November 28, 2018

Managing Stress With Self Compassion

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 9:55 am by kellyfdennis

cornandcloudssideSaturday, January 19, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA

In mindfulness meditation, individuals strive to cultivate a greater awareness of the present moment. By increasing their mindfulness, participants in this stress management workshop aim to reduce their overall arousal and emotional reactivity and to gain a deeper sense of calm.

This workshop also adds the component of self compassion in the management of stress. Self compassion is being aware in the present moment when we are experiencing moments of fear, confusion, inadequacy and other similar stressors, and responding to those feelings with kindness and understanding.  This practice helps in letting self-instilled stressors go, and brings you kindly to focus on the present moments. Highly recommended for those that tend to lose self-focus to past and future possible stressors.

In this workshop you will learn/experience:

-How to make stress your ally

-What is lovingkindness and participate in a lovingkindness meditation

-Breathing Space Meditation

-Gratitude, the antidote for stress

-How to cultivate self appreciation

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 15 people. The sessions are open to all ages, backgrounds, and religions.

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the Facilitator. Contact Kelly@kellyfdennis.com to reserve your space

Cost: $75.00

 

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November 14, 2018

Mindfulness During the Holiday Season

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 4:09 pm by kellyfdennis

yellow bokeh photo

Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn. As we learn to create purposeful present moment awareness we begin to see the changing of things in our lives that cause us stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance. Holidays can be stressful, if not difficult times for many people.

With this holiday season comes a chance for to slow down and reflect on what makes this season so special. When we choose to respond to situations with gratitude and notice the areas available for true connection with others, we can find peace under the chaos. When we practice mindfulness to the conversations we have with others in the moment it helps us connect to that which fills our hearts and minds with thanks.

In this time of festivities, shopping, gifting, we can be reminded there are ways to practice mindfulness. Slowing down during this time to appreciate the hands that have made the food, the time and effort to take to make the items we purchase, the people that are interconnected to us in the process. (newmindfullife.com)

I invite you in this season, and in our current state of our nation, to take the time to be present to others.  Give a moment of gratitude in your heart to the goodness that everyone is trying their best to offer in interaction, and see if a deeper more meaningful connection can arise to support your well-being and another’s well-being.

May you, your family, and friends live with peace and ease.

November 5, 2018

Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, identity, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 7:32 am by kellyfdennis

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(Each of these workshops is different from the previous one)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9-11am @ Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

This 2-hour workshop will help you learn the skills of self-compassion so you can respond to difficult times in your life with kindness and care.

You will learn how to:

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness in your daily life
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Support yourself during those times when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
  • Appreciate yourself

A large and growing body of research, much of it conducted by Dr. Kristen Neff, suggests that self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression, enables us to develop healthy habits, and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC: Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.

Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

October 25, 2018

Eating Disorders Anonymous Meeting

Posted in Eating Disorders tagged , , , at 9:39 am by kellyfdennis

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Where: Christ Lutheran Church 125 E. High St., Elizabethtown, PA (downstairs in Luther Library)

When: Tuesdays @ 7:00pm

More info: elizabethtowneda@gmail.com

About EDA (from eatingdisordersanonymous.org)

“Balance – not abstinence – is our goal.

In EDA, recovery means living without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation and support. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty, self-care and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and empowerment.

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders.”

*This support group has a similar structure to AA, and is very open and diverse. While Eating Disorder support groups have mixed reviews, this framework seems to create the most success. Consider attending and checking it out (be curious!) and determine if it might be beneficial for you if you are in recovery from an eating disorder. Or pass this along to someone you know who might benefit from this type of support. (One note, Kelly is not involved in managing or leading this support group. It is entirely peer based.)

 

 

October 24, 2018

Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 9:14 am by kellyfdennis

 

art beach beautiful clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

This 2-hour workshop will help you learn the skills of self-compassion so you can respond to difficult times in your life with kindness and care.

Self-compassion is the heart of mindfulness. Self-compassion skills help us be kind and caring toward ourselves rather than being critical and judgmental. It allows us feel connected to others when we suffer, rather than feeling isolated and alone. Unlike self-esteem, the good feelings of self-compassion do not depend on being special and better than other people; instead, they come from caring about ourselves and recognizing that we all go through difficult times and it’s only human to get distressed on occasion.

