Running list of class ideas

  • Locating Emotions in the Body
  • Living with Dual Diagnoses 
  • The Legacy of Trauma: Intro to Epigenetics 
  • The Gut-Brain Axis
  • Transformative Storytelling: Rewriting Your Personal Narrative
  • Spotting and Combating Black and White Thinking 
  • Creating a Sensory Kit for Grounding 
  • Coping with the Complex Trauma of Intersectional Oppression 
  • Navigating OHP 
  • Understanding the Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn Response
  • Establishing everyday rituals
  • Introduction to kratom for alcohol and opiate cessation , depression, anxiety, and chronic pain
  • Personal harm reduction strategies
  • Societal harm reduction interventions
  • The science of mindfulness
  • Mindfulness for trauma survivors
  • The embodied mind
  • Spotting and combating cognitive distortions
  • Nonviolent communication for intimate relationships
  • Combating stigma, med shaming, and other mental health and addiction myths
  • Introduction to trauma release exercises (TRE)
  •  Introduction to tapping (EFT)
  • Distress tolerance strategies from DBT
  • The Sinclair Method for alcohol reduction
  • Cost benefit analysis for problematic behaviors
  • Naming and giving voice to your emotions
  • The many benefits of CBD (not a sales pitch!)
  • The paralysis of analysis
  • Adult ADHD & ADD
  • Making a gratitude journal
  • Your chosen family tree: Building a network of support
  • Setting and enforcing boundaries in the real world
  • Tips for choosing a therapist
  • Breathing technique for stress, anxiety, and panic
  • Put down the phone: Combating technology addictions
  • Trump Traumas: Coping with political burnout
  • Creating a culture of enthusiastic consent, in the bedroom and out
  • Volunteering, service, and activism as self care
  • Trauma and the brain
  • How to be an ally to victims of domestic abuse
  • Processing grief
  • Bibliotherapy: Reading to Heal
  • (Trying to) overcome your perfectionism
  • Recognizing, understanding, and healing from narcissistic abuse
  • Flashback management
  • Relapse triggers and prevention plans
  • Unraveling self-defeating beliefs
  • Standing up for yourself: Assertiveness 101
  • Discovering your inherent resiliency
  • Crash course on human neurobiology
  • It is what it is: Living a life of radical acceptance
  • Seeing progress: Methods of habit tracking
  • Chair and bed yoga and stretching
  • Exercise and the depressed brain: solutions for the real world
  • Understanding stages of change
  • Nutrition for improved mental health
  • Herbal allies for depression, anxiety, and insomnia
  • Coping with and recovering from social anxiety
  • Coming out of isolation: Practical methods of reaching out
  • Taking a life stress inventory
  • When you can’t decide: How to write a declaration for mental health treatment
  • Goal mapping and planning
  • Maintaining motivation
  • Is self medication inherently harmful?
  • Making a safety plan for suicidal ideation
  • Life lessons from the Stoics
  • Questioning the cult of happiness
  • Letting go of toxic shame
  • Owning up: Atonement and making amends with intact boundaries and self respect
  • The complexities of complex PTSD and developmental trauma
  • Neurodiversity and the mad pride movement
  • What to expect in a mental health hospitalization
  • Living with Bipolar
  • Tips for having fun and socializing sober
  • Coping with burnout for Activists
  • Introduction to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): Is it right for me?
  • Lessons from Positive Psychology
  • Fostering your innate creativity
  • Quieting your inner critic
  • Patterns of codependency
  • Codependent or Interdependent? Examining similarities and differences
  • The Power of Vulnerability and the work of Brene Brown
  • Introduction to the autism spectrum
  • Everyday consequences of the war on drugs
  • Radical Self Care: A critique of the commodification of wellness
  • A trauma-informed critique of AA aka It’s okay to hold resentments against your abuser!
  • Learning about your learning style
  • Getting things done: Setting realistic goals and breaking tasks down
  • Supporting your partner, friend, or family member in recovery, while honoring your own needs
  • Taking and ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Inventory
  • Addiction as an attachment disorder
  • Listening to your heart: Understanding emotions as manifestations of needs
  • What peer support can and can’t do: When to seek professional help
  • How to spot projection in yourself and others
  • Reprogramming our inherent negative bias
  • You can’t please everyone: Giving fewer fucks about what others think of you
  • How to spot and counter gaslighting
  • Who decides what “sober” is? Medicinal marijuana, therapeutic ketamine, mindful use of kratom and other psychotropic drugs
  • Getting past your past” vs. “Integrating your past”
  • Suffering as a spectrum: The traumas of everyday life
  • Cutting ties: Letting go of toxic relationships
  • Germinating a beginner’s mindset
  • On Autopilot: Breaking free of the Default Mode Network
  • Understanding your lizard brain
  • Crash course on childhood development
  • De-fusing with your thoughts and emotions
  • The map is not the territory: Separating your self from your diagnoses and shedding unhelpful labels
  • Hope for the best, Prepare for the worst: Coping ahead of hard times
  • Understanding the vagus nerve
  • Propagating loving-kindness
  • Reciprocity and getting your needs met in relationships
  • Styles of anger expression
  • Creating your own meditation practice
  • The allures and pitfalls of dating in early recovery
  • Creating a culture of consent in the recovery community: How to avoid 13th stepping and unbalanced power dynamics
  • How to make friends as an adult
  • What Myers-Briggs tests can and can’t tell you about yourself
  • Quick and dirty tips for resisting urges
  • Dealing with dismissiveness and people who just don’t understand mental health and addiction
  • Practicing Practice: Establishing a new routine
  • How to say “NO” to anything
  • Creating a Hierarchy of Values (HOV)
  • CES and neurostimulators for mood and sleep: Research and testimonials
  • Navigating the terrain and exploring the unique joys of non-monogamy in a safe and loving context
  • Apocalypse someday maybe: Halting catastrophization
  • Nature immersion for mental wellness
  • Love languages 101
  • Understanding your attachment style
  • Who will help the helpers?
  • Radical self care for compassionate people
  • Planning your coming-out (as queer, as mad, mentally ill, aspy, whatever)
  • Coping with the challenges of invisible disabilities
  • Confronting ableism in work and life
  • Coping with nightmares
  • Honoring and listening to your anger in a healthy way
  • Recovering from toxic gender roles
  • Getting the help you deserve: Being your own advocate in recovery
  • Planning ahead for a hospitalization: Medical releases, phone trees, and making plans for pets, bills, and loved ones
