Meetings

Most meetings are held at the Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center - 100B Danbury Road Suite 101, Ridgefield, CT, from 7:00-9:00pm. Cost: $20, $150 for 10-session card.

Register: email: jduncan@turningpointhealingarts.com or via phone at 203-438-3050.

If you are attending for the first time, please download and complete the intake and confidentiality form and bring to your first meeting.

 

CURRENT MEETING TOPIC

Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Non-Litigative Solutions for Divorce and Post Judgement Matters with Erica Hochman.

Meetings will be at Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center - 100B Danbury Road Suite 101, Ridgefield, CT, cost $20.

 

 

PAST MEETING TOPICS

Legal
Attorney DeVidas and Attorney Teta discussed Understanding Legal Aspects of The Divorce Process, and provided a description of the divorce/legal separation process with an emphasis on parenting plans, custody and division of asset analysis. Attendees were encouraged to bring questions to the discussion.

Karen Bosshart, Esq. LLC presented The Differences in the Matrimonial Laws of NY & CT. Karen presented a summary of the various differences in the states' laws and how to decide which state to file for divorce if you have the option of having jurisdiction in both NY & CT and how you might get the option if you do not. Karen also answered other divorce law questions.

Kieran J. Costello, Esq. and Claire DeVidas, Esq. of Costello, Brennan and DeVidas, P.C. provided an informative discussion about various topics in divorce, post-divorce and custody issues. These attorneys provided information about preparation for divorce and custody actions, courtroom appearances and the rights of children in family law.  A question and answer session followed the attorneys' presentation.

Attorney Eva DeFranco, presented information on various legal considerations, including the pros and cons of mediation, collaborative divorce, and adversarial divorce; establishing parenting agreements/living arrangements to serve the best interests of the children; when to revisit/renegotiate the terms of an existing divorce decree.

Mediation versus Collaborative Divorce - Vicki Volper Vicki presented: 1. The mechanics of the divorce process in Connecticut generally; 2. What decisions need to be made in divorce, and incorporated into the divorce agreement; 3. The four available divorce methods, and how to choose one: (i) adversarial divorce, (ii) pro se divorce (iii) mediation, and (iv) collaborative divorce.; 4. How to help people reach agreement by discovering each party’s true goals, instead of the position they come to the table with. The essence of mediation and collaborative divorce; 5. Q&A.

Parenting
Matt Keeler spoke on The New Age Family: Creating a Positive Relationship with the Ex-Spouse. He shared his wisdom on the importance of intentionally creating an amicable relationship with your ex spouse and their family and the value of using the guiding principals and practices of Mindful communication and meditation. He provided an overview of meditation and shared simple tools to help us remember that we are only responsible for our side of the story; we cannot control another person’s behavior.

Conscious Parenting Through Divorce, with Ellie Kirk and Wendy McLean, offered a refreshingly simple, yet powerful approach to parenting that goes beyond traditional methods. Our meeting explored the emotional, social, and spiritual challenges facing children of divorce and methods to help identify and support the needs of both parent and child. Visit www.consciousparentingseminars.com for more info.

Financial
Ilene Amiel, CDFA presented Financial Pitfalls to Avoid During Divorce. Participants learned how to avoid making financial mistakes during the divorce process and discovered practical ways to minimize legal expenses.

Lisa Trancredi presented The Emotional Side of Money. We all have what Suze Orman calls a “seemingly forgotten past” with money; beliefs and memories about money so embedded in our being that we don’t recognize them as such. We experience them more as a rational thought or an (often unfortunate but) expected financial outcome. Left unexplored, these beliefs have enormous power over our lives .Especially in emotionally heightened times — times of transition or divorce. This was an interactive workshop to explore these connections we all have with the emotional side of money. Lisa taught about triggers, beliefs and using simple tools to move yourself forward to a better way of making decisions for yourself.

Financial expertise was offered on matters relating to divorce by Karen Facini, VP, Peoples United Bank, and Bill Donaldson, CFP, EA, and divorce mediator with Vista Investment Advisors. Karen and Bill addressed various financial considerations of divorce including budgeting, asset distribution, child support/alimony, and negotiating the financial terms of the divorce agreement.

Judith Pennington presented "Making Sense of the Money: If you are thinking of divorcing, are in the process of divorcing or have already divorced, you know that money is a central issue." Judith offered a relaxed discussion about what really matters. She covered money management ideas to keep everyone feeling in control and to allow a way to plan a positive outcome for all.  A helpful checklist and simple, practical tips were also offered. 

Judith Pennington, MBA offered a relaxed discussion about money management ideas that showed participants how to feel in control and plan a positive outcome for all in the divorce process.  A helpful checklist and simple, practical tips were supplied.  Judith emphasized that financial knowledge is self-empowerment, before, during and after the divorce process.

Law of Attraction
Darlene Alvarez Maddern presented "Change Your Thoughts, Change your Life!" A Law of Attraction Empowerment Workshop for learning how to use the Law Of Attraction to move from fear and sadness, to confidence and joy.  Participants experienced processes and techniques to get you to the place of "Yes, I can!" Participants supported, encouraged and empowered.