You will learn how to:

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness in your daily life
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Support yourself during those times when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
  • Learn how to appreciate yourself

A large and growing body of research, much of it conducted by Dr. Kristen Neff, suggests that self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression, enables us to develop healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited. Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

October 20, 2018

Update: self Compassion Workshop

Posted in Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , , , at 11:35 am by kellyfdennis

aquatic bloom blooming blossomPhoto by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first Self compassion workshop was well received. Thanks to those who attended. Self compassion is such an important topic right now, but it can be misunderstood. I think the research done by Kristin Neff and colleagues has brought to light that we will experience less depression, anxiety, stress, and a decrease in many negative behaviors if we learn to talk to and treat ourselves as we would a good friend (that’s self compassion).

Join me on my journey to offer a series of workshops on this topic. Each workshop will be unique, so even if you’ve attended one, you will benefit from the others as well.

Next up: Intro to mindfulness meditation: 11/3/18 & 11/10/18.

October 13, 2018

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 6:33 am by kellyfdennis

abstract art awareness branches

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saturday, November 3, 2018 & Saturday, November 10, 2018

9:00 am-11:30 am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

This 2-session course is designed to introduce the concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness strategies in a purposeful way in order to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into your daily life.

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind,” Jon Kabat-Zinn. As we learn to create purposeful present moment awareness we begin to see the changing of things in our lives that cause us stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance.

Mindfulness concepts covered will include:

Mindfulness and the scientific research

Mindfulness of the breath and body

Obstacles to mindfulness

Mindfulness with difficult emotions

Mindfulness with difficult thoughts

Mindfulness Meditation practices will include:

Mindfulness of breath and body

Sensory mindfulness

Mindful eating

Mindful movement

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 15 people. The sessions are open to all ages, backgrounds, and religions.

Cost: $150.00 for 2 sessions and materials needed for the course.

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the facilitator. Please contact Kelly to sign up or for further information: (717) 951-0266 or kelly@kellyfdennis.com

October 6, 2018

Counseling for Individuals with a Cancer Diagnosis

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Well-being tagged , , at 6:35 am by kellyfdennis

 

Cancer is the number two killer in the United States after heart disease. One in every four people will develop cancer. In general, there are three basic forms of cancer based on the part of the body that is affected: sarcomas (bone or soft tis- sue), carcinomas (surface tissue, such as lung, breast, colon), and leukemias or lymphomas (bone marrow or lymph nodes). (Read the full ACBT article here)

When individuals are first diagnosed with cancer there is often a reaction of disbelief accompanied by many negative emotions, which can include depression, anxiety, and extreme fear. Fears include apprehension about the disease itself, its treatment, doubts about the success of the treatment, and how the cancer and its treatment may affect one’s life. Physical and psychological reactions can change over time (for instance, with a change in type of treatment, or after fol- low-up tests, etc.) as the cancer either gets worse or goes away. Generally, the more widespread the disease, and the more physical impairment or disfigure- ment, the more difficult it may be to adjust psychologically to the disease. Difficulties in adjustment can interfere with day to day living, work, and relation- ships with significant others.

What Is Coping? What Affects Coping?

The better a patient can cope with the cancer, the more likely that he or she can enjoy a better quality of life. In order to deal with cancer, individuals engage in behaviors to directly address the disease; for example, choosing a problem-oriented approach to help with decisions around the type of treat- ment and where the treatment will be taken. Other, more personal, examples include redefining self-worth and realizing one’s control over the disease process. Having a reason to live, such as caring for a family, wanting to con- tribute to a business or charity, or continuing a favorite hobby, is especially helpful in coping with cancer.

An individual’s ability to cope is affected by the cancer’s severity, how far it has spread, the degree of physical debilitation, the person’s view of himself or herself and his or her purpose in life, social supports, and whether the cancer is terminal.

Positive relationships with others help the patient adjust. Individuals need to feel that they can develop and maintain warm and trusting relationships. How friends and family adjust to the diagnosis can greatly affect the cancer patient’s ability to cope with the disease. If family and friends react with denial or disbelief, or blame the patient for causing the cancer, this may lead to poorer adjustment. Conversely, having friends and family who accept the diagnosis and maintain the same warm and close relationship that existed before helps the cancer patient’s adjustment. Care providers who are open, who provide accurate information regarding disease expectations, outcomes, and sensory experiences greatly assist the cancer patient’s ability to cope with this traumatic illness.