  • Exercise for mental health: Practical resources
  • Financial recovery crash course
  • Everyday practices for cultivating gratitude
  • Peaceful Co-habitation: Living with roommates and parents
  • Managing expectations for a more satisfying life
  • Adjusting to life as an immigrant: Practical resources, coping with xenophobia, and retaining your cultural identity
  • Coping with phobias
  • Observing the self: Recognizing patterns of mania, depression, and anxiety
  • Escaping abuse: How to make a safety plan and get a restraining order
  • The Upward Spiral: How building a sense of agency can snowball confidence
  • Applying for disability
  • Living a life of radical honesty
  • Practical local resources round-table
  • Medical cannabis and a crash course on terpenes
  • Unlearning unhealthy and obsolete coping mechanisms- Processing and methods
  • The therapy of creativity
  • Everyday practices for better brain health
  • The Politics of Experience: Lessons from R.D. Laing
  • The Pathology of normalcy: Understanding the work of Erich Fromm
  • The history of mental health treatment
  • Media resources Roundtable (podcasts, TED talks, youtube channels, message boards, etc.)
  • Breaking free from sugar addictions
  • Living with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Understanding and healing from adrenal fatigue
  • Rebuilding trust appropriately
  • Progressive muscle relaxation for anxiety and insomnia
  • The physiology of trauma
  • Spotting red flags and manipulative tactics in dating
  • The power of words: The psychological impact of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and other divisive language
  • What to expect from detox/withdrawal and when to seek help\
  • Healing from toxic relationships
  • Forgiveness as self-care
  • Facing the opiate crisis
  • Dopamine and the biology of addictions
  • Surviving PAWS (Post acute withdrawal syndrome)
  • Nutrition for active drinkers
  • Understanding trauma bonding
  • The challenges and joys of being a highly empathetic person
  • The physical manifestations of depression and anxiety
  • Strategies for defying suicidal ideation
  • Self pity versus self compassion
  • Throwing a wrench in your own self sabotage
  • Integrating the rational and the emotional: Cultivating Wise Mind (DBT)
  • Pros and cons of ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) and TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation)
  • Caring for your childhood self/inner child
  • Finding a service animal for your unique needs
  • Living well with learning disabilities
  • Identifying enabling behavior in yourself and others
  • Coping with chronic pain and ambiguous diagnoses
  • Willfulness vs. Willingness
  • Fighting complacency and maintaining motivation
  • Introduction to the cognitive model: Thoughts, feelings, behaviors
  • Living with social anxiety
  • Distress tolerance strategies from DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
  • Active listening: How-to and demonstration
  • Strategies for overcoming procrastination
  • Understanding cycles of abuse
  • Practicing and insisting on enthusiastic consent (A trauma-informed perspective)
  • Creating a list of activities for distraction, laughter, mindfulness, and fun
  • Affirmations for everyone (including the self-loathing): Making believable statements
  • Debunking the myth of “rock bottom”
  • Secular spirituality
  • Alternate rebellion from DBT
  • The ABCs of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • Introduction to Jungian analysis
  • Holistic approaches to mental wellness
  • Guided imagery practices for stress and anxiety
  • Creating a container for difficult emotions
  • What kind of bodywork is right for me?
  • Spotting and overcoming barriers to recovery
  • Peaceful cohabitation with roommates and parents
  • Chain analysis for problematic behaviors
  • Healthy Self-soothing 101
  • Which treatment modality is right for me?
  • On being a human animal
  • Hormones and human behavior
  • Stressed out: the effects of cortisol
  • Woo or true: spotting pseudoscience
  • Staying within your window of tolerance
  • Self-acupressure for emotional wellbeing
  • Breaking the silence: Demystifying the suicidal impulse
  • Recognizing and halting emotional flashbacks
  • Neuroscience and free will: Real world implications
  • Understanding and harnessing heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Creating a sense of safety in uncertainty and life
  • Balancing your left and right brain thinking
  • The science of willpower and impulsivity
  • Body positivity 101
  • The problem with good intentions
  • Moving towards vs. moving away from
  • What you need to know about trauma bonding
  • Crisis as opportunity
  • Embarking on self-crit with self-compassion: finding comfort in discomfort
  • Getting the most out of individual therapy
  • Dialectics and holding space for multiple truths
  • Deprogramming from internalized oppression (racism, homophobia, misogyny, ableism, etc)
  • Growing up too soon: healing from parentification
  • Spoon theory 101 : Conserving your personal energy
  • Sitting with uncertainty and change
  • Challenging toxic positivity and the cult of happiness
  • The science of willpower and impulsivity
  • How to apologize
  • DBT skills crash course
  • DBT workbook group
  • Guided movement meditation
  • Practical skills and role-playing for relating/building more secure relationships when you’ve experienced trauma/c-PTSD
  • Improve confidence and overcome imposter syndrome
  • Everyday evidence-based wellness practices
  • The art of de-escalation
  • Delirium tremens and other dangers of alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Perspectives on cognitive liberty
  • Introduction to mad studies
  • How to train your own service animal for medical alert
  • Emotional support animals: Storytelling and practicalities
  • Healing from religious abuse
  • Safer and saner self-medication with cannabis
  • Mirror neurons and empathy
  • Intro to mindful eating
  • Recovery from “Workaholism”
  • Recognizing and recovering from financial abuse
  • Your pain is real: Understanding psychosomatic illness
  • Introduction to Ecopsychology
  • Navigating the politics of identity
  • Testifying against a perpetrator
  • Living well with executive dysfunction
  • The pitfalls of jealousy: Recognizing toxic monogamy
  • Trauma treatment modalities: Which is right for me?
  • Un-learning helplessness
  • Binaries that bind us: Towards continuum thinking
  • Against dualism: Intro to embodies cognition
  • The commodification of wellness: reclaiming community- and self- care
  • Confronting ableism
  • Intro to disability justice and the social model of disability
  • Getting the most out of individual therapy
  • Deprogramming from internalised oppression (homophobia, ableism, misogyny, racism, etc)
  • Growing up too soon: Understanding and healing from parentification
  • Overcoming covert incest
  • Embarking on self-crit with self-compassion
  • Peer support 101, 201, 301 etc.

