With the start of the new 2017-2018 academic year just around the corner (or maybe it has already started for some of you), I have been very active in several local school staff trainings. I am feeling refreshed and excited for the new school year, and I have seen a lot of that same energy from the educators, clinicians, and staff at these trainings. As previous teacher in early childhood education and student myself, and a current counselor in school-based therapy and an adjunct faculty at Alliant International University, I can relate to the excitement and anxiety that can present itself before a new year with new students/teachers begins. This is all the more reason why creating a self-care plan and preparing strategies for child wellness is so important!

Here are some highlights from my week:

Monday, August 7th:

Day 1 of 2 presenting at Head Start Preschool's back-to-school staff training with Melissa Springstead, representing Anchor Children and Family Counseling, Inc.! On this day we presented "Signs and Solutions to Stress: Self-Care Strategies" and included several mindfulness and art-based practices. I love being able to share integrated mindfulness and art practices with fellow colleagues in helping professions, because it is a self-care strategy that is so helpful in my own self-care. We need to take time to care for ourselves to ensure that we will be able to care for others in need!

Wednesday, August 9th:

Day 2 of 2 (but hopefully to be more in the future!) presenting at Head Start preschools back-to-school staff training for teachers in the Glendale/Pasadena area with Melissa Springstead, representing Anchor Children and Family Counseling, Inc.. On this day we presented "Signs and Solutions to Stress: Child Wellness Strategies." I was personally so excited to present for Head Start, as I have focused my area of study on the zero to three population, from my time as a teacher in Early Childhood Education with UCLA's Infant Development Program, to my recent completion of the Infant and Preschool Mental Health Certificate with Alliant International University. Integrate my knowledge of child development and the applications of infant and preschool mental health practices for these presentations was an extremely fulfilling and rewarding experience!

Tuesday, August 8th:

We at Anchor Children and Family Counseling, Inc. are helping to prepare many schools and agencies for the new academic year! Today Melissa Springstead and I shared trauma-informed mindfulness interventions with Pasadena Unified School District, along with several wonderful presentations from Matt Bennett from Bennet Innovation Group, and Mary Donnelly-Crocker from Young & Healthy. We are so excited to see the movement towards trauma-informed care in Pasadena, and very grateful to be a part of it! Included below are pictures of some of the awesome mindfulness tools we were able to share, and Young and Healthy was able to provide, for all of the teachers to implement in their own classrooms (including: glitter jars, heart pillows, and affirmation boxes)!