manage the mind WORKSHOPS
18th January 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE - SOLD OUT
25th January 2018 - MANCHESTER - SOLD OUT
15th March 2018 - LEEDS - SOLD OUT
22nd March 2018 - DURHAM - SOLD OUT
16th November 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE - SOLD OUT
Dates and locations for Spring, Summer and Autumn 2019 will be available soon.
Details should be available from mid-March but please CONTACT ME for details.
These workshops are primarily aimed at individuals, but also available to businesses and other organisations to help with staff anxiety and stress, and can be delivered on site or a different location. Please CONTACT ME for more details.
What are the workshops about and how could it benefit me?
The mind is our greatest resource, so we need to take care of it and keep it performing at its best. The aim of the workshop is to show you how to manage your mind, keep it nourished, and stay mentally healthy and productive in life. We also teach strategies that will help you to find purpose, reduce anxiety, build confidence, become unstuck, move forward, and take action on all the things you need and want to do in life. All workshops are based on scientifically validated exercises from the field of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, and Positive Psychology (not to be confused with ‘positive thinking’).
By learning these techniques in the workshop you can also expect to be able to manage stress and anxiety more effectively and create a calmer, more productive, values driven life.
How long are the workshops?
There workshops of different lengths for those with different needs, time constraints and availability:
3 hour same day workshop
6 hour same day workshop (with breaks)
8 hour workshop over 4 weeks (2 hours per week)
All topics will be covered in each workshop, but the longer workshops will include further detail, extended exercises, and practical homework to complete between sessions.
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
ACT is an evidenced-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness techniques in order to manage anxiety and stress, find purpose, and take action on the things that are holding us back or keeping us stuck. The approach also involves clarifying and committing to our personal values and using behaviour change strategies to help us to live in a way that we find fulfilling and authentic.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an empirically based set of practices that involve maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Although it has its roots in Buddhism, universities and other academic institutions have developed a secular practice of mindfulness, and produced numerous research studies that document its physical and mental health benefits.
What is Positive Psychology?
Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning and is concerned with positive aspects of human life such as happiness, well-being, flourishing, engagement, meaning, accomplishment, and positive relationships. The aim of the field is to redress the imbalance that has emerged in the field of psychology from emphasising ‘misery and suffering’ (i.e., shortcomings such as depression, anxiety, drug addiction, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder) to understanding factors that make life worth living (i.e., potentials and human strengths).
Building ‘psychological immunity’
Positive psychology is keen to promote the idea that the full range of emotions have their place in human existence and that we need to give ourselves the permission to be human and accept that we all experience life’s ups and downs. So positive psychology is not about being ‘happy clappy’ but about being real. However, it espouses the view that through hard work and practicing scientifically validated interventions individuals can learn resilience and build up their ‘psychological immune system’. The idea is that, like physical immunity, individuals with a strong psychological immune system may still ‘get sick’ but this happens less frequently and when setbacks occur they get over them more quickly.
Is the course right for me?
We are keen to emphasise that the workshop is not a therapy session inasmuch as it is not targeted at ‘fixing problems’. Rather, it is about providing people with scientifically validated tools and resources for managing their mind. Although we will provide some context and evidence for the interventions we will introduce, this is not an academic programme of study. The workshop is practical and getting the most out of it will involve participation in practical exercises and interventions. However, anyone not wishing to participate in any of the exercises won’t be required or coerced to do so.
What happens in the workshops?
The workshops are a mix of teaching and practical exercises. Most of the exercises will be individual but you will have the opportunity to spend some time talking in the group about participants’ experiences of each exercise, and any useful learning that come out of that. You will not be pressured to disclose any personal information about yourself during this time and we would like to emphasise that the level of your contribution is entirely in your control.
There are no formal written assignments for you to complete, but we strongly advise you to write about your experience at the workshop in your own time so that you can reflect upon what you learned and consider if and how you will apply it. You will be able to keep any handouts or worksheets given to you during the workshop.
Your workshop facilitator
Dr Matt Lewis holds a PhD. in psychology and is a former university academic who now delivers public and online courses in emotional wellbeing and personal development. He lectured in health psychology, exercise psychology, and mental health for over 12 years to undergraduate and postgraduate students, while also designing and delivering courses in mindfulness, positive psychology and Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) to the general public, trainers, teachers, and health professionals. He was also a founding member of the Newcastle Centre for Positive Living at Northumbria University, a research and consultancy centre focusing on furthering the understanding and application of positive psychology. He is also author of the book ‘Overcome Anxiety: A Self Help Toolkit for Anxiety Relief and Panic Attacks’.
