New Mindfulness Group Begins January 15, 2019

Mindfulness Training

Eight one and a half-hour group sessions

 Mindfulness practice is a wonderful opportunity to “wake up” to your life and to encounter emotions, thoughts in the mind and sensations in the body with curiosity and non-judgment.

Dr. Pamela Cappetta, LPC, LMFT, will be offering an eight-week group experience to explore your struggles, joys, confusion, depression and anxiety through the lens of mindfulness. She will teach you a variety of mindfulness practices for inclusion in your daily life.

Mindfulness—waking up to what is—is a non-judging awareness in the present moment.  Mindfulness arises when you pay attention on purpose in a way that is friendly and non-interfering.  It is possible to develop and to bring mindfulness into all activities of daily life, both internal and external.

Paying attention on purpose, carefully and with sensitivity, can be done as a formal meditation, or informally, as a way of noticing the flow of your daily life.  The benefits of mindfulness include lowering stress and increasing calmness in the mind and the body.  Developing insight and wisdom into the habits of judging, thinking and reacting that are at the core of stress reactions will be addressed.  Ultimately, by becoming more mindful, you will learn to make stronger and deeper contact with the moments of your life.  The growing medical research suggests that mindfulness developed as a meditation skill and practiced daily offers benefits that impact both psychological and physical conditions.

Each group will be limited to 8-10 people and each person is requested to commit to attending each session. High levels of confidentiality will be expected and a commitment to daily practice outside the group will be a piece of the commitment to the mindfulness training.

Please arrive early to find your seat and settle in.  You may bring beverages into the group room.  Please do not wear any perfumes or fragrances (lotions, hair products, etc.) due to the sensitivity of some of the group members.

Please Note:  If you are new to Dr. Cappetta’s practice, you would need to schedule an individual appointment with her before the start of the Mindfulness Training group.  This way she can get to know you and we can determine if your health insurance would cover the cost of the group.  Also, all people registering for the Mindfulness Training group are required to pay a $100.00 deposit (with check, cash or via PayPal) to hold their place in the group.  This deposit becomes non-refundable seven days prior to the first group session.  

When:  Tuesdays, 5:45 PM-7:15 PM

Dates: January 15-March 12, 2019 (we will not meet on February 12)

Cost: $400.00 (check or cash, or under special circumstances we can bill your insurance company)

For more information or to register, please call

757-253-5708

Meditation – It’s like a bicep curl for your brain!

Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide Animation

Mindfulness and meditation are really not that hard! Sometimes we bring misconceptions and expectations to the experience that complicate what is really a simple process. Please enjoy this fun, animated meditation instruction:

A Mindful Stand Against Racism

Dear Friends,

These are challenging times. For those of us who practice mindfulness, we might easily become complacent about racism, believing in our hearts that we intend no harm to anyone. If we love ourselves, live intentionally, and seek joy in every moment, then surely that is enough? Won’t our practice enable us to effortlessly love our neighbors as ourselves?

I wish that were true, but given the depth of pain being expressed by so many people of color today, on top of the documented, systemic racism our nation has tolerated for hundreds of years, I believe we are called to take our journeys of self-examination even deeper. This is the season to plumb the depths of our hidden biases, unconscious attitudes, and unrecognized assumptions. In this way I believe we will expand beyond the limits of our own mindfulness and join the collective of cultural transformers who will facilitate our communal healing.

Please join me as I examine my mindfulness practice for ways to be part of this transformation.

Here are some resources for us to begin:

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Accepting New Clients and Telehealth Sessions

Social distancing during the pandemic is challenging for all of us, but it needn’t prevent you from getting the wellness care you need. I’m happy to be offering tele-health sessions to my clients.

I’m also accepting new clients, so please contact me via the form on this site or by calling 757-253-5708.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Free Mindfulness Resources This Month

In this challenging time dealing with the effects of the pandemic, our ability to cope affects our overall happiness. I’m grateful that one of my trusted sources of inspiration is offering free resources this month. Please explore Mindfulness magazine’s free offerings, especially the 3-day Mindful@Home Free Mini-Retreat beginning April 17, 2020.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Dr. Pamm Honored By Who’s Who

Dr. Pamm is once again honored to be included in the Who’s Who of Professional Women for 2020.

Mindfulness Day March 2020

With Pamela Cappetta, Ed. D., Mindfulness Teacher

Join us for a 4 – hour experience of Mindfulness.

This can be a refresher course or an introductory session to Mindfulness, which will include guided mindfulness meditations, educational information and mindful listening. Please arrive early to find your seat and settle in.

You may bring beverages into the group room. Please do not wear any perfumes or fragrances (lotions, hair products, etc.) due to the sensitivity of some of the group members.

