Our Mission

The mission of the Inner Well Institute is to help clients develop individualized self-care tool kits to enhance their well-being. The Institute offers integrative and holistic modalities drawn from positive psychology, self-compassion, research, mindsight (a combination of mindfulness and insight), mindfulness meditation, and movement education (qigong and tai chi).

Our services


Tai chi and qigong are the very first form of Traditional Chinese Medicine developed centuries ago. Qigong is a meditative movement practice that gave birth to tai chi. Sharon’s daily body-mind-spirit practice has included qigong for the past 25 years. She offers classes in several locations in Dayton and is always open to finding new venues open to having her classes.


Spiritual direction is a confidential form of spiritual care that occurs in a one-to-one relationship, usually monthly. There is also group spiritual direction, a form of spiritual direction in which a spiritual director meets with usually no more than four or six members for group spiritual guidance. To understand this process better, please select the tab Spiritual Care.

TRAINING FOR ELDERING WITH GRACE WELLNESS PROJECT FACILITATORS  who wish to host the small groups in faith communities and community centers.

In 2015, Director Sharon Trekell, together with a local task force, began creating a wellness program for those desiring to live into their third chapters (ages 55 and beyond) with dignity, wisdom, and resilience. The resulting six-week Eldering with Grace course offers expert guidance, deep exploration, and practical exercises within a small circle of peers. Participants learn to deepen their spiritual practices and enrich their lives by examining ideas that empower inner growth and new awareness.

Today’s elders are significantly different than those of previous generations. Many are designing new lives by beginning encore careers, seeking creative ways to age in place, and reclaiming a sense of well-being by engaging in complementary practices, such as meditation, centering prayer, qigong, and tai chi.


Meet the Director

Sharon Otto Trekell, Ph.D. is a woman of myriad interests who has successfully integrated many of them into services that benefit and empower others. Of these, health care advocacy, spiritual care, and emotional healing have shaped her lifework.

Sharon’s interest in health care advocacy stems from her own experience with natural childbirth. She believed that obstetrics had transformed a normal physiological experience, in which a woman facilitates birth in her own way, into a pathological one, requiring pain relieving drugs. She enrolled in her first childbirth education class in 1970, and subsequent classes motivated her to ensure that other expectant mothers might have comprehensive childbirth education. She became President of the Dayton Childbirth Association and later, its Administrative Supervisor. In the late 1970s, as the Director of Public Relations for the International Childbirth Association, Sharon worked at a national and local level with obstetricians and obstetrical nurses, successfully persuading many hospitals to offer family-centered maternity care and birthing suites for new families.

In the late 1980s, Sharon was drawn to the spiritual disciplines. She pursued Master of Divinity studies at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and enrolled in the Religious and Pastoral Studies program at Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. Eventually, she acknowledged that counseling and family-centered care beckoned her more than the clerical or academic worlds. She then proceeded to earn a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Wright State University in 1992. In the early 1990s, she became vice president and psychotherapist at the Dayton Institute of Family Therapy.

In 1996, Sharon’s desire to improve the overall physical and spiritual health care experiences for families was fulfilled when she accepted the position of Coordinator of Spiritual and Integrative Care at Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) in Dayton, Ohio. In this role, she developed education for clinicians and administrators that focused on maintaining their physical, mental, and spiritual health despite their stressful work environment. Sharon especially cherished the Anam Cara (soul friend in Gaelic) Volunteer Program, which she conceived and implemented in 1998 for volunteers who wanted to learn interfaith and meditative ways to be present to families and patients who genuinely needed a soul friend. In this same year, after four years of study, Sharon earned her doctorate in psychology from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2000, Sharon founded the Inner Well Institute in order to provide services focusing on spirituality, resilience, self-care, and self-compassion. Initially, the Institute offered stress management and spiritual direction. Then, Sharon increased the Institute’s offerings by pursuing her interest in complementary and alternative healing. As she explored the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine, she earned certifications as a SHEN practitioner as well as a qigong and tai chi instructor so that clients could avail themselves of these deep healing disciplines. Currently, Sharon sees a need for a wellness program that will address the challenges that today’s elders face. The Eldering with GRACE Project will present education on health benefiting practices for those ages 55 and beyond. The Institute will train facilitators who wish to lead this six-week program that will be offered to faith communities, to hospital wellness programs, civic groups, and faith communities.


Copyright 2019. Inner Well Institute, Dayton, Ohio