Continuing Education

The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness sponsors continuing education for professionals who wish to include the attitudes and practices of mindfulness in their work with the people they serve. As a benefit of membership, we offer networking meetings and trainings. Many of these offerings are free of charge to our professional members. Also be sure to check out our Retreats and Mindfulness Based Programs for more continuing education opportunities. MAM is an approved continuing education provider through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. Interested in training to become a mindfulness teacher? Visit our Mindfulness Teacher Training page.


Mindful Self-Care for Caring Professionals

Monthly heart offering dedicated to cultivating self-care and self-compassion for the mindfulness-informed professional. This class is designed for anyone who incorporates the attitudes and practices of mindfulness in their service to others. Join us for monthly explorations of how to incorporate best practices related to self-care and self-compassion into our personal and professional lives. Network, nourish yourself with some coffee or tea and a mid-morning snack, and learn with other MIPs while investing in your own resilience and vitality while reducing the risk of caregiver burnout, moral distress, and compassion fatigue. Attend one or all six! 1.5 CEs available per class for KS & MO licensed mental health professionals.

Classes are led by Angie Hardage, LMLP & Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT-200 and meet six 1st Fridays from 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM starting January 2019.

  • January 4 – Including Ourselves in the Circle of Care (Angie)
  • February 1 – Building a Mindful Self-Care Toolkit Part 1 (Tracy)
  • March 1 – Building a Mindful Self-Care Toolkit Part 2 (Tracy)
  • April 5 – Self-Care as Duty (Tracy)
  • May 3 – Radical Compassion: Caring Without Attachment (Angie)
  • June 7 – Coming Full Circle (Angie)

FREE for MAM members, $20 per session for non-members (purchase passes). Once you’ve purchased your passes, visit the calendar to register for the classes you’d like to attend.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the meaning of mindful-self care and its importance for caring professionals
  • Learn how mindful self-care builds resilience and prevents burnout and compassion fatigue
  • Engage in a variety of mindful-self care practices that can be taken into work and daily life

Helpful Readings:

  • Santorelli, S. (1999). Heal Thyself: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine. New York: Random House.
  • Dass, R. & Gorman, P. (1987). How Can I Help? Stories & Reflections on Service. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) – 8 Session Series

Acceptance and commitment therapy/training is a mindfulness-based approach to increasing wellness, decreasing suffering, and creating a life of vitality, meaning and purpose. ACT is a process-based approach to learning to observe and describe difficult thoughts, feelings, urges, and sensations with curiosity and compassion, while taking effective and committed action in service of intrinsic values. The primary target of ACT is cultivating the skill of psychological flexibility, a concept that is correlated with decreases in psychological symptoms and distress and with increased quality of life.

Each class includes a combination of didactic and experiential learning and will also address 1) barriers that make it difficult to “do the know,” and 2) specific examples of how participants can translate the material into their daily personal and professional lives.

Eight weekly classes, led by Angie Hardage, LMLP, held on Fridays from 2-4 pm. Classes are stand-alone and can be taken individually or as a continuing series. Bring your meditation cushion if you like – we have a few on hand if needed and folding chairs are also available.

