Education and Wellness Programs
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Our education and wellness workshops are done at your site or virtually on a secure network for leadership, presbyterates, communities, national assemblies, chapters, healthy parish life, and more.
Our experienced speakers include clinicians, priests, women religious, men religious, and educators, all selected for their warm and engaging styles, as well as their expertise.
Our content is drawn from a current, empirical knowledge base of research from the social sciences and designed through the lens of the Catholic faith.
View a Selection of Our Workshop Topics
This presentation will explore the root causes of addiction, warning signs, and what steps to take if you or another are struggling or in doubt. Participants will explore a number of compulsive behaviors and addictions including drugs, alcohol, the internet, gaming, gambling, and more.
You can feel it coming. Your face flushes and you can’t think straight. Your anger has been triggered and you’re about to do or say something you will probably regret. Anger is a message to which we should pay close attention. We need to take control of it before it takes control of us and impacts our health and relationships. Learn what “triggers” our anger and why. Become more self-aware and better understand the roots and causes of our own personal reactions, and constructive ways to address the myriad of issues they may be signaling. Learn to deal more effectively with others when we are angry and pave the way to a healthier life.
Guidance, consultation and group discussion by a trained facilitator with expertise in assisting religious communities navigate through the practical and emotional terrain of change and transition.
Compassion fatigue is a set of symptoms directly related to persons in the helping profession. For priests and religious, these symptoms are often present without their awareness. This presentation will define and differentiate between Compassion Fatigue and Burnout and will explore the causes, red flag symptoms, and their management. Those who selflessly serve others in ministry are especially at risk and will benefit from a thorough understanding of this condition.
Conflict is a part of everyone’s daily life. Without it there would be no growth, no challenge, no change. Differences of opinion may create conflict, but they also stimulate creative thinking and move people to reflect more, work toward goals, and more effectively influence others. Conflict has an undeserved bad reputation in our culture. It is often equated with hostility which is never good. Conflict resolved in appropriate ways can: build trust and honesty, keep communication open, foster intimacy, and heal hurt feelings. This presentation will define the term “conflict” and integrate a variety of problem-solving techniques.
Is he really depressed or just “down in the dumps?” Depression is an illness that affects the mind, body and spirit. Anyone may experience it from time to time in varying degrees and times of duration. When symptoms are severe and lasting, people need professional help. This presentation provides information about depression, including its red flags, symptoms, and causes. This session offers realistic coping skills to help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression, and discern when it is time to seek assistance.
We all have at least one difficult person in our lives who makes us feel crazy. They are often people we cannot avoid such as superiors, parishioners, staff, and family members. We become disenchanted because our ways of responding are not effective. Understand why and how difficult personalities emerge. Learn how to reach out, confront, negotiate with, and set appropriate limits for the difficult people in your life in loving and appropriate ways.
Explore and journey through the triumphs and tragedies of human life and the impact of these experiences in shaping our wisdom and spirituality.
The term aging is viewed through both the lenses of culture and the Gospel. Questions explored include: How do we model the evangelical view? What are healthy and unhealthy aspects of aging? What is the spiritual grace needed in this area? Also explored is how aging, loss and diminishment affect a diocese or religious community. Finally, we review how to cope with change and transition, and find a path to healing and integrity.
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible and those for which we are not. It helps us define who we are and who we are not. People without clear boundaries are unsure and often find themselves easily controlled by the demands of others. Jesus had clear boundaries.
This session helps participants better understand what boundaries are and why they are needed. The following questions will be addressed: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone gets hurt or angry when I set limits? How do I deal with someone who wants my time, love, energy or money? Are boundaries selfish? Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?
Research suggests that the most connected and compassionate people set and respect boundaries.
Mindfulness Meditation is a western, non-sectarian, research-based form of meditation derived from a 2,500 year old Buddhist practice called Vipassana or Insight Meditation. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, and compassion. The University of California Center for Mindfulness, part of the medical school’s psychiatry department, defines Mindfulness Meditation this way:
“(Mindfulness) is a quality, which human beings already have, but they have usually not been advised that they have it, that it is valuable, or that it can be cultivated. Mindfulness is the awareness that is not thinking but which is aware of thinking, as well as aware of each of the other ways we experience the sensory world, i.e., seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling through the body.
