Celebrate Brain Awareness Week 11-17 March, 2019 with the Team at Psynamo

BAW_2019_HeaderResearch from the field of neuroscience has been steadily adding to our understanding of human development, disease, and potential for many decades. Each year the Team at Psynamo take a moment or two to celebrate and share these learnings with others in addition to our year-round activities.

The Dana Foundation has been supporting the worldwide Brain Awareness Week for over 25 years by encouraging researchers, scientists, and practitioners everywhere to open their labs and libraries to help others understand what their work is about. Neuroscience research has helped medicine and the mental health professions to jump leaps and bounds in terms of support for patients, whether it come in the form of medications to support tremor control in Parkinson’s, better understanding of the progression of dementia’s and Alzheimer’s, or improved treatment planning for individuals experiencing ADHD.

Each year, the team at Psynamo spend time this week to share with schools, parent groups, organisations, anyone and everyone really, some of the benefits of cutting edge neuroscience research and what this means for care, prevention, and treatment. We have been celebrating this with the Dana Foundation and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives since 1997!

One of the most important ways we can care for our brain and ourselves is to ensure we are taking care of the Brain’s Big 8…

  • Get (enough) sleep
  • Stay hydrated (with water)
  • Eat a stable and nutritionally informed diet
  • Exercise (walking counts!) every day
  • Learn something new (connect or rewire)
  • Play! (yes, have some fun)
  • Protect your head (from sun, cold, and injury)
  • Connect with others…family, friends, peers, or in the community

This Wednesday 13th March, we will be sharing about the neuroscience of addictions – come learn with us! See http://www.psynamo.com for more information.

Wishing you an inspiring Brain Awareness Week!

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Support National (US) Eating Disorders Awareness Week!

MountainSunriseThis week in the US, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is honouring 25th February to 3rd March and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with the theme of “Come as you are”. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

Awareness is a first necessary step to bring all issues into light but also to support change so we can all be on the same page about how ED issues can take hold of the lives of those who are experiencing it. Talking about how our relationship with food and others can be healthy is only part of the equation. Keeping open lines of healthy communications and feeling safe enough to seek support are easier said than done but necessary parts to creating sustainable change in our communities.

The team at Psynamo support all mental health issues year-round and provide one-to-one-support for individuals experiencing an ED. We offer support for the families and friends around them as a necessary part of the change. We provide space for group support for those in recovery to create sustainable change.

Our team are offering a talk on Mindful Awareness Eating Monday 4th March, 6.30-8pm at the OpenMind learning space in Central to share more knowledge and support tips with anyone who wishes to learn. We offer this, and a series of affordable learning opportunities each year as a part of our Project: Community Mental Health efforts, now celebrating our fourth year. Sign up for this talk, or any of the others this Spring on our website or on eventbrite and enjoy the learning!

Starting the discussions around all mental health issues is critical and about how we care for our bodies and minds is an essential part of life. What can you do to support this important cause so we can move towards a new dawn focused on prevention and not just putting out fires…

Flourish today and in the future!

http://www.psynamo.com

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The Team at Psynamo Celebrate International World Thinking Day Friday 22nd February, 2019

womens-hands-together-for-international-womens-dayWhile the title “World Thinking Day” may seem a bit broad, it was initiated at the 4th World Congress of Girl Guides in 1926 as a way to encourage the girls to think about their peers around the globe and wish them well. How very ahead of their time they were!

Today, we can take this sentiment full-scale and proactively push for gender equity throughout the world. How this looks for each individual woman cannot be known until they are given the freedom to discover and pursue personal goals without the boundaries of others getting in the way. Take a moment today to just think about all that you could do, and if you feel inspired – take positive action where you can.

The Team at Psynamo provide support for girls and women in need all year round from mothers and girls in crisis, to discovering personal identity, to dealing with loss and domestic violence. Actions can be small or grand, so long as they are taken, every little action can culminate into a action for everyone.

Why wait for International Women’s Day – celebrate today by thinking about how you, men and women alike, can support any initiative that advances all of our thinking about any of the roles women play in our lives and honour those who have paved the way before us.

Flourish today and in the future!

