In 2011 I was given an amazing opportunity to attend an intense training over two years with the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington D.C. and San Antonio. As part of the training, I learned to facilitate Mind Body Skills groups and was a participant of one also. In 2013 I became certified as a Mind Body Medicine Practitioner and have witnessed the transforming effects this model has had on the people I have had the pleasure of working with including, Vietnam Veterans with PTSD, female adolescents with trauma backgrounds, and individuals in a substance abuse recovery program, to name a few.
Personally, I have immersed myself in the techniques I learned and over the years have implemented them into my own life and work. I am proud to now offer Mind Body Skills groups virtually along with my colleagues from CMBM. There are many benefits of being part of a group, however, if you choose to work with me individually only, you will find that I incorporate the techniques into counseling sessions as well.
What is a Mind Body Skills group?
Mind Body Skills Groups are facilitated according to the guidelines CMBM and provide a safe and supportive small group environment to gently begin the journey towards self-discovery, reducing and relieving stress and creating optimal health. Participants learn a series of powerful and effective, research-based healing tools to help explore life changes, stress, and well- being in an intimate and supportive group setting. Anyone can benefit from the deepening self-awareness that comes from these explorations, as well as people who have a particular health or life challenge they want to understand more about.
What are the benefits of being part of a group?
Group-work has many benefits for participants including increasing awareness of how one relates to others, having the opportunity to give and receive support, and realizing one is not alone in their suffering, among others. It is a powerful tool for growth and change. Mind-Body Skills Groups offer a supportive atmosphere and an exploration of many mind-body approaches, The group is designed not only to teach mind-body skills, but also to help participants develop a deeper level of awareness in the sharing of experience among group members. The result is an increased ability to cope with the emotional, physical and psychological challenges that face us in our daily lives. Groups naturally facilitate deep wisdom and connection among members.
Decreased Physical Symptoms of Illness
Better Coping Skills
Positive Perceptions on Life
What can I expect from participating in a group?
The practice of relaxed, moment-to-moment awareness is essential for proper self-care. The key to stress management is experiencing your emotions fully and moving through them, rather than becoming stuck in them. The first step is to become aware of your emotions; the next step is to express them. Meditation helps you to develop self-awareness; verbal and creative expression (art, journaling, movement) helps you to move through those emotions.
Group participants have experienced:
A Decrease in Depression and Anxiety - a heightened sense of well-being and engagement in life
Better Coping Skills - useful tools for managing pain, chronic illness, stress, anxiety and depression
Fewer Physical Symptoms - less pain, less fatigue, and more energy
Enhanced Immune System Functioning - to help the body mobilize itself against illness
Greater Self-Awareness, Positive Perceptions of their Life - making it easier to handle stress and illness
Mind-Body Skills Groups help people to transform the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual dimensions of their lives:
Reduce and Relieve Stress / Increase Resistance to Disease / Create Optimal Health
Mind-Body Skills are the single most important and best decumented way to deal with the stress that contributes to chronic illness. Groups offer significant benefits for people with chronic illness including:
Cancer, Depression and Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Fertility Issues,
Arthritis, Diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress
Mind-Body Skills Groups are beneficial for people dealing with life changes:
Divorce, Separation, Bereavement, Severe Stress, Menopause
What Skills will I be practicing?
Groups are highly experiential and integrate techniques that will empower your growth through effective research proven skills. For a description of each skill visit the techniques page
Who can benefit from joining a Mind Body Skills group?
Anyone can benefit from joining a Mind-Body Skills group including people who already practice some mind-body skills. Groups are comprised of people of all ages and backgrounds. The common theme is the desire to seek support and develop internal resources to make changes - whether to decrease stress, pain or anxiety, enhance health and well-being, or find clarity about important life decisions. The Mind-Body Skills Group model recognizes and embraces individual differences: participants are given an opportunity to explore a variety of methods, and to take the time to listen inwardly to learn more about their own needs.
Do you offer groups for teens?
Yes! Teen groups are also continuously offered. Kids are constantly picking up stress from their environment, from adults and older kids around them. They are stressed by what they see on television and what they hear and have difficulty filtering out information. They can become stressed by major and minor changes, have difficulty with transitions and don't always have the full language to describe what they are feeling. Teaching teens to use their imaginations and to develop intuition through the use of Mind-Body Skills helps them to create a more balanced and healthier future and:
feel more confident
manage emotions and stress better
have better options in problem solving
Mind-Body techniques increase teen's ability to know and express their emotions. Having a strong foundation in emotional literacy can help them to:
tolerate frustration better
get into fewer fights
engage in less destructive behavior
be less lonely
be less impulsive
be more focused
have greater academic achievement
Causes of teen stress:
excessive expectations, worry about what others think, bullying
ineffective coping strategies, relationship problems, loss
learning differences, pressure to perform, fear of being different
peer pressure, moving, natural disasters, fatigue, poor diet, illness
separation/divorce, wanting to please others, uncertainty, lack of control
Additional causes of teen stress:
The balancing act: meeting the expectations of others versus wanting to do things your own way
being too hard on themselves
influence of changing hormones
the need to have friends
hoping for a special someone/love
wanting to be "happy" in a relationship
time demands: having too much to do and not enough time
personal power: wanting to be in charge of their own life
conflicting feelings about sex, drugs, and alcohol
If you are interested in joining a group
“This group has meant…a return to…my older wiser intuitive self…I will be anticipating being part of a group again in the future after this fulfilling experience.”
Deep concentrated breathing and meditation allows for me to be in the here-and-now and focus on what is really going on in my body. I have been using the techniques to allow me to be able to cope with very stressful situations. I feel that I have become more tolerant of others and their expressions of self awareness.”
“The growth I experienced in the group was somehow an enhancement of self esteem and also a new reverence for the spiritual power inherent in sharing and opening up to self, to others, and to the unknown."
“Listening to everyone in the group talk about themselves, I realized how different what they said was from what I thought I might hear…I know that I have grown, mostly in my ability to look inside myself, but also in my ability to really hear other people.”
“… I was able to feel comfortable being myself and sharing what I was truly feeling. I enjoyed hearing the other group members’ experiences with the practices and felt accepted and respected by everyone in the group, which in and of it self was healing.”
“…The group process was magical. Not only were the tools that were taught useful to me at various times during the program, but my life’s experiences seemed to be heightened and intensified…These life experiences were not always easy or enjoyable, but they were definitely learning experiences. I am sure I have much more to learn, but this was a big step along the way.”
“What I have grown to recognize about myself is that I spend a great deal of time taking care of everyone…This class…taught me about my origin and my environment, and the role it all played in how I have learned to survive and cope with life. I feel better about my existence and it has allowed me to engage in self care.”