When: Saturday, March 21, 2019

Registration: 9:15 AM Class: 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Where: 491 McLaws Circle Suite 3A , Williamsburg, VA 3185

Cost: $50 – $100 (you decide) check or cash or PayPal

What to bring: journal, snack

What to wear: comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes

For more information or to register please call 757 – 253 – 5708 or email admin@drpamm.vacoxmail.com

Please send payment to secure your space. Limited to 10 participants.

Getting Your Kids Unhooked from Their Smart Phones

“Setting guidelines around kids’ tech use starts with the habits and conscious choices of parents,” says Mark Bertin in his recent article on Mindful.org. His tips will help you and your family to be mindful with your tech.

Why We’re Concerned about Too Much Tech Time

Parents intuitively know that they’d like to spend more device-free time with their families, but many of them find it difficult to enforce limited-screen-time policies. Research confirms parent’s concerns, showing that children spend on average seven hours a day looking at screens. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero time for children younger than 18 months, only 1 hour for kids ages 2 – 5, and 2 hours total time for older kids.

Developing Executive Brain Function

Only 2 hours of screen time daily may seem like a draconian punishment for many children, but parents will do well to remember that their kids lack the developmental wisdom to self limit. As Bertin reminds us,

Kids don’t want to hear that outside of homework too much screen time actually impacts healthy development. However, since children lack mature executive function, cognitive skills required to manage life like a grown up,  wise decision-making around screens remains limited until they learn better. As strong a pull as children feel, healthy technology use relies on parents.

Just think of how easy it is to “get lost” in our own devices with our fully-developed adult brains. Then, think of our young people, whose executive functions for managing attention, prioritizing, planning, controlling impulses, and considering the future are not fully developed. It’s easy to see that limiting their own device usage might be nearly impossible. 

Some Negative Effects of Phone Addiction

Bertin is quick to point out that “well-moderated phone activities may augment learning, but hundreds of studies show that when devices drive their own use, consequences follow.” Examples include:

  • Short- and long-term attention and executive function suffer. 
  • Sleep becomes disrupted.
  • Screen time can interfere with language, communication, and other forms of social engagement. 
  • Screen time breeds behavioral difficulties. 

Ways to Be Mindful with Your Tech as a Family

Consider Bertin’s observation that “wherever technology helps, educates, or entertains in a balanced way, that’s perfect. When its use is driven by boredom, fear, or compulsion, mindfulness means pausing and redirecting our behavior.”

Tips for Mindful Screen Time:

  • Start with yourselfchildren learn an awful lot just from watching their parents.
  • Parents decide how muchwhat percentage of unscheduled down time goes directly to a screen?
  • Parents decide when.
  • Parents monitor content. 
  • Remember that screens are a privilege, not a right. 
  • Make active choices – awareness is the core of mindfulness, stepping from autopilot into active decision-making.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Mindfulness Day January 2020

With Pamela Cappetta, Ed. D., Mindfulness Teacher

Join us for a 4 – hour experience of Mindfulness.

This can be a refresher course or an introductory session to Mindfulness, which will include guided mindfulness meditations, educational information and mindful listening. Please arrive early to find your seat and settle in.

You may bring beverages into the group room. Please do not wear any perfumes or fragrances (lotions, hair products, etc.) due to the sensitivity of some of the group members.

When: Saturday, January 18, 2019

Registration: 9:15 AM Class: 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Where: 491 McLaws Circle Suite 3A , Williamsburg, VA 3185

Cost: $50 – $100 (you decide) check or cash or PayPal

What to bring: journal, snack

What to wear: comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes

For more information or to register please call 757 – 253 – 5708 or email admin@drpamm.vacoxmail.com

Please send payment to secure your space. Limited to 10 participants.

Mindfulness Day November 2019

With Pamela Cappetta, Ed. D., Mindfulness Teacher

Join us for a 4 – hour experience of Mindfulness.

This can be a refresher course or an introductory session to Mindfulness, which will include guided mindfulness meditations, educational information and mindful listening. Please arrive early to find your seat and settle in.

You may bring beverages into the group room. Please do not wear any perfumes or fragrances (lotions, hair products, etc.) due to the sensitivity of some of the group members.

When: Saturday, November 2, 2019

Registration: 9:15 AM Class: 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Where: 491 McLaws Circle Suite 3A , Williamsburg, VA 3185

Cost: $50 – $100 (you decide) check or cash or PayPal

What to bring: journal, snack

What to wear: comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes

For more information or to register please call 757 – 253 – 5708 or email admin@drpamm.vacoxmail.com

Please send payment to secure your space. Limited to 10 participants.

Mindfulness Day September 2019

With Pamela Cappetta, Ed. D., Mindfulness Teacher

Join us for a 4 – hour experience of Mindfulness.