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Psynamo Group| Project: Community Mental Health – SPRING 2019 Learning Opportunities

The Psynamo Group are continuing with their Community Mental Health Campaign, run for the last three years with a selection of learning opportunities this Spring. In addition to our children’s and parenting development opportunities, we will also have a series of talks to continue to provide the community with up-to-date research-based and information talks about a variety of topics from eating habits to achieving goals to the neuroscience of ADHD and addictions.

Come to one or all that seems like a fit for your enquiring mind and forward to others you think might be curious – hey, bring a crowd. The more the merrier!

Sign up today, either on our website at http://www.psynamo.com under our ‘learning’ opportunities, or find these talks and more learning opportunities for the whole family on eventbrite.

All talks are held at the OpenMind learning space at 1302 Car Po Commercial Bldg., 18 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, HK, 6.30-8pm, $250 per learner.

Please see the listing below and we hope to see you and  learn together soon!

MARCH 2019

MindfulEatingMonday 4th | Mindful Awareness Eating: How to gain a foothold out of compulsive eating habits. Learn the basics of compulsivity, eating disorders, and strategies for helping yourself and others reframe feelings and food. Offered again on Wednesday 27th March.

NeuroplasticityRepairWednesday 13th | Neuroplasticity and Overcoming Addictions: Remembering to Rewire. Being addicted is not as easy as you may think and neither is changing the pattern of behaviours once they are set in motion. Learn about current theories of addiction and how sensitisation of our neural pathways both helps and hinders us in recovery.

SustainabilityCompassMonday 18 | Creating a Sustainable Goal: How to put an S at the end of SMART goals. It doesn’t get any better than this! Creating goals for change is one task but keeping changes in place is another. Come discover what you can do to keep your dreams alive. Offered again 15th May.

MindfulEatingWednesday 27th | Mindful Awareness Eating: How to gain a foothold out of compulsive eating habits. Learn the basics of compulsivity, eating disorders, and strategies for helping yourself and others reframe feelings and food.

http://www.psynamo.com

APRIL 2019

2MenLaughingAtWkMonday 1st | No Fooling, Laughter makes you healthier! Explore how the brain, mind, and body benefit from letting go of the rules (sometimes).

NeuroplasticityRepairWednesday 10th | Neuroplasticity and Overcoming Addictions: Remembering to Rewire. Being addicted is not as easy as you may think and neither is changing the pattern of behaviours once they are set in motion. Learn about current theories of addiction and how sensitisation of our neural pathways both helps and hinders us in recovery.

MAY 2019

CaretakersHands

Monday 6 | Caring for Caretakers: How Self-Care can be a Life-Saver for everyone. Caretakers are the most relied upon and over-used population but they rarely get respite or feel they can take a break. Refusing to take a break can have disastrous consequences both for the carer and those who are reliant upon them. Come learn warning signs and strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of protecting others.

SustainabilityCompassWednesday 15th | Creating a Sustainable Goal: How to put an S at the end of SMART goals. It doesn’t get any better than this! Creating goals for change is one task but keeping changes in place is another. Come discover what you can do to keep your dreams alive.

ReframeFeelingsManMonday 20: Mind Over Matter: Using Self-Talk to Reframe Your Perspective. We are often unaware of the stories we tell ourselves or allow to run in the background of our mind and how these subtlely colour the decisions and choices we make every day. Gaining perspective and taking charge of how these stories have been affecting your life can have a big impact. Offered again June 3rd.

adhdbrainWednesday 29: The Neuroscience of ADHD: So, what do we know today? Have a look at some cutting edge research through the neuroimaging lens and connect some new dots in how you understand ADHD in yourself or others. Offered again June 12th.

http://www.psynamo.com

JUNE 2019

ReframeFeelingsManMonday 3: Mind Over Matter: Using Self-Talk to Reframe Your Perspective. We are often unaware of the stories we tell ourselves or allow to run in the background of our mind and how these subtlely colour the decisions and choices we make every day. Gaining perspective and taking charge of how these stories have been affecting your life can have a big impact.

adhdbrain

Wednesday 12: The Neuroscience of ADHD: So, what do we know today? Have a look at some cutting edge research through the neuroimaging lens and connect some new dots in how you understand ADHD in yourself or others.

