All posts in “mindfulness”

Advanced Peer Support Facilitation Training

On Friday April 24th the Self-Help Resource Centre provided its first Advanced Peer Support Facilitation Training to a full house. This training builds on the fundamental concepts explored in the Introductory Training such as the role of the facilitator, how to use a comfort agreement, how to work with conflict in a group, and facilitation skills development. The advanced training starts off like a peer support group with introductions/check in, group objectives and agenda, and the creation of group guidelines/comfort agreement, with an emphasis on using strengths-based language and communication. The training continues with opportunities for peer leaders to bring their experience to the group and explore facilitator ethics, effective communication, tension, conflict, etc. There is also an opportunity to practice facilitation and build personal facilitator skills, such as mindful listening, self-compassion, self and group care, and more.

After completing the Intro and Advanced trainings, participants are welcome to join our monthly community of practice on the first Thursday of the month. This monthly meeting creates a space for peer leaders to get support from other peer leaders, share valuable resources and experiences, learn and develop professional skills, and brainstorm solutions to ongoing challenges in the field. Please note:

Next Intro Training: TBA
Next Advance Training: TBA
Next Community of Practice: TBA

Contact:  416-487-4355 or email registration@selfhelp.on.ca

Participant Feedback:

“Lovely to reconnect with others from the first training”

“What I liked the most and found most useful was the experience of facilitating a group and the information about how to deal with challenges in the groups, diffusing tension and conflicts.”

“It was great and a lot of fun”

“Thank you for all your hard work, support and encouragement”

“What I liked most was the atmosphere”

“Networking was the most useful and I like the facilitation practice the most”

“Good Session!!”

“The facilitation practice was the most useful, as it was great to put what we learned into practice and to get feedback for improvement”

“Thank you. I am happy to find my questions answered and I feel confident that I invested in my recovery”

“Feeling great!!!”

“What I liked most and found most useful was the openness and exchange of ideas”

“What I liked most was the people I met”

“Great work!”

“It was a great group”

“What was most useful was the insight into your own triggers and stressors and actions to take”

“The kindness and respect shared by everyone was most useful”

Introduction Peer Support Facilitator Training

On Friday February 27th the SHRC provided its second out of multiple trainings on how to facilitate a peer support group. The high demand from the community has inspired us to offer more trainings in the coming months. The introductory training is a peer support group in itself. It starts off with introductions/check in, group objectives & agenda, and the creation of group guidelines/comfort agreement including how to talk about conflict in a group, the peer facilitator role, and boundaries. The training continues with peer support perspectives in mental health, a personal facilitator skills inventory, and individual action plans for next steps in starting a group. It concludes with a mindfulness practice and check out.

After completion of the intro training, participants are welcome to sign up for the advanced training where we will dive deeper into facilitator skill development and group challenges.

Participant feedback:

“Thank you this was worth a Friday at 10am and in Toronto where I travel 2 hours to get here!!”
“Thank you knowledgeable people and Houselink is a comfortable happy setting.”
“What was most useful was the good, solid content and picking up energy and inspiration from individuals and the whole group.”
“What I liked most was the group discussion and the facilitators were willing to help.”
“The collaborative group/class work was insightful and engaging.”
“What I found most useful was evaluating our own facilitation skills/abilities and how simple it is to start a group.”
“Very welcoming environment. I felt comfortable, safe and enjoyed the snacks/beverages.”
“Very well presented, participation was encouraged.”
“The most useful was the action plan to start a group and the contacts I made.”
“Very rewarding experience.”
“Going through the group action plan was most useful. Breaking it down helped to operationalize my own action plan.”
“What I liked most was learning what I could do to resolve conflict.”
“Really awesome. Thank you!”

