Board Meetings Calendar
All meetings are 1pm-3pm
October 23, 2016
962 Arapahoe Trail Franklin Lakes
November 13, 2016
5 Circle Drive Branchburg
January 22, 2017
210 Hampton Street Cranford
March 12, 2017
71 Iroquois Avenue Oceanport
April 9, 2017
415 Golf Course Drive Leonia
NJCA Conference –Time & Location TBA
June 4, 2017
5 Circle Drive Branchburg
NJMHCA Self Care Retreat Surpasses Its Promise
Written by Kathy Parte-Willbergh, MA, LPC
As individuals and clinicians, we frequently say these words: Breathe. Slow down. Take time for you. Reflect. Relax.
On a good day we may get to the gym for an hour of yoga, or make it home in order to take a walk, or get to spinning class… only to realize that we’ve been spinning all day. When we can accomplish even a piece of peace it is rewarding. We know how important it is for our minds, bodies and spirits. Yet, often excuses, some better than others, prevent us from taking healthy action.
The retreat that Heidi Brogan and Ann Adornetto organized for the weekend of Oct. 22nd to Oct. 24th 2010 was a "Magical Mystery Tour" into a place of release, rhythm and renewal. Those of us who participated are quite pleased with ourselves. We appreciate the fact that being able to attend was a luxury but we also recognize that our choice to go meant that we were (at the risk of sounding trite) "walking our talk."
Outstanding presenters, including some of our own members, had us: discussing ethics, singing, exploring our dreams, doing yogic breathing, finding our joy through psychodrama, singing again, drumming, continuing to sing, and imagining peace. We danced together. We cried together. We laughed together. We were together!
Under the direction of music therapist, Kymberly Tindall, we even wrote fresh new lyrics to Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.” The words sum up our experience:
I’d like to practice long and richly live my faith
And have a strong connection to my grandkids and family.
I know what I need is right in front of me;
It’s not a question, but to live life blissfully!
It’s something that’s attainable and in the end it’s right.
I know I’ll have the time of my life.
SECOND RETREAT IS HUGE SUCCESS!
Except for the fact that map quest and our GPS systems confused some of us, traveling to Stillwater, NJ on October 16th for the NJMHCA Self Care Retreat was a beautiful autumn journey. Once there, the location and experience proved to be more than "renewing and nurturing," as advertised. It was transforming.
Friday evening, Ann Adornetto, a multi-talented LPC and hypnotherapist, had us clarify our goals for the weekend. By the end of the session we were chanting "I AM ______________________" We silently filled in the blanks with one or two words. My two words were "peaceful and fearless." Believe me, I felt challenged.
Sixteen people attended and we began jelling as a group Friday. Saturday morning some slept in and some hiked to the third highest summit in New Jersey. Peering through snowflakes, we marveled at Fairview Lake below as it reflected the colorful mountainous terrain.
Yoga class followed. Annie Palmer led us through two hours of gentle meditative breathing and moving. At the end she warned against being self-conscious about our voices. Her voice was melodic. When we chanted together, I swear, we sounded like a choir of perfectly pitched bells.
Although we were tired, three afternoon workshops were scheduled. "Working with Arab Americans" proved to be very informative. Raja Salloum and her intern were well prepared and, to use their words, overdressed for the occassion. We were in our camping gear.
I must admit that I went back to the cabin and napped through "T'ai Chi & Oi Gong for Stress." Staying would have stressed me out because I was exhausted. Those who participated enjoyed it. Laoishi Joe Petrosi had everyone up and moving in between discussion.
Joan Cohen, MA, LPC, presented The Mind Body Connection. We used "finger dots" (like mood rings), battery operated sensors, and a computer program to determine our body temperatures/stress levels. Joan's key point was that she is a counselor first and that tools like these broaden her practice and are very useful for some clients.
"The Power Within" was facilitated by Carole Oliver, LPC. I think this was the POWER ABOVE, BELOW, UNDER and OVER! We all participated in a cathartic psychodrama that left us in- tuned with that which strengthens and drains our inner selves. To quote Dr. Diana Cohen, one of the attendees, by facing the issues that drained us "they became less overwhelming." I say "When you can feel, you can deal." and Carol had us feeling it. She was awesome!
After our intense "look within," Martin Tashman, PhD brought us back to reality by sharing his extensive knowledge of couples' counseling. His approach seemed sequential and systematized. I was intrigued by the fact that at the onset of therapy he tells couples that he would like to see them stay together. "I don't know if it's possible," he says but there are reasons to stay together, like "quality of life, the kids, history together, finances."
Throughout the weekend, we divided into two groups and ate our meals at two tables. For our last lunch (our last feast of carbs a la carbs), we squeezed together comfortably (Is that an oxi moron?) and celebrated the fact that the weekend was perfect. (Howard Dicker said the topics were relevant, not having to make choices between workshops was good, and being able to relax in such a gorgeous setting was great.)
Sunday afternoon it was easy for me to say, "I AM PEACEFUL AND FEARLESS."
Thank you to Ann and Heidi for providing such an enriching event.
8/2016 Board Meeting
written by Kathy Parte-Willbergh - 10/27/09