Roberta Russell, LMT, Reiki practitioner and teacher, addressed the power of manifestation; using the power of the Law Of Attraction for creating what you want in life; better health, relationships, happiness, more money, etc. With guidance, practice, and awareness you really can be, do, or have what you want. Visit www.beyond-touch.com for more information.

In this interactive presentation, Roberta Russell, LMT, Reiki practitioner and teacher, gave participants the real scoop on how the Law of Attraction works and offered tips and take-home tools to empower attendees to manifest the juicy life they deserve. No matter where they were in in their life transitions, they discovered ways to navigate more smoothly with confidence and even joy! Visit www.beyond-touch.com for more information.

Emotional
Kelley Hopkins-Alvarez, LPC, NCC, BCC, MSEd, MS. presented Getting Unstuck, Taking That “Leap Of Faith”, and Loving Again.In this interactive workshop, participants learned more about: *key self-compassion strategies that work *taking calculated, leaps of faith toward trust, even if your partner had an affair(s) * how not to personalize negative behavior through the separation or divorce process and beyond *how to say no without guilt *transforming automatic negative thoughts to new, positive ones of affirmation and support *making meaning out of and transforming your separation/divorce trauma * paying careful attention to the mind/body connection.

Yudit Maros, LMFT presented How to Listen to Your Body: the Four Steps of Self Love. Loving yourself is the prerequisite for finding and keeping healthy, nurturing relationships and can be particularly helpful during times of emotional upheaval, such as a divorce. In this workshop Yudit shared how to expand your capacity for love in many ways, including finding out how you feel and what you need to be well, asserting yourself to those around you, improving your emotional and physical health, healing your relationships, and understanding the recurring patterns in your life.

Nancy Scherlong, licensed clinical social worker and poetry and journal therapist presented Finding and Using Your Powerful Voice. Participants in this interactive workshop worked with metaphors and selected readings and writing exercises to rediscover their connection to their own powerful voices.

Ethel-Anne Roome presented Owning Your Mixed Feelings after Loss. Mixed feelings after a divorce (or any loss) are normal and natural. Many times our concerned friends do not realize this and begin to offer advice. Ethel-Anne invited the group to look at things our well-meaning friends say to begin to dispel the myths and misinformation that tell us we shouldn’t be feeling what we are feeling. Ethel-Anne gave an overview of the Grief Recovery Method®. This process enables a person to move through the mixed feelings surrounding the lost relationship and into a place of recovery and relief

Dr. Stacy Raymond presented on Coping with Chronic and Acute Stress. Stressors are experienced by us all as either the more frequent slow drip (chronic) or the occasional broken pipe (acute). An effective tool for dealing with chronic stress is the Inner Balance biofeedback app by the Institute of Heart Math. The ear sensor plugs into your iPhone, iPad or Android and measures HRV (heart rate variability), a sensitive and accurate indicator of your body's general stress level. Through paced breathing and positive focus anyone can learn to control their general stress level. For more serious acute stressors that can become the basis for PTSD, Dr. Raymond discussed the treatment modality called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Unlike talk therapy, EMDR is a therapeutic tool that is not only fast and effective, but heavily backed by research (www.emdr.com).

Robin Friedman presented EFT to the group. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, and is also called Meridian Tapping. After learning the simple technique, which involves tapping acupressure points, the group learned to tap away the stress or anxiety that we notice in our bodies. Once the stress was addressed, we tapped in positive states to enjoy, such as peace, contentment and confidence. Studies have shown that EFT lowers stress hormones, and once our system is out of fight or flight, we have the ability to see the same situation with new clarity and open up to new possibilities.

Nancy Berkowitz, M.S., Counseling Advocate for adults at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) in Norwalk, CT presented on the importance of self-worth and ways we can nurture self-esteem. Ms. Berkowitz led our discussion and helped explore steps we can take to foster a healthier self-regard within ourselves and open up to a satisfying and fulfilling future.

Martha Talburt, presented Healing and the Creative Spirit. Martha Talburt is a poet, artist and a teacher. Trained at the Art Students League in New York, Martha specializes in portrait art. Ms. Talburt served in the Peace Corps in Macedonia in 1988 and 1999, where she taught high school. Mother, grandmother, sage, and lover of language and light, Martha shared her insights and stories of how she has survived and thrived as a creative inspiration and mentor to many.

Dr. Ron Raymond discussed why divorce produces "grief", what the usual stages of grief are and how they effect or work to determine decisions that are made (often prematurely), the symptoms of grief (in order to create a sense of normality and commonality or belonging to a group, very important to distinguish between grief and depression), What is it that is lost (a part of the self-----like a limb), the effect on children, how to cope with the loss that is experienced. Dr. Raymond shared that it is essential to deal with the common tendency to blame oneself, most of the time totally wrongly.

JoAnn Duncan spoke about how to Stay Grounded, Centered and Focused for moving forward in 2015. She shared simple techniques to reduce stress and bring deep relaxation to the body, mind, and spirit by using chakra balancing, visualizations, and affirmations. She also discussed holistic practices to keep grounded, centered and energetically secure with the goal of achieving a greater focus and clarity in everyday life before, during, and after the divorce process.