The Mindful Mood Centre – Mindful Living

Group Name: The Mindful Mood Centre – Mindful Living

Description: Dr. Ginny McFarlane is a family physician practicing psychotherapy. She has worked with both individuals and groups. Since the mid-1990’s, Dr. McFarlane has been creating and conducting group psychotherapy workshops such as: The Mindful Mood Workshop, a blending of CBT, Mindfulness and Healthy Living Skills; The Mindful Living Workshop, an MBCT program; The Anxiety Relief Workshop, a sequel to The Mindful Mood Workshop; The Mood Support Group, an on-going group which has met for over 14 years; The DreamPath Workshop, a Gestalt Therapy based personal growth group; and The Summer Sessions, novel workshops on different topics.

Mindful Living Workshop
This is an educational workshop for men and women who wish to continue to be well and free from Depression and Anxiety. The basis for the workshop is The Mindful Way Through Depression, by Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn, a new ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy’ (MBCT) book. The entire book, reading and exercises, will be covered in the sessions. Applicants must be able to read the book, do the exercises and engage in a daily mindfulness practice. *** All sessions paid by OHIP *except handouts, cost TBA.

*** Fees only apply for tardiness, missed classes and leaving early. Referrals are strongly preferred but not necessary.

Where: 2243 Queen St. East, 2nd Floor | Toronto, ON M4E 1G1

When: Thursdays, January 29 – March 26, 2015 (Full Day of Practice, Session 7 – March 12, 2015). Tuesdays August 18 – October 13, 2015, with Full day, Session 7, Sept 29, 2015. Please call for the time.

Contact: 416-686-2138 | www.mindfulmood.com

The Mindful Mood Centre – Mindful Mood for Mental Health

Group Name: The Mindful Mood Centre – Mindful Mood for Mental Health

Description: Dr. Ginny McFarlane is a family physician practicing psychotherapy. She has worked with both individuals and groups. Since the mid-1990’s, Dr. McFarlane has been creating and conducting group psychotherapy workshops such as: The Mindful Mood Workshop, a blending of CBT, Mindfulness and Healthy Living Skills; The Mindful Living Workshop, an MBCT program; The Anxiety Relief Workshop, a sequel to The Mindful Mood Workshop; The Mood Support Group, an on-going group which has met for over 14 years; The DreamPath Workshop, a Gestalt Therapy based personal growth group; and The Summer Sessions, novel workshops on different topics.

The Mindful Mood Workshop
This is a foundational skills group for men and women who wish to learn how to manage their moods better. It combines Mindfulness practice, Cognitive-Behavorial Therapy, and education about Anxiety, Depression and healthy living. It is suitable for people with Depression or Anxiety Disorders. All sessions paid by OHIP* except Mindful Mood Workbook, cost $85, and the textbook, Mind Over Mood, which can be purchased from bookstores. All applicants are assessed individually in a 1.5 hour session at my office at 2243 Queen St East, 2nd floor. This is the same location as the workshop.

*** All interested participants must already have ongoing talk therapy with a health care provider which includes, but are not limited to, psychiatrist, social worker, counsellor). Fees only apply for tardiness, missed classes and leaving early. Referrals are strongly preferred but not necessary.

Where: 2243 Queen St. East, 2nd Floor | Toronto, ON M4E 1G1

When: Tuesdays from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., January 20 to April 28, 2015. Spring Session: Tuesdays, May 5-Aug 11, 2015. No Fall Session in 2015.

Contact: 416-686-2138 | www.mindfulmood.com

True Peace Toronto – Meditation Sessions

Group Name: True Peace Toronto

Description: The True Peace Toronto practices meditation and mindfulness in the tradition of Buddhist Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village spiritual community which he leads. Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings focus on the practice of mindfulness in everyday life, as well as on meditation in all its forms. Our main activities are the conduct of mindfulness practice sessions, courses on Buddhist teachings, days of mindfulness, and retreats. Our practice extends into our daily lives through daily sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindfulness in all activities, and the practice of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

We practice meditation, mindfulness, and Zen Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. A typical meditation session consists of:

  • Guided meditation (approx. 20 min)
  • Walking meditation (approx. 15 min)
  • Silent sitting meditation (approx. 20 min)
  • Mindful movements/stretching (approx. 5-10 min)
  • A reading on Buddhist teachings (we pass a book around the circle and each of us reads a paragraph from it if we wish) (approx. 15 min)
  • Dharma sharing: sharing our experience with the practice in our daily lives or asking questions.