  • Jan 18 – The ACT Model: Psychological Flexibility & Emotional Agility. Objectives – 1. Explore the 6 processes of the ACT model; 2. Discuss the ACT philosophy of human suffering, including the myth of “healthy normality” and the concepts of “clean” pain vs. “dirty” pain3. Explore the roles of language and the nervous system in human suffering and distress; and 4. Explore the concepts of psychological flexibility and experiential avoidance and their relationship wellness and quality of life.
  • Jan 25 – Defusion: Is that a THOUGHT or a FACT? Objectives – Defusion – 1. Explore the two ways of “knowing” (experiential and verbal); 2. Learn about the role of defusion in distress, including the ability to name at least two specific examples of fusion with private internal experiences; 3. Explore various experiential defusion strategies; and 4. Explore individual and cultural barriers to practicing defusion.
  • Feb 1 – Values Authorship & Clarification: What Do You Want Your Life to Be About? Objectives – 1.Explore the difference between values and goals, 2. Engage in values authorship using the values card sort activity, 3. Learn about the concepts of pliance and tracking and how they relate to values-consistent behavior, and 4. Explore behavioral applications of values using ACT metaphors (Classroom Professor and Two Sides of the Same Coin), 5. Utilize the Flexible Action Plan to translate intrinsic values into behavioral, committed action.
  • Feb 8 – Present Moment Awareness: Be Here Now. Objectives- 1. Explore the relationship between present-moment mindful awareness and psychological distress, 2. Explore specific forms of disconnection from present-moment experience including cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance using the ACT in a nutshell metaphor; 3. Discuss the role of mindful self-compassion in increasing present-moment experiences; and 4. Utilize the Expanding Your Life Space metaphor in service of increasing present moment awareness while pursuing values-based activities.
  • Feb 15 – Acceptance: Willingness, Willfulness, & the Wisdom to Know the Difference. Objectives – 1. Explore myths related to acceptance, willingness, and willfulness; 2. Utilize acceptance-based ACT interventions including the Costs of Avoidance worksheet and the Willingness and Action plan to identify strategies for increasing acceptance and willingness in activities of daily living; and 3. Utilize the cactus/feather metaphor for practicing acceptance and willingness in the face of unwanted internal experiences.
  • Feb 22 – The Role of the Self in ACT: Contacting Self-as-Context. Objectives – 1. Explore the concept of the “self” in ACT, including self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context; 2. Engage in the “I am . . .” experiential exercise in order to contact self-as-context/observer self; 3. Discuss the role of perspective taking in the context of relationships with self and others.
  • Mar 1 – Committed Action: The Mindful Action Plan. Objectives – flexible action plan and mindful action plan – 1. Explore the relationship among committed action, psychological flexibility, and values; 2. Explore the concepts of experiential avoidance, cognitive rigidity, and rule-based behavior as barriers to committed action; 3. Discuss the 4 steps of committed action; and 4. Utilize 2 ACT resources to operationalize committed action, including the Mindful Action Plan and the Flexible Action Plan.
  • Mar 8 – Compassionate Perspective Taking. Objectives – 1. Explore the concept of the “self” in ACT, including self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context; 2. Engage in the “I am . . .” experiential exercise in order to contact self-as-context/observer self; 3. Discuss the role of perspective taking in reducing self-criticism and shame, and 4. Explore the role of self-compassion in reducing shame and self-criticism.

Fees (click to purchase a pass):

**This course is appropriate for the general public, but 2 CEs per meeting are also available to licensed KS & MO mental health professionals


Piercing the Veil of Implicit Bias: A Mindful Dismantling of the Lenses That Skew Perception and Fuel Reactivity

Implicit bias is a function of the subconscious feelings, attitudes and/or stereotypes that affect our perception, actions, and decisions. They are activated involuntarily, outside of our conscious awareness and intentional control and affect our real world functioning in ways that can cause ourselves and others harm. Fortunately, these biases are changeable and we can mindfully train our brains to see more clearly through a variety of practices.

Upcoming Offering:
Three Fridays February 1, 8 & 15, 2019 with Angie Hardage, LMLP from 11:30 am – 1 pm. (Register for the series, then purchase a pass below)

February 1, 2019: Understanding implicit bias, self assessment and reflection – Objectives: 1. Explore the concept of implicit bias along with related concepts including stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression; 2. Learn about the role of language as an unconscious mechanism of creating and perpetuating bias; 3. Explore the roles of zero-sum mentality, the social construction of power, and dichotomous thinking in creating and perpetuating bias; 4. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias, and 5. Learn about the roles of mindfulness, psychological flexibility, and mindful self-compassion in increasing awareness of bias and expanding behavioral agency in the presence of bias.

February 8, 2019: Insight and exploration, applications for systems, structures and institutions – Objectives: 1. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias; 2. Develop a deeper understanding of the filters through which we view and interpret ourselves and others; 3. Identify patterns in evaluation, assessment, and relating to others; 4. Explore the concepts of “constructive uncertainty” and “micro-affirmations.”