This can be a refresher course or an introductory session to Mindfulness, which will include guided mindfulness meditations, educational information and mindful listening. Please arrive early to find your seat and settle in.

You may bring beverages into the group room. Please do not wear any perfumes or fragrances (lotions, hair products, etc.) due to the sensitivity of some of the group members.

When: Saturday, September 21, 2019

Registration: 9:15 AM Class: 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Where: 491 McLaws Circle Suite 3A , Williamsburg, VA 3185

Cost: $50 – $100 (you decide) check or cash or PayPal

What to bring: journal, snack

What to wear: comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes

For more information or to register please call 757 – 253 – 5708 or email admin@drpamm.vacoxmail.com

Please send payment to secure your space. Limited to 10 participants.

Three Ways to Foster Self-Worth

We all want to feel confident in the choices we make. Sometimes, though, an inner voice expressing self doubt can erode our confidence. Where does that self doubt come from? It comes from a lack of self worth.

As Amber Tucker explains so well in her recent article in Mindful Magazine, a poor sense of our self worth probably means that

…we don’t have a secure hold on our own values or judgments. When we don’t grasp our own worth, values, or judgments, others’ negative opinions often have more influence than they should (however inaccurate they are). We might experience low self-confidence, constantly seek out praise, or make choices based on what everyone else does, rather than what we want or believe in.

Thankfully, it’s never too late to discover our true self worth and to become more confident in our choices! I encourage you to watch this excellent short video to understand how you got to this point and the steps you can take to heal and grow:

Are you ready to rediscover your self-worth? Remember to

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people. 
  2. Tune in to your true emotions. 
  3. Find what drives you. 

Best wishes on your exciting new journey!

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Create a place for hope to flourish

A suggestion to practice gratitude may sound cliche or even feel annoying when we’re overwhelmed or in a mental or emotional crisis. Things become cliche, though, because so may people have found them to be true or helpful. If the idea of focusing on gratitude rubs us the wrong way, it may be the right time to humble ourselves and take the advice!

As Nicole Bayes-Fleming states so poetically in her recent article in Mindful magazine, “It’s not always easy to notice the good — practicing gratitude can provide a small resting place for hope to flourish in our hectic lives.”

We humans find it so easy to notice the things that aren’t going well, but what if we pause, take a breath, and notice what hasn’t gone wrong? That simple action can reset our course towards a sense of wellbeing. Building on that action can return us to joy.

A recent, violent thunderstorm during my evening drive home had me gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles and fearing that the trees overhead might fall on my car. I was able to relax my grip when I said, “I’m grateful to be inside this safe car with a full tank of gas. I am dry and protected. Those beautiful old trees have stood strong for decades.” My sense of hopefulness and blessing returned!

But almost instantly, my thoughts turned negative: “I was planning to weed the garden and plant the new flowers I bought, but this rain means I can’t. When will I find time to do that?” I took another deep breath and realized, “This bountiful rain means that I won’t need to water the garden in the morning and can enjoy a nice walk to start my day in the sunshine. The planting can wait.”

I enjoyed my free time by cooking a nourishing dinner. I was grateful for that rather dramatic storm for helping me to focus on the small, but truly important things in my life.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Are Your Habits Making You Stressed?

Addicted to Doing

Multitasking might not be the badge of honor we think it is. So says Nicole Bayes-Fleming in her recent article in Mindful magazine. Citing the work of Dan Pontefract and his call for more reflection time in our lives, the author explains that many of us are making ourselves constantly busy with tasks and activities that lead to more tasks and activities, creating a vicious cycle. Continuing this process with no time for pause and reflection can lead to mental and emotional burnout or even heart disease.

“We think that being constantly busy without having the pause, the meandering of thought, the marination in the moment; we think that we’ve just got to be constantly on and that’s a good thing,” Pontefract says. “But it’s not.”

Effect on Our Bodies

  1. Being “on” at all times raises our cortisol levels, putting us in a near-constant state of stress
  2. Chronic stress can put our body at an increased risk of burnout or even heart disease

Returning to Well Being

Pontefract recommends three simple ways to practice mindful reflection

  1. Take time to connect with people. This could mean listening mindfully in a conversation, or smiling at the barista who hands you your morning coffee.
  2. Go for a walk without your phone. Try to engage all of your senses. How do your feet feel on the ground? What do you smell? What do you hear?
  3. Consider your purpose. Question whether you’re doing something that feels meaningful to you. What are your values? What are your goals? 

