Donation-based Community Yoga Class to Benefit National Recovery Month at Serenity Yoga, South Hadley, MA  Sunday, September 17th

 

Teacher:  Heather Monson
Date: Sunday September 17th 2:00-3:30pm
Cost: Donation 
Serenity Yoga is partnering with the Trini Foundation to offer a donation-based community yoga class led by Serenity Yoga instructor Heather Monson.

September is National Recovery Month and during the month of September, yoga studios around the country are coming together to increase awareness and understanding surrounding substance abuse and celebrating those in recovery.
The class will be a mix of classic Ashtanga poses from the Primary series with some more gentle variations and poses, making it a class that all can attend. Suggested donation is $10.
The Trini Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the life-changing practice of yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Their mission is to provide yoga as a tool to aide in the recovery process and help those who are suffering maintain long-term sobriety.

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Child and Adolescent Transgender Center for Health at the Boston Medical Center: A resource to know about!

As part of the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, CATCH provides support and care to children, adolescents, and young adults who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, or are gender exploring and looking for additional support. First time patients can expect their initial visit to last between 60-90 minutes. During this visit, medical history, gender history, and patient and family goals will be reviewed, followed by a discussion around gender affirming care options offered at the clinic. Individual treatment plans are created based on individual patient and family goals. Additionally, all first time patients will undergo a complete psychological assessment.

CATCH aims to see new patients within 4-6 weeks. To schedule an appointment, please call 617.414.4841.

Offered services include:

  • Education around gender identify and development
  • Individual and family therapeutic support
  • Access to hormone blockers, including injection and implant available onsite
  • Gender-affirming medication therapy, including hormones (estrogen and testosterone)
  • Transition to adult care and other services through the Center for Transgender Medication and Surgery (factoring in where the patient is in terms of medication and process, pubertal status, and age.)

https://www.bmc.org/center-transgender-medicine-and-surgery/clinical-services/child-and-adolescent-transgender-center

Foucault, and stuff (this is a piece I wrote for a newsletter on social justice informed practice)

When clients come into my office for psychotherapy, they are usually focused inward, potentially seeking a diagnosis, and often asking “what’s wrong with me?” Yes, the majority of my clients are working through gender dysphoria or pursuing recovery from an eating disorder, and while these are indeed conditions I can diagnose, much of the work I do with folks is about exploring the ways in which structural oppression related to their sexual orientation, gender expression or race is causing distress, both directly and in its internalized forms. In other words, we shift from asking “what’s wrong with me?” to “why do I think something’s wrong with me?”

From a social justice perspective, one of the most insidious ways oppression in the form of patriarchy, misogyny, class bias and racism (among others) does its work is through internalization. When people internalize these structures of power and disempowerment, the self hatred and self doubt that ensue wreak all kinds of havoc in terms of beliefs that impact behavior and emotional experience, which then often leads to the development of some form of psychopathology. I vividly recall a professor at the Smith College School for Social Work stating: “The greater the oppression, the greater the depression” and I have seen this to be true over and over again in the lives of the people who walk through my office doors.

There was a time (and in some cases, that time is now) when people in my chosen profession, social work, were largely tools of oppressive structures. In the words of Michel Foucault: “The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker-judge.” For example, as the majority of my clients are transgender or gender non-conforming people, many require authorization from me for their insurance companies that they are “trans enough” to receive gender affirming hormone therapies or surgeries. Many of these folks also experience profound depression and/or anxiety: how would you feel if your fate, your ability to live a life as yourself, was in the hands of an ostensible expert, deemed more expert than you about your own self-hood by virtue of their social position and capital?

My work, as a social justice oriented feminist relational psychotherapist, is kaleidoscopic. I work to support my clients in identifying the ways in which they’ve internalized oppressive structures. We work together to identify the ways they’re policing themselves and warping their sense of self through these lenses, and then we work to dismantle the problematic internalized beliefs that are setting them up for emotional distress and behavioral dysregulation. In other words, I sincerely look forward to a day when I become obsolete.

Eating Disorder Recovery Skills Group Forming

Hi, folks – I’m putting together an eating disorder recovery skills group at my office in South Hadley, MA. The group will begin on Sunday October 5th, and will run on Sundays at 1pm until the first week of December. 
 
This group will be insurance-based (students with a referral will not have a copay if they have their college’s insurance); interested clients should contact me directly at kwaggoner@jameslevineassoc.com so that I can arrange for an initial screening, which will be a brief phone call to assess acuity and appropriateness, but basically if you’re at an outpatient level of care you’re probably going to be fine to join. Current clients need not go through a screening – just let me know you’re into it and I’ll sign you up.
 
If your insurance does not have a group benefit, the self-pay rate for the group is $20 per group. Clients may NOT attend on a drop-in basis. Although obviously if someone calls out sick with 24 hours notice I’m not going to yell. The age cut off for joining is 18, with no upper age limit. The group will run as long as I have a 5 person minimum, and I’m going to cap it at 15. Thanks!
 
– Katharine