Home Awareness Meet Shaylynn Hayes-Raymond, Director of The IMF

Meet Shaylynn Hayes-Raymond, Director of The IMF

by Shaylynn Raymond

My name is Shaylynn Hayes-Raymond and I am a counsellor, advocate, and writer. I serve as the Director of The International Misophonia Foundation, and I am the owner of S. Raymond Counselling and Media Inc. My advocacy and mental health journey started in my teen years when I had to navigate my own depression and anxiety, whilst advocating for school policies that were amenable to my accessibility needs. I’ve always been a writer, and passionate about sharing stories with the world as well as ensuring that mental and neurological health is not stigmatized. In 2015, I wrote my first book on misophonia Full of Sound and Fury: Living with Misophonia. Misophonia as a condition was new to me at the time – my reason was that misophonia was taking over much of my life.

Suddenly, at 18, I was noticing every sound around me—and gradually the pain and suffering became greater. I didn’t know a name until 2014, and in 2015, I decided to write a book that included interviews with other sufferers of the condition. The purpose was to share our stories and bring this unknown condition to light. Throughout these years I was also dealing with grief and loss from two very sudden, very impactful losses. These experiences were also pivotal in my experiences in helping others deal with traumatic grief. Misophonia advocacy was two-fold for me, it was a way to give myself hope for the disorder and a future treatment, but it was also a way to distract myself from grief. As I wrote Full of Sound and Fury I met several advocates and persons with misophonia.

Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout and I in this period became very close, and I helped her create her web page for The International Misophonia Research Network. After this project, we decided to create a magazine and resource, Misophonia International. We put out several e-magazines and developed a blog that still exists today—now under The International Misophonia Foundation. These years working with Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout led to myself publishing more works, both fiction and non-fiction, but also having the honour of helping Dr. Brout publish her three Regulate, Reason, Reassure (RRR) guides for Misophonia. I also helped Kelly Bruno and Vicki Sladowski publish their teen and children’s books for misophonia. Dr. Brout and I ran classes based on her RRR books from 2018 to 2022 through Misophonia Education, which has now shuttered.

As I eventually finished my degree in Political Science, I continued advocacy work for misophonia and other mental and neurological health conditions. I am very passionate about social change that helps everyday people, especially these conditions that cross all political, geographical, and ideological spectrums. Moving on to 2022, I started the final path towards integrating my passion for mental health, advocacy, and misophonia, and undertook a program in Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Shortly after, with several others, we created The International Misophonia Foundation, a non-profit registered in Missouri. Although this road has been long, I feel as though it has all happened naturally. I am excited to take my skills as an advocate, and move on to a position as a counsellor. Most recently, I wrote and published the book Misophonia Matters, which is an approach for Clinicians, and Teens and Adults with Misophonia. There is also a workbook and class based off this approach.

Clinically, I am interested in the following areas of practice: Misophonia, Sensory Processing/Integration, Grief/Loss, Shopping Addiction, OCD, Depression, and Anxiety, and Trauma. I am also interested in researching misophonia and providing accessible information and classes to the general public. I believe that every small change one of us makes in our lives can have a greater impact on the world for neurodivergents and help us bridge the gap between misunderstanding and education.

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