspired her to study the impact of left brain dominance vs. right brain dominance on learning for her Master’s degree dissertation. 

In earning her Ph.D, from Walden University, Jane did her internship at a psychiatric day treatment center and completed her dissertation, “A Inquiry Into The Incidence And Nature Of Mentoring Relationships In Women Over The Age Of 60”. After graduating, she moved to Maine, where she worked as a school based counselor in 4 different school systems. Jane supported students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and their families. 

Before returning to Massachusetts and joining HBH, Jane ran her own community counseling practice, contracted with two high schools and a middle school to treat students and their families, and members of the community in those school districts.

Jane says, “I’ve worked with different populations throughout my life: couples, families, adolescents, and children experiencing a wide range of mental health and life challenges. Still, I’m always learning from clients and expanding my understanding of the human experience.”

How would you describe your approach to counseling?

Jane’s treatment style is relationally and holistically and behaviorally oriented. She focuses on the multiple systems in which we exist: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, relational, environmental, and spiritual systems.

“I’m a firm believer in the power of each person. I focus on my clients’ strengths, and how they can use those strengths to meet life’s challenges,” says Jane. 

Jane likes to offer guided imagery exercises to help clients identify their strength within, and how they can bring those visualizations of strength into their daily lives. 

She has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an approach which helps clients gain greater awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the here and now.

What mental health conditions and life challenges do you help clients work through?

Jane will help adults and couples work through the following challenges:

What’s your favorite part about working with clients?

“I’m honored to get to know the details of people’s lived experiences. Clients astonish me all the time by their stories and innate strengths to meet life’s challenges,” says Jane. 

“It feels like there’s a higher power telling me that this is exactly where I’m meant to be,” she adds.

Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Jane Eagles:

If you’re looking for a therapist who takes a holistic approach to mental health counseling, Dr. Jane Eagles is here for you. 

To start working with Jane online, please contact us today at (413) 343-4357.

About The Author

Nettie Hoagland Headshot

Nettie Hoagland is a writer with experience in local news reporting, nonprofit communications, and community development. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. Nettie believes in the healing power of the arts to create connection and community. She is passionate about using writing as an instrument for personal and social growth in the field of mental health. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Jane Eagles Headshot

Dr. Eagles holds degrees in biology, counseling psychology, and health psychology. Her experience includes oncology research, mental health support at the American Cancer Society, and hospice care. More About Author →