Workshops and Classes
We offer workshops teaching life skills, parenting classes, job skills training, and more.
Life skills range from basic sewing to cooking, from hygiene to shopping, and is not limited to these topics.
Parenting classes cover ages and stages of development, the best approaches we’ve found, and area resources to help you advocate for your child(ren).
Job skills training covers what to wear, business etiquette, how to listen, time management, organization, personal development, work-life balance, keeping to a deadline.
Be on the lookout for coming videos and clips from some of our classes.
Diaphragmatic Breathing Transcript
“Everyone” says, “The last thing I want is something telling me I’m breathing wrong!” but, for stress reduction and relaxation, there really is a “correct way to breathe”. Singers, athletes, and meditation experts will tell you they breathe better and have more control when breathing from the diaphragm.
When breathing in, the diaphragm, or lower belly area, should expand. Gently place your hand on your belly and breathe in. You should feel your belly fill up with air and your hand should “rise” or come away from your chest.
When breathing out, your belly should fall, your hand coming closer to your chest.
John Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program in use within the medical field throughout the country, says that babies breathe more easily, or in this “relaxed state”, because they don’t feel the chronic tension that adults learn to live with. Our bodies lock down and we learn to fight ourselves, forgetting the simple, natural practice of breathing.
Dr. Archibald Hart, author of the Anxiety Cure, recommends that one practice breathing, being aware of a calm, controlled breath, every day, so that one is familiar with the way “normal breath” feels and more easily falls into “correct breathing” when in the middle of a panic attack.
Dr. Hart recommends breathing in this correct manner for 30 seconds at a time, in a comfortable position – for some people, this is in a chair, with feet flat on the floor, others find reclined opens them up more. Some people, when learning to breathe from the diaphragm, lie on the floor, a book with some weight to it on their bell(ies) that will rise and fall with breathing.
Breathe in, feeling the tummy expand. Breathe out, releasing the belly. Breathe in the good oxygen and breathe out. Breathe in – and out. One more time, breathe in, feeling the belly expand, and breathe out. Now just sit there, breathing normally, enjoying a more relaxed state.
Do this once a day or several times a day, learning – retraining your body – to draw in the good oxygen and to breathe correctly.
For mindful breathing, focus on the breath, the way it feels coming in through the nose, filling the belly, sending oxygen-rich blood through your body….and exhale through the mouth. Breathe
To begin, do this for one minute. Work your way up to three minutes, and then five.
Now, for panic attacks, I taught my daughters Dr. Hart’s method – we breathe in for a count of four, hold it for a count of 4 (fist/hold fingers up 1,2,3,4) and release for a count of four. When we do it, I will either gently cup their faces in my hands, getting their attention and giving them something to ground them or I will stand a couple feet away and ask them to breathe with me. And I do it with them – breathing in 1,2,3,4, holding 1,2,3,4, breathing out 1,2,3,4.
Let’s take a moment to simply breathe, filling the belly as we inhale – and release. Breathe Again. In pause and out. One more time. In pause out.
Thank you for joining me. Practice the correct way of breathing and be better equipped to handle those stressful moments.
Safe Places, Safe Spaces Transcript
Utilizing grounding techniques, we’re going to create a safe place that you are familiar and comfortable with.
What is a safe place? What is a visualization?
A safe place is anywhere you feel safe, or comfortable, or even just “at home” within yourself.
A visualization is imagining, or seeing within your mind, whatever needs to be seen.
So a safe place visualization is your “seeing” (acknowledging and recognizing) a safe place for yourself within your mind.
I’m going to use my daughter’s safe place as an example, but know that anywhere you choose, anywhere you feel safe, is correct.
I had a client that found a cave, with glowing lights and reflecting pools soothing. Mine is with my eyes closed and my daughter’s tiny strong arms wrapped around me as she whispers that she loves me.
My daughter has a spaceship. She says, This is my safe space. This is my spaceship.
On my spaceship, I am gaseous and float midair. I can take a human form, tensing and feeling each muscle, my scalp, my head, my eyebrows, my eyes, my ears, my jaw, my neck, my shoulders, my spine, my chest, my tummy, my buttocks, my thighs, my knees, my calves, my ankles, my feet, my toes. I tense each muscle and hold for a count of ten or more, until the muscles are solid. To become gaseous again, I reverse the process.
The air is cool, and dry. It’s soothing to my heated self. It has a metallic taste to it, recycled air that everyone shares. The lights are perfect, dimmed to prevent blindness but bright enough I can see. It is very comfortable. Energy fills the spaceship, I can feel it humming through the ship and through my body, my mind. It is perfectly balanced. The floor is a cool tile; soothing on my feet. It leads me out to the main areas of the ship, which is a boxy-type shape. It’s full of angles and corners, which are reassuring to me.
Now we’re going to follow the breath and begin to create our safe place, a place that you will find that you are already familiar and comfortable with
Take a deep breath in – and let it out. Begin by tensing the muscles in your arms and neck. Release. Breathe in slowly and let it out. Tense the muscles in your chest and back. Release. And breathe. Tense your hands, making a fist. Hold. Release. Breathe. Tense your abdomen, your buttocks, and your pelvis. Release. Breathe in slowly and let it out. Tense your thighs, your calves. Release. And breathe. Tense, or flex, your feet and your toes. Release. Take a deep breath in and hold it for a count of ten. Release, letting go of all tension in your body. Closing the eyes, only if you feel safe, and comfortable to do so….now we’re going to follow the breath and enter our safe place, a place that you will find that you are already familiar and comfortable with….Follow your breath feel it entering and exiting, entering and exiting…..feel it fill your lungs, sending good oxygen to your body, breathing in and out….
Where are you? Notice the way the air smells, how it feels against your skin, even how it tastes.
Is it light or dark in your safe place? Are you inside or outside?
What do you hear? Is it loud or quiet? Soft or brash? Is it comfortable?
What do you feel? Reach out and touch the ground or floor under you. Is it hard? Soft? Cool? Warm? Anything goes, this is your safe place.
What do you taste? Is it sweet? Sour? Salty?
What do you see?
What do you smell? Is it damp and earthy? Moist and sour? Sweet and soothing? Is it crusty loaf bread, fresh from the oven? Is it metallic?
Now, take a deep breath, cementing this safe place within your mind. This is your safe place, your place that only has you and those you permit entrance to. No one or no thing can harm you here. Release the breath. Breathe, feeling the belly expand and …..release, letting the belly fall. You are safe. You are comfortable. You can come back here any time, using your mind.
A few notes: Close your eyes if you are safe closing your eyes. It’s not necessary but it might help you form a clearer mental picture.
The tensing and changing your muscles is progressive muscle relaxation. It’s a technique taught to cope with anxiety and stress.