Balancing Action and Reflection

Balance is key. We don’t have to stop doing everything. Putting our tasks and activities into perspective happens when we leave a bit of space between them. Then, we can be confident that we’re doing what’s necessary for our well being, respecting our values, and reaching our goals.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

How to Teach Your Kids about Their Inner Critic

Dr. Hazel Harrison has good advice for you to help your child explore and overcome self-critical thoughts. I pondered her idea of “The Critical Critter” as a fun way for children to handle the difficult subject of negative self-talk, and realized that this method could also work for adults who need a gentle way to address their own negative thinking. I encourage you to read her entire article, but here are the points I find especially helpful:

  1. Exploring self-critical thoughts can often feel like heavy, exhausting work, so using a playful approach can help children bring a certain amount of lightness to balance out the heavy work of noticing unhelpful habits and challenging them or approaching them differently.
  2. Referring to our inner critic as “The Critical Critter” helps children understand when they’re being too hard on themselves and also the crucial lesson that thoughts are not facts. Just because we think we’re rubbish at something doesn’t make it true.
  3. Think of some age-appropriate examples to share with your child about what the Critical Critter does. For example:
    • At age seven, our internal critic bursts into fits of self-incriminating giggles when we trip during a race.
    • Aged 16, it hides under the exam desk and repeatedly whispers “You’re gonna fail at this!”
  4. Teach them ways to shrink the Critical Critter, such as
    • Name their Critter. It will help them to notice when it’s at work and give them power to tame the harsh words.
    • Take the BFF test. Ask your child, “Would you speak like this to your best friend?” If the answer is “no,” it’s time to squash that negative self-talk, encourage them to be their own BFF (Best Friends Forever). Ask them to think about what they would say to a friend in a similar position, and also HOW they would say it.
    • Answer back. When it comes to the Critter, kids need to boss them back with statements like ““That’s enough out of you, Critter — I’m doing my best.”
    • Call for Backup. If your child is trying to master something new, the Critter may pop up. Encourage them to prove the Critter wrong by seeking the advice and support of people who have done it before — people who will say “You can do it.”
    • Create a positive moments practice. To cope with the Critter’s relentless criticism, it’s important that kids find things about themselves that they like. Each day, help your child find time to notice the things — no matter how small they are — that went well because of them. Encouraging a regular gratitude practice is a great way to build resilience, self-compassion, and to keep the Critter quiet!

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

10 Ways Mindfulness Is Driving Real Change

Barry Boyce, editor of Mindful magazine, has written an excellent article describing ways that mindfulness practice is helping us in these anxious and divisive times. My own experiences and those of my clients affirm his observations that mindfulness is “being used to cultivate a more deeply connected, content, and compassionate world.” Here are the 10 ways that Mr. Boyce observes, with links for further reading, if you’re as intrigued as I am:

  1. In hospitals and doctors’ offices, mindfulness training is making doctors better listeners, lowering their stress, and improving patients’ health with methods that complement traditional medicine.
  2. In classrooms, teachers are using mindfulness methods to foster learning environments with more emotional intelligence—teaching the whole student, mind and body together.
  3. First responders and soldiers are using mindfulness techniques to become more resilient, and trauma sufferers are using it to heal.
  4. In businesses in sector after sector, mindfulness and awareness—and yes, kindness and compassion—are increasing job performance and satisfaction.
  5. Neuroscientists and other researchers are putting mindfulness under the microscope, and learning more each day about what we’re capable of when our minds are more in tune.
  6. Tech innovators find that a little bit of mindfulness gives them the space to look at the bigger picture and try to solve real problems, not just create more distraction.
  7. Lawyers and judges are using mindfulness to avoid the burnout that leads to increased conflict and bad decision-making.
  8. Teen mindfulness programs are helping young people navigate the perils and pitfalls that come with starting out in life, empowering them to find their own sense of purpose.
  9. Marginalized youth are getting chances they might not have had without the opportunity to learn mindfulness skills that synchronize their bodies and minds.
  10. Politicians and public servants at the municipal, state, and federal level—in many different countries—are seeing how mindfulness can bring civility and clarity in the midst of chaotic, challenging times.

Mindfully yours,

Dr. Pamm

Using Mindfulness to Treat Depression and Anxiety

Tools to Recognize and Talk Back to Negative Thoughts

I’ve seen wonderful results for my clients who embrace mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (MCBT). As psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman says, “If MCBT were a drug, some pharmaceutical company would be making billions of dollars.”

Goleman does a masterful job explaining the science behind MCBT in this post’s featured video. In short, it works by

  1. taking the power away from depressing thoughts
  2. shifting our focus to evidence of positive things in our lives
  3. lowering anxiety

Put another way, mindfulness draws attention to our thoughts and feelings. Cognitive therapy helps us to work through them.

Watch what Dr. Goleman has to say about areas of the brain that are affected by MCBT and the results of major studies on its effectiveness:

 

Mindfully yours,

 

Dr. Pamm