The sessions are facilitated by experienced meditation practitioners. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions: All are welcome. Attendance is free of charge (donations welcome).
No experience is necessary. We have an email list for announcements and sharing about practice. To sign up to it, you must show up to one of the meditation sessions and write down your email address.
We have a Sangha Library from which you can borrow or buy books on meditation and Buddhism(Monday session only at the moment). You are welcome to ask questions about meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist practice, as well as personal issues to the facilitators in person or in email. You are encouraged to speak with and make friendships with other people in the group! It is very helpful to have friends who are also practicing this path.

When: Mondays from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 pm at the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto, 569 Spadina Avenue and Fridays from 6:45 – 8:45 pm at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave.

Contact: Ghan Chee ghanchee@gmail.com | David Frank curvedspace@gmail.com | truepeacetoronto.ca

Feel Good Fridays: Wellness Beyond Weight

The Self-Help Resource Centre, with the assistance of Houselink, has launched a new peer support wellness group, titled “Feel Good Fridays: Wellness Beyond Weight”. This group is for persons interested in discovering ways to eat healthier and get active, while connecting with other community members.

The group formed by shared experiences of the volunteers, in which medical professions had advised them to lose weight and eat healthy; however, failing to acknowledge that those goals require more than just exercising and eating healthy, but also need peer support and guidance. The premise of this group relies on the acknowledgement that people who are overweight, and people who are not, may experience some of the same things that are not necessarily due to a particular illness or condition; such as, poor body image, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, fatigue and joint pain. Therefore, this group is an inclusive space for those who wish to lose weight and those who would like to gain confidence and positive esteem with their body image.

The group will start with a thirty minute community walk, followed by a one hour discussion. The discussion topics are not limited to the following: accepting and respecting the diversity of body sizes and shapes, emotional eating, body image, mindful eating, etc.

We recognize that each individual is unique and that we all, individually and collectively, have the power and ability to improve our physical and mental health. We would also like to acknowledge that we do not offer medical advice. For additional information and support around eating disorders please visit the following websites.

Sheena’s Place – for eating disorders, self-esteem and eating disorder recovery support
Sistering – for services and support specifically pertaining to women
The National Eating Disorder Information Centre – resources on eating disorders and weight preoccupation.
The Toronto Public Library – for a variety of free resources on exercise, healthy eating, chronic illnesses, and eating disorders.
The Self-Help Resource Centre – database of over 700 support groups in the GTA.

Peer Support Group Facilitation Training

On Friday January 30th the SHRC provided its first out of multiple trainings on how to facilitate a peer support group. The high demand from the community has inspired us to offer 2 more rounds of the introductory training and 2 rounds of the advanced. The introductory training is a peer support group in itself. It starts off with a walking group (weather permitting), introductions/check in, group objectives & agenda, and the creation of group guidelines/comfort agreement including how to talk about conflict in a group, the peer facilitator role, and boundaries. The training continues with peer support perspectives in mental health, a personal facilitator skills inventory, and individual action plans for next steps in starting a group. It concludes with a mindfulness practice and check out.

After completion of the intro training, participants are welcome to sign up for the advanced training where we will dive deeper into facilitator skill development and group challenges.

Participant feedback:

“Very helpful and relevant.”
“It was a great experience I learned a lot.”
“This workshop is exactly what I needed to go forward to my next step.”
“I like the skills building aspect that emphasizes organizing a peer program.”
“I liked that the attendees were a diverse bunch especially in their reasons for taking the training. I liked the location and the time it ended. I liked the two breaks we had because it gave me an opportunity to get fresh air and stretch my legs.”
“It was encouraging to realize that the action of peer-facilitation is becoming more widely accepted.”