Behavior Therapy

One area that has been the focus of most of the research for psychological interventions is the use of relaxation training (learning to relax certain muscle groups, or biofeedback) to reduce chemotherapy treatment side effects. Relaxation training is effective in reducing anxiety, nausea, and vomiting, both before and after chemotherapy. Strategies for reducing stress, including relaxation training and education about particular medical procedures, also help reduce anxiety and increase compliance with the doctor’s treatment rec- ommendations.

There are several goals in the use of behavior therapy with cancer patients. The first goal is to help the individual learn to problem solve around dealing with the disease, its treatment and side effects, and to increase feelings of con- trol over the disease. The second goal of behavior therapy approaches is to address specific problems, such as sexual dysfunction, which the cancer or cancer treatment(s) may cause. A third goal of behavioral approaches is to deal with compliance issues that may directly affect the success of medical treatments for the cancer.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Individuals with cancer often have many fears and misconceptions about the disease, its outcome, its treatments, and their own ability to cope. Cognitive behavioral approaches can help patients to identify negative beliefs that may hinder their ability to accept the diagnosis and cope with the disease. Once dysfunctional beliefs are identified, individuals can challenge these neg- ative thoughts, develop more rational responses, and think more positively, particularly regarding their role in adjusting to the disease. The ability to examine negative thoughts objectively and to replace them with more posi- tive, adaptive thoughts greatly enhances quality of life. Cognitive therapies are also used to help individuals who are terminally ill to accept or reduce their fear of death and dying. Other cognitive strategies involve imagery in conjunc- tion with relaxation training.

October 4, 2018

Psychology and Headaches

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Well-being tagged , , , at 6:00 am by kellyfdennis

person people woman hand

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Doctors have long noted a link between stress and headaches. Stress can be related to headache in three ways. Stress can directly set off the biological events underlying headache. Stress can intensify an existing headache. The prolonged presence of a headache can itself begin to exert a psychological toll (or stress) on the individual. The person becomes “sick and tired of feeling sick and tired”. Depression and anxiety sometimes occur in people with headaches of long-standing, unremitting origin. (see the full ABCT article here.)

Behavior Therapy Treatment Approaches

The behavior therapist first assists the patient in studying factors that might bring on, maintain, or worsen headaches. The patient may be asked to keep track of these factors each day. This is done with a “headache diary.” The patient also rates pain, frequency, severity, and duration. The information is helpful in judging progress during treatment. Three behavior therapy tech- niques have been developed for use with headache patients: biofeedback ther- apy, relaxation training, and stress coping training.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback teaches patients how to control the bodily processes that bring about headache. For example, in the treatment of tension headache, sensors are attached to the affected muscles (on the skin surface) so that the patient is provided ongoing information, or “feedback,” about activity in the monitored muscles. Armed with this information, the patient strives to lower the muscle activity to a more acceptable level. This is a way of alleviating pain. Biofeedback therapy for migraine involves teaching patients one of two ways to control the body. One way is through control of hand surface temperature. This provides a good index of nervous-system arousal and blood flow. Another way is through monitoring blood flow in the temple area. This is a common site of migraine.

Relaxation Skills

Relaxation also teaches control of one’s body. A common relaxation method is to do a series of exercises. The exercises involve tensing and releasing muscles. This helps the patient to feel relaxed. Biofeedback works with specific bodily response systems. Relaxation works on the entire body.

Stress Coping

Stress coping training provides patients with a general set of problem solv- ing or coping skills. These can be used to manage a wide range of situations

associated with headache. This treatment uses various cognitive and behav- ioral treatment methods. These keep stress factors more manageable. Patients may be taught how to become less reactive emotionally. They may be taught to interpret potentially upsetting situations more objectively. They are taught to manage time, interpersonal situations, and the like. They are also taught to react better to the psychological distress that can result from chron- ic headache itself. Often the behavior therapist will combine all of these methods.

October 3, 2018

Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , at 11:49 am by kellyfdennis

aquatic bloom blooming blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

October 20, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

Take time to nourish yourself during this 2-hour workshop. Join us as we explore the importance of self-care through compassion and meditation. Some topics we will cover include:

  • How cultivating self-compassion enhances our inner and outer life experience
  • How self-compassion leads to greater compassion for others and enhanced relationships
  • Ways we can “nourish” ourselves for an enriching life experience
  • Deepening our connection with ourselves and others
  • Exploring various meditations that cultivate self-compassion, connection and inner peace

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.

Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

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