 

Adulting is hard

I feel compelled to share a snippet of my morning, just because I don’t think many of us have good role models for this kind of thing and I’m doing my best putting the lessons I’m learning into practice, so I think it might be helpful to someone.

Yesterday I tried scheduling in time to think about certain things. Like, Molly: at 4 o’clock, think about what’s worrying you for an hour and what you can do about it. This is supposed to help you minimize rumination and excessive worrying throughout the day.

It didn’t go as planned, I just thought about the thing all day. I tried bringing my attention back to my breath and the rich sensory world we are always inhabiting, as often as we forget.

Time to try a radical acceptance approach: Molly: you’re getting sick and you haven’t been sleeping well and you’re probably thinking it’s your fault for not trying hard enough. Go ahead and think those things, but recognize how utterly wrong those thoughts are.

No, not wrong:

First, that’s labeling, a type of cognitive distortion that leads to reckless decision making and a warped sense of reality. It’s also black-and-white thinking. sorting every experience, thought, and person as Right or Wrong.

Secondly, that is an example of personalization, the faulty idea that you have more control of things than you do. Remember, this can also manifest as you feeling solely responsible for other’s wellness or misery.

Third, you are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough etc. Etc. Try to remind yourself throughout the day. And don’t be hard on yourself if it slips your mind. It takes lots of repetition to overcome our inherent human negative bias. You are new to your practice.

Fourth, you are sick. Stop being in denial about it.

All that (and a lot more) before I got my morning coffee. Truthfully, the third realization came to me at my first sip…

No wonder I’m tired.