Feb 15, 2019: Insight and exploration, deepening the practice – Objectives: 1. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias; 2. Explore organizational values and cultural norms and their impact on bias-based behavior; 3. Explore the relationship between bias and related constructs and trauma; and 4.  Develop strategies for taking effective action in the face of biased behavior from others.

Fees:

$40 for members for the series (purchase pass)
$80 for non-members for the series (purchase pass)

**Up to 4.5 CEUs are available for KS & MO licensed mental health professionals.


Inside Out Tall BInside-Out – A Body Awareness Workshop: Take Control of Your Stressed-Out Body, Mind and Nervous System

Friday May 3, 2019 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm with Sydney Spears, PhD, LCSW

This important group health-based educational and supportive workshop will explore key information regarding your stress response, body awareness, nervous system, and brain-based sensory skills. Somatic (body-based) wisdom is critical to developing greater awareness, health and control over how toxic stress tends to chronically reside in your body and mind. The lack of awareness of how your body holds and maintains stressors and negative thoughts can keep you and your nervous system trapped within various health problems, anxiety and bodily symptoms. Many of these unhealthy symptoms often originate or become worse from the inability to effectively manage certain stressors. Consequently, many people can experience ongoing stress lodged in their bodies and nervous systems with symptoms such as: chronic pain/aches, low immune system, higher blood pressure, chronic fatigue, sleep problems, over-eating/under-eating, dietary issues, digestive issues, contracted muscles, contracted postures, headaches, many colds/flu, negative thinking, constant worrying, anxiety and states of feeling overwhelmed.

Your body is the grand container of all human experiences and your nervous system is finely tuned to support every bodily function as well as your reactions to stressors. It is very important to understand how you can use key somatic knowledge, skills and practices to enhance your potential to take control of your bodily-sensory responses to stressors through nervous system awareness. By bring mindfulness to your body, you can also experience the opportunity to increase your energy, sense of greater self-control, reduce discomfort, worry less and finally have useful tools to self-manage and self-soothe your day-to-day stress in the moment. Fine-tuning your nervous system can fine tune and improve your “inside-out health.

Learning Objectives
In this course you will gain greater understanding of:

  • the realities and true impact of chronic stress on the mind and body
  • symptoms and signs of chronic stress and their relationship to mental-emotional activity
  • the workings of the autonomic nervous system and how to fine tune and manage it
  • the benefits of practicing skills of mindful body awareness and connection
  • strategies for developing greater self-control, impulse control, mental control, and inner calmness when stress arises for personal empowerment

Participants will learn brain based skills, sensory practices and simple mindful movements for:

  • tuning into the language of the body to discover health and wise choice-making
  • mindfully calming the nervous system in the moment
  • creating cues within your day-to-day life to practice skills naturally

Fees (click to purchase your pass):

**Open to the general public, but 3 CEs are available for licensed mental health professionals in KS and MO.


Trio of Trauma Sensitive Practices
A Trio of Trauma-Sensitive Practices for Whole Person Wellness:
Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Yoga

Friday, June 28, 2019 from 9 am-4:30 pm with Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LSCSW, TCTSY-F

In the last decade there has been more focus on the critical need for healthcare providers, the general public and organizations to become more trauma-informed. As a result, more people and systems have increased their sensitivity and understanding of the severe impact of traumatic experiences. There has also been more research to indicate that trauma is not just a disruption of one’s mental and emotional states, but also an active immobilization that resides in the human body in various ways. The experience of trauma in its various forms is very complex and it tends to fragment all parts of the self, including the often ignored somatic, sensorimotor, posturing, and nervous system expressions of unresolved and undischarged suffering.

In this workshop we will explore and experience some of the body-based and therapeutic movement practices such a trauma-sensitive mindfulness, self-compassion and trauma-sensitive yoga that may support the healing of survivors. It is advised to have some basic understanding of psychological trauma for attendance in this workshop.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine and explore various mindfulness-based trauma-sensitive practices
  • Practice and experience trauma-sensitive mindfulness practices and somatic practices that may be supportive to one’s traumatic coping and healing

Fees (Space is limited so preregistration is required – click to purchase your pass):

**Up to 6 CEUs are available for licensed mental health professionals in KS and MO.


Mindfulness Teacher Training & Best Practices