 

Flourish today and in the future with Psynamo…

 

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Psynamo Celebrates World Mental Health Day Wednesday 10th October 2018

The team at Psynamo celebrate mental health every day and in every way. We have been supporting individual patients, Corporate EAP programmes, NGO’s and Charities alike in Hong Kong and the Asian Pacific Region for the last decade.

BEG

Our Mission has always been “We are dedicated to the betterment of mental health and mental health awareness for all whenever possible.” We only find more reasons every day to keep doing this, what we love – empowering others to thrive in a future that they can see for themselves.

Mental health can be thought of as “Mental Hygiene”, we go to the dentist for ‘dental hygiene’, ensuring awareness and capability to make necessary changes in our life is good ‘mental hygiene’. Taking care of our bodies and our minds is a priority in life and well-being is one of the top research areas in the world at the moment.

See the World Health Organisation’s website to learn more about how we can all create and inspire awareness today and everyday.

http://www.who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/2018/en/

Be sure to be your own positive advocate for your own mental health or for someone you care about – it takes only a moment and definitely can carry through a lifetime.

Wishing you good mental health!

MountainSunrise

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Psynamo Celebrates: International Coaching Supervision Day 19th May 2018

adult agreement beard beverage

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Celebrate with the Team at Psynamo Group May 19th 2018

 International Coaching Supervision Day!

Supervision, or Super-VISION as it is sometimes referred to, comes in many shapes, with over 400 forms throughout the various helping disciplines. In the mental health field, this has been an established and necessary part of professional training, development and practice for some time and is considered an indispensable element in ensuring the highest level of ethical practice.

The profession of coaching, as an extension of the helping professions, has begun to embrace the concept of reflective practice as an element of professional development in the form of coaching supervision. Currently, only the Association for Coaching in the UK and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council based in Belgium, and with chapters around the globe, make supervision an integral part of coach training, development, accreditation and continuing professional practice as a coaching professional. They also offer accreditation as a coaching supervisor, placing rigorous standards on the issuing of such credentials. This practice is surely due to expand as more and more organisations and professional bodies become aware not only of the research available that supports the positive results of regular supervision but ultimately the improved satisfaction of coaches and coachees. It pays to be professional!

Like coaching, supervision is a collaborative process that uses clear contracting to make the best and most use of time and to ensure the relationship in that moment is as authentic as it can be. Unlike coaching, each session does not necessarily have to build on some greater ‘SMARTS’ goal. Supervision is a professionally developmental relationship built on trust and using reflective practices, where supervisee and supervisor discover together each time in a way that may not occur when reflecting alone. It is a unique way to learn and can be more rewarding, professionally and personally, than trying to see what you cannot see for yourself when alone.

The Team at the Psynamo Group wish you a

Happy International Coaching Supervision Day today!

Enjoy Reflecting…

Staff Writer: Scarlett Mattoli, MSc, MSc, MA

Scarlett is a Coaching Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Psychometrist. She is a full member of the ISCP, the AC and the EMCC, having additionally achieved accreditation with the latter two, in addition to having membership and accreditation with a number of other professional bodies for other disciplines in which she is trained.

She has been coaching with individuals and in a family context since 2007, completing her research masters in coaching psychology in 2013 with the University of East London and diploma in coaching supervision in 2015 with the Coaching Supervision Academy. Scarlett supervises coaches on a one-to-one and group basis in person and via secure online platform.

Scarlett has a background of 25 years in psychology with a focus on cognitive neuropsychology, assessment and psychotherapy, and is due to complete her doctorate in clinical psychology in late 2018. She utilises knowledge gained in these areas to support her coaching supervision and coaching practices where appropriate, especially when issues present that cross-over coaching and mental-health boundaries.

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Taking Stock of Your Values

ValuesTaking Stock of Your Values, by Emma Wienker

The start of a new year is often a time when people make new year’s resolutions and set goals for what they want to accomplish in the coming year. From extensive research we know that well-defined goals increase the likelihood that we will achieve the things we want.