His business and training is built around a set of four guiding principles: put people first, keep it simple, make it enjoyable, optimise for well-being, not profit.
Confidentiality, Courtesy and Respect
All participants and facilitators are asked to share the responsibility for ensuring that any information shared on the course is kept confidential and that everyone is treated with respect.
Confidentiality of Information
All course facilitators will exercise good judgment and care at all times to avoid unauthorised or improper disclosures of confidential information. Confidential information will not be disclosed or made accessible to any person, including relatives, friends, business and professional associates, other than to persons who require such information by law.
Our commitment to you
* We aim to treat you with respect and courtesy to ensure you enjoy working with us
* To provide you with a high quality and professional service
* To deliver on pre-arranged times and dates
* To respond quickly to any queries you may have
* To work within data protection and confidentiality policies and protocols at all times
* To make any information we have about you available to you on request
What we ask of you
* Your commitment to regular and punctual attendance
* Your commitment to fully participate in the sessions
* Your commitment to treat yourself and others with respect
* Your commitment to take responsibility for your personal needs and safety and consult your GP if you are considering lifestyle changes or activities that you are concerned about
Shared commitment to confidentiality
* We commit to keep any information shared in-group sessions confidential
* We commit to keep any personal individual information we learn about each other confidential
* We commit not to discuss individual or group issues in public places, such as corridors, lifts, or any other space shared generally with others
Testimonials from Previous Workshops
The workshop was an interesting and engaging exploration of the different techniques and tools proven to increase wellbeing. With a highly practical and participative approach, Matt shared the latest research from the field of positive psychology and under their enthusiastic guidance we able to try out many of these tools for ourselves and find those that worked for us as individuals as well in our daily interactions with others. I would highly recommend this fascinating and inspiring course to anyone interested in getting as much out of life as possible….and having some fun along the way!
Nicky Robinson, Senior Manager, fair trade organisation
The workshop delivered by Matthew was simply brilliant. It exceeded all of my initial expectations. The numerous practical, logical and easy to follow activities really work and I now feel I have more resources that I can use to increase my overall mood. Matthew delivers the course in a really relaxed and varied way which allows you to feel part of something special. I would genuinely recommend this course to anyone.
Mark Oliver, 28, Overseas Expedition Leader
This is an active way of engaging with new thinking about building upon our strengths, rather than analysing our weaknesses. As such, my experience of it was uplifting and energising, both mentally and physically, as the exercises in and out of session improved my mindfulness and well-being, and supported my approaches to helping others. The positive nature of the programme is also clearly very good at developing group rapport which outlasts the programme, with people still keeping in touch, sharing ideas and support.
Dr. Kevin Hilton, Reader in Transformational Experience Design
Who could resist a workshop led so enthusiastically and knowledgeably? The workshop was challenging, inspiring and could well turn out to be a little life-changing too. I met a fantastic group of people who weren’t afraid to have a real good laugh together – the noise could be heard down the University corridors, which is surely a great endorsement for any course!
Steve Gray, 56, Mandolin-player and accountant, Change Manager at Northumberland National Park Authority.
I couldn’t possibly have imagined when I started this workshop, just how ‘positively’ life changing it would be. It was extremely informative as well as being challenging and thought-provoking, but most of all it was really good fun. I laughed almost as much as I learned and even though the actual course is finished, I would very much like to stay in contact with everyone in the group, as I think we still have much to share. Having Matt and Deborah lead, but also actively participate in the course, meant that we all felt that we were learning together, which was really interesting and productive. All I would say to anyone considering this course is to not give it another thought – just do it, you won’t regret a minute.
Lizz Patrick, Student Recruitment Manager, Northumbria University
The course provides you with a big bunch of interesting aspects and practical exercises on positive living. It helped me to take a step outside of my life and look at all the good and not so good things in it. I learned to appreciate the good things more and accept the not so good things. I also got ideas how I can keep up this practise in my everyday life.
Thea Raubinger, 29, MSc Psychology student, Northumbria University
I thoroughly recommend the workshops. They are delivered in a laid back and welcoming manner, led by Deborah and Matthew. They packed in so many techniques and tools for wellbeing and mindfulness and were very encouraging in trying out new things in between classes. It has given me new resources to use in every day life. Its great value for money and fun too.
Jane Cater, Business Consultant and Coach