Volunteer testimonials:

“Participating in the facilitator training was an excellent learning opportunity, as a placement student at SHRC. I feel the most useful and practical skill taught in this training was how to to negate conflict within a group. Having participated in a few groups and facilitated one, I have learned that conflict is inevitable; there will always be a difference of opinion and values that are brought to each group due to the natural diversity and variation within our communities. This exact notion of differing worldviews was also brought to the forefront in the training, demonstrating the importance of discourses within the context of comparing a medicalized model of mental health versus an everyday account of mental health. It was further explained that often times these differing and conflicting perspectives is the source of much conflict within groups. Therefore, understanding where our counterparts situate themselves within these discourses is imperative to resolving conflict. The style in which the training was taught was very useful as a participant interested in improving their skills as a peer support facilitator. The entirety of the training was organized similar as to how a support group should run from beginning to the end including some of the following; introductions, check-in’s, agenda and objectives, creating a comfort agreement, a series of topics, mindfulness and a check-out process. This set-up of the training was useful in understanding how a group should run within direct practice and further allowed the participants to take away a practical skill to implement within their own work. Also, the use of activities and post-it notes was my favourite part of the training. Often times, day trainings tends to become a lecture-style format in which all the participants are sitting and listening to the presenter while a slide show runs in the background. Having activities to do with all the participants, at your individual table and also in pairs, avoided this earlier fear and allowed for active engagement without getting bored or distracted. Lastly, the post-it notes were useful because it incorporated a visual and artistic component to the training, that is often lacking in other more traditional types of training.” ~ Caitlin Keating

“Assisting, as well as participating in the SHRC’s peer support group facilitation training, was an invaluable experience. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help with some preparation for the group as well as being able to help others with their action plans. Making the action plans was very enjoyable and productive. Developing them lead to much needed direction and motivation to begin facilitating our own groups. The training content was detailed and very informative. The input from many of the participants regarding their past experiences in groups, discussing what worked and what didn’t, positively added to the discussion. The extensive facilitation experience of the SHRC’s peer support training facilitator, was very apparent with the level of knowledge she demonstrated and shared with the group. I found the peer support training to be extremely worthwhile and beneficial.” ~ Tammy Clayton

The Etobicoke Children’s Centre – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Group Name: The Etobicoke Children’s Centre – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Parents & Children

Description: At The Etobicoke Children’s Centre, we are dedicated to providing services to children, youth and their families who experience challenges related to mental health and autism. We believe in a collaborative approach to addressing the needs of children and youth, working with parents, caregivers, and the community to promote support for the individual child and awareness in​ the community. Our multidisciplinary team assists at every stage, providing prevention, early intervention, consultation, treatment, and transition support, according to each family’s unique needs.

This group is an evidence based group based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. This group has been developed by The ECC staff specifically for parents and children who want to experience less stress and have more positive experiences in their relationship. Through this group parents will:

  • Become more self-aware, mindful and purposeful in responding to their child
  • Learn ways of becoming more emotionally connected to their child
  • Learn to manage their response to their child’s challenging behaviour(s)

Through this group and using child oriented methods, children will: become more self-aware and mindful
This practise will help children to learn alternative ways of managing their thoughts and behavior. Who should come: Parents/Caregivers and children (ages 7-12) who experience ongoing stress individually and in their relationship. Pre-registration is required and only one child per family may attend the child group. Some child care is available with notice and advance registration. ***All participants are asked to participate in evaluation of their experience of this service.

Where: 65 Hartsdale Drive | Etobicoke, ON M9R 2S8

When: Sessions are offered in the fall, winter and spring. Please call for start dates. Group begins at 5:15 p.m. ( light supper is provided) and ends at 7:15 p.m. It runs once per week for ten (10) weeks.

Contact: Purnima 416-240-1111 Ext. 2315 | ecc@etobicokechildren.com | www.etobicokechildren.com

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