Goals are future oriented, something that we are striving to achieve, change or obtain at a later time. Interestingly, people who become overly goal-focused may also experience frustration and a lack of fulfilment. Their focus on the future and achieving the next milestone may mean they put off experiencing joy or success until the goal has been achieved. Often I hear statements such as “once I lose that five kilograms (goal) then I will feel much happier”, or “when I get that promotion (goal) work will be so much more satisfying”. In both scenarios, happiness and satisfaction is tied to achieving a goal.

However, what if the goal is not achieved or it takes considerable time to accomplish? How can we experience meaning and purpose every day? One answer to those questions is to take stock of, clarify and make a conscious choice to act on our values.

What are values?

Values are what we want to stand for in life, how we want to behave and the global qualities of our actions – Russ Harris, MD The Happiness Trap. Values are something that you can do on an ongoing basis, for example, being loving, accepting, curious, assertive, fair, or nurturing. In contrast, being happy, confident or content are not values, these are feelings or emotional outcomes. Being respected, valued or loved are also not values, as these relate to how others behave towards you.

What is so special about values?

Values are an expression of what really matters to us. Acting on our values brings meaning, purpose and fulfilment that comes from being true to ourselves. Values can be used in every facet of our life, our relationships, our work, our health and our leisure time. Knowing our values can help us make choices about how we might act in response to stressful or challenging situations. Despite how we are feeling, we can still take actions that are in line with our values. For example, in the midst of discussing a sensitive issue with your partner, how do you want to behave? Is it with hostility or avoidance? Is this in line with your values as a partner? Or do you want to engage with honesty and compassion? Being in touch with your values can help you to respond more effectively, engage fully in your life, even when faced with emotionally difficult situations.

Unlike goals, values are ongoing, they aren’t completed and can’t be crossed off your bucket list as “achieved”. Values are not future focused, they are accessible here and now, we can choose to behave in ways aligned to them in each moment. Values aren’t dependent on whether or not we achieve a goal. They are flexible; there are multiple ways in which you can act on your values at any given time. When our behaviours don’t align to our values, people may feel lost, our achievements may feel empty and our experiences may lack a sense of meaning.

How can I use values in my life?

In relationships, being clear on our values helps us to define the qualities of our own behaviour and the sort of partner we want to be (for example, supportive, caring, affectionate). Acting on our values in a relationship can be very empowering. Even though we can’t control how our partner behaves, we do have control over how we act and respond, which can help pave the way for constructive communication and meaningful engagement with our partner.

As a parent, acting in ways that align to the sort of parent we want to be (which might include values such as being nurturing, patient, curious, as examples), can help us derive meaning, especially on days we feel like we are down in the trenches, sleep-deprived, and when pursuing any goal may seem impossible. Knowing our values can also be helpful in guiding how we behave when we are dealing with difficult parenting situations (e.g., toddler tantrums, rebellious teenage behaviour).

Workplaces are often goal-driven environments, but they can also be complex and fluid. Acting on our values allow us to be purposeful in our actions even if there is ambiguity. As a leader, behaving in line with our values (which might include authenticity, encouragement, fairness) also provides consistency for our direct reports, providing them with a sense of stability and certainty about the future.

If values are so important, should I forget about my goals?

Values and goals serve different purposes. Goals help to keep us moving while values are like a compass, providing direction and a link between our goals, giving them meaning. To help live a values-based life, use your values as a starting point when setting goals and taking action towards your goals. If values underpin your actions, then the outcome of your goals becomes less important in leading a rich and meaningful life.

So before the year marches on, consider making time re-visit or discover your values. What do you want to stand for and how do you want to behave? If you are working towards a goal, ask yourself if it is aligned with what truly matters to you? Think about the little things you could do to take values-guided action in different areas of your life each day.

Emma Wienker is a Psychologist and works with people experiencing various life transitions and challenges. Helping clients identify their values is a central part in supporting clients on their journey to make meaningful changes, find alternative ways to reduce their struggle with painful thoughts and feelings, and engage fully in a purposeful life.

For more reading on values see Russ Harris, MD: ACT With Love and The Happiness Trap.

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