Consistent daily practice has been known to promote the development of stability, inner calmness, and non-reactivity of the mind. In turn, this allows us to face and embrace even the unpleasant or painful aspects of daily life. By developing a simple and pure awareness, we learn to disentangle ourselves from our habitual thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and connect with our experience, with ourselves, and with others in a healthier and deeper way.
Since 1967, over 1500 studies have been conducted by over 250 independent research institutes showing Mindfulness to be clinically effective for the management of stress, anxiety and panic, chronic pain, depression, obsessive thinking, strong emotional reactivity, and a wide array of medical and mental health related conditions.
According to the American Psychological Association, the six leading causes of death in the U.S. are all linked to stress – heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide, and research has implicated chronic stress as a major contributor to a wide variety of diseases and health issues including headaches, diabetes, sleep disorders, and more.
A landmark, 20-year study conducted by the University of London concluded that “unmanaged reactions to stress were a more dangerous risk factor for cancer and heart disease than either cigarette smoking or high cholesterol foods.”
Chronic stress also exerts a strong and adverse affect on the brain even altering brain cells, brain structure, and brain function. Research has shown that unmanaged stress:
- Diminishes short, and long-term memory
- Inhibits the formation of new memories
- Diminishes the ability to learn new things
- Diminishes problem-solving abilities
- Diminishes the ability to concentrate
Through daily practice of Mindfulness we can completely change our relationship to stressors while greatly reducing the adverse affects of chronic stress. Every time we sit to meditate we are actively supporting and promoting our own health and well-being in heart, mind, and body.
The wholeness and holiness of the Temple of the Holy Spirit will be explored. Practical tips and a daily regimen to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit are covered.
What are soft skills and why are they so important? Soft Skills is a term used to describe a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality characteristics, social graces, communication and language skills, personal habits, and friendliness that characterize relationships with other people. A concept developed by Daniel Goleman, soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person’s Intelligence Quotient or IQ) which are traditionally the requirements of an occupation or any educational pursuit. A person’s soft skill EQ is an important part of their individual contribution to the success of an organization and vibrant relationships.
It has been suggested by experts that in the majority of professions and contexts, that soft skills may be more important over the long term than traditional/ standard qualifications and occupational skills. We can extend this to use in the Church given that the priest must be “relational” (Pastores Dabo Vobis), and where human formation is so strongly emphasized. Advances in technology such as texting, social networking, and a hurried society with little time for face to face interactions, provide very limited opportunities to develop these skills. The good news is that these skills can be learned at any age.
Examples of soft skills include:
- Participate in a team
- Motivate others
- Lead a team
- Maintain meaningful conversations
- Active listening
- Defuse arguments/resolve conflict
- Establish rapport with others
- Persuade others
- Communication skills
- Learn how soft skills can enhance their effectiveness as leaders and improve their relationships with others
- Fine-tune their skills in key areas
We hear so much about stress and we all have our share of it. But, what exactly is stress, and why do we believe it is so hard to manage? This presentation describes what stress is, its symptoms, and how to manage it, and reviews the many causes, signs, and types of stress, including “good” stress.
Specific activities and coping skills are suggested to help participants better understand what they and others are experiencing and effective ways to handle it.
How do people deal with difficult events that change their lives, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, a serious illness, and other traumatic events? Even less serious life events can present emotional challenges. People generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful conditions, but what enables them to do so? Learn what factors predict who will fare well and who may not. The good news is that anyone can develop resilience. Participants will learn to develop a personal strategy to navigate life’s challenges.
In our daily struggle to keep everything in order, we lose the battle because we don’t understand how our unique personality shapes how we plan and organize our work and personal responsibilities. Participants will learn:
- To analyze our daily struggles with organization
- How our personality influences our daily and weekly plans
- To use our own data to determine our plan
- Time management best practices
- Time management tools
- How to find the right tools to use