Veteran “Expressive Art” facilitator, Pamela Hochstetter, M.Div, spoke about her work and its benefits. Pamela has a BS, summa cum laude, in ART and Education from Western CT State University, as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University. She trained in expressive process art methods with Jane Gross, MA, LCSW. She has been facilitating both individuals and groups in expressive art for 14 years.

JoAnn Duncan shared Energy Healing Techniques for Stress Reduction, Deep Relaxation, Focus and Clarity During Times of Transition (and during the Holiday Season). Participants learned simple techniques to reduce stress and bring deep relaxation to the body, mind and spirit. They discovered and integrated holistic practices to keep grounded, centered and energetically secure with the goal of achieving greater focus and clarity in everyday life, during the divorce process, times of transition and the holiday season.

Physical
Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist and Registered Yoga Teacher Renee Simon presented on the importance of exercise and nutrition to reduce stress; how to nurture ourselves by being mindful of our physical health. The meeting provided an evening of relaxation as we learned techniques to manage stress effectively with nutrition and yoga to get the body in better balance and reduce stress eating and sugar cravings. More info can be found at www.totalwellnessnutrition.com.

Spiritual
Join JoAnn Duncan offered a night of grounding energy, chakra balancing, resources, support and sharing with a wonderful group of women who could truly empathize with one another. Participants brought a journal and did a small group writing exercise.

Alex Boianghu and Urgyan Zangpo offered a wonderful presentation and discussion on the grieving process, how it relates to the process of divorcing and can be a catalyst for transformational healing. As human beings we experience the multitude variations and hues of grief: disappointment of losing a job, loss of property, loss of a marriage or relationship, losing a loved one, etc. Through these losses we experience the knowledge that a transition is occurring. Grief deeply reminds us of the impermanence of love. We are forced to give way to an ending and start a new beginning. If we resist the process, we become lost in the cycle of suffering. Grief is the doorway to living creatively. Alex and Lama Urgyan provided an exploration of healing the past and embracing what needs to be honored.

JoAnn Duncan offered a special program to learn simple techniques to reduce stress and bring deep relaxation to the body, mind and spirit. Participants discovered how to integrate holistic practices to keep themselves grounded, centered and energetically secure with the goal of achieving a greater focus and clarity in everyday life, during the divorce process and during all times of transition. A Reiki demonstration for deeper relaxation will took place as part of this two hour retreat.

Lama Lobsang Palden spoke with the group focusing on love and compassion during the divorce process. He shared insights and guidance for participants to stay heart-centered during this difficult time. For more information about Lama Lobsang, please visit his website at www.lamalobsangpalden.com.

Valerie Rich spoke about the positive benefits of meditation to the S.H.A.R.E. Divorce Group on July 15th. It is a known fact that a regular meditation practice helps to reduce stress and has a powerful positive effect on the mind and body. Everyone learned some useful meditation techniques that were easy, effortless and effective to help with relaxation and healing during the divorce process. Five minutes a day turns surviving into thriving! In addition she shared her ongoing knowledge and passion about the soothing and uplifting benefits of essential oils. For more information contact Valerie at thriveonyogact@gmail.com or visit her website www.thriveyogact.com.

JoAnn Inserra Duncan offered a night of sharing and support. She presented exercises with oracle card decks and meaningful quotes and sayings to find peace and validation throughout the difficult process of divorce. These techniques are helpful for all stages of the divorce process.Visit www.turningpointreiki.com for more information about JoAnn.

Deana Paqua, MA, LMT, Shamanic Healer, Reiki Master and Spiritual Teacher, shared how to empower yourself during times of change and on creating new beginnings. Using a variety of spiritual healing tools, including guided meditation, shamanic journeying, working with power animals, crystals and the archetypal power of the Phoenix who rises from the ashes, Deana guided the group through transformative sacred self-healing practices for connecting with the incredible love and power of nature and Spirit to soothe, heal and nurture now and in the coming year. Visit www.embodythesacred.net for more information about Deana. 

FRAGILE: An inspiring workshop presented by Carina Roestorf showcasing her vivid but raw self portraits taken over a two year period. When her world fell apart and she lost everything. She found a creative way to express her pain while coming to terms with her new life. SEE YOURSELF IN A NEW LIGHT With this follow up workshop Carina Roestorf took photos of the women to capture their true essence, their soul and see themselves in a new light.

One meeting was an open discussion around the theme of COMPASSION. We shared our experiences and explored how compassion for our situation, those involved in the divorce process, and especially for ourselves, can alter the way we experience divorce.

For our December S.H.A.R.E. meeting, the group joined together at the Blue Christmas service at St Stephens Church in Ridgefield. This non-denominational contemplative service of gentle prayers and meditations is offered to help individuals deal with feelings of sadness or loss and find peace and comfort by honoring their feelings. During the long days of winter, faith can offer a light to the shine in the darkness. The Blue Christmas service was an opportunity to acknowledge our broken hearts or the emptiness within.