Seminar Detail

2-Day: The Advanced Mindfulness Toolbox for Rewiring the Brain: Intensive 2-Day Mindfulness Training for Anxiety, Depression, Pain, PTSD, and Stress-Related Symptoms

Monday, January 9, 2017 - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

In this in-depth, two-day workshop, national mindfulness teacher and author Donald Altman will demonstrate a variety of powerful clinical tools – from grounding and attention-focusing skills to Metacognitive awareness and mindfulness skills – for helping clients to rewire the brain as they overcome clinical anxiety, depression, chronic pain, PTSD, addictive cravings, and stress-related symptoms. It’s no secret that over 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorders, 25 million from clinical depression, and more than 100 million from chronic pain that shatters their lives and relationships. This highly experiential workshop utilizes practical and evidence-based mindfulness tools that radically alter clients’ habitual and conditioned reactions to these and other forms of suffering.

Drawing upon brain science and concepts from Interpersonal Neurobiology, this workshop will make brain science easy to understand for your clients. You’ll be able to clearly demonstrate for clients how they can regulate emotions and rewire their brains through practices such as focused attention, selective memory, and strengths-based storytelling. In addition, you will learn how to adapt these many tools for different populations in order to create a clear roadmap to wellness for clients. In all, this two-day training will have you returning to your practice with a comprehensive menu of transformative mindfulness tools to draw from – and that clients can use to regulate emotions and find calm.

Donald is known for creating compelling experiential and participatory trainings. Whether you are experienced in mindfulness or are new to these techniques, this special two day workshop is certain to get you enthused and excited about experiencing and using mindfulness for joy, calm, and healing in your own life, as well as in your therapy practice. You won’t want to miss out on this unique mindfulness training opportunity.
  1. Describe and define mindfulness in a more broad way for the client.
  2. Summarize the basics lessons of Interpersonal Neurobiology and how mindfulness can rewire the brain.
  3. Explain the effects of stress and cortisol, and how diaphragmatic breathing turns on the parasympathetic nervous system.
  4. Demonstrate how to use stories as a way to shift awareness, enhance relationships, and recognize strengths.
  5. Use key mindful body practices that lead to better self-care and cognitive brain function.
  6. Describe multiple evidence-based methods for shifting attention that produce greater positive emotions moment by moment.
  7. Discuss the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress, and the 4-methods for reducing stress.
  8. Examine the damaging effects of stress at cellular level and how lifestyle changes can alter these.
  9. Demonstrate stress-reducing transition skills through movement and walking.
  10. Describe how to use guided meditations designed to help clients to better accept, reframe and manage pain.
  11. Effectively use the practice of constructive distancing to help clients get a broader perspective on any situation.
  12. Describe affirmations and methods for developing self-compassion and feelings of safety, trust, and forgiveness.

Mindfulness and Cutting Edge Research
  • Mindfulness as a metacognitive skill
  • Negative effects of a wandering mind
  • Breathing reduces rumination and anxiety
  • Useful (and free) web resources
Introduce Mindfulness to Your Clients
Expand Your Mindfulness Vocabulary
  • Help clients understand mindfulness
  • Find the right metaphor
  • Using client’s learning styles
*Practice: Getting Into the Present Moment

The Power of Sense Grounding
Anxiety reduction with sense grounding
  • Mindfulness for transitioning between activities
  • Physical grounding method of dropping into the body
  • Integrates progressive muscle relaxation
  • Good for spatial, visual, hands-on learning styles
*Practice: Palm the Present Moment

Brain Basics, Metacognition, and Interpersonal Neurobiology
Emotional Regulation for Depression and Anxiety
  • Balance the brain’s default survival mode
  • Effects of cortisol on learning and immune system
  • Visual Brain Model for clients
  • The brain’s mindfulness module
  • Train the brain for calm response and metacognition
  • Navy Seals, arousal control & parasympathetic nervous system
  • Heart rate variability & relaxation response
*Practice: The Power of Breath
  • Enhancing effectiveness of a breathing practice
*Practice: Ask Clients the 3-Minute Question

The Behavioral Side of Mindfulness
Core lifestyle skills awareness training
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Managing sleep
  • Sleep rituals and strategies
  • Healthy eating/nutrition
  • Caffeine, protein, neurotransmitters, and the brain
  • Exercise
  • Manage Technology
  • How weapons of mass distraction may be rewiring the brain
*Practice: Assessment of Technology and Time
  • Focus the mind (useful for ADHD)
  • Integrate breath with a word/image
*Practice: Be the Pebble

Mindful Laughter for Depression and Grief
Tools for the “terminally serious”
  • Research on laughter and mood
  • Biochemistry of laughter & human laughter response
  • Laughter yoga and laughter in therapy
*Practice: The Lightness of Laughter

The Uplifting Power of Storytelling
Storytelling to overcome depression and build relationships
  • Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions
  • Broaden attention; find resilience
  • Stories are fundamental to attachment
  • Build relationships through a story of strengths
*Practice: Identifying Strengths & Strengths Journal

Managing Moods through Attention and Selective Memory
Master attention and memories
  • Savoring the present moment
*Practice: Hear and Now Pleasantness
  • Using selective memory to savor the past and future
Practice: Savoring Success: Past, Present, and Future

Harnessing Gratitude to Increase Positive Emotions
Managing depression with gratitude
  • Gratitude research
  • Four psychological reasons for gratitude
  • Techniques that make gratitude interpersonal and enhancing Supportive social networks
*Practice: the G.L.A.D. Technique

Healing Emotional Pain through Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Compassion
Forgiveness for moving forward from trauma
  • Forgiveness is a skill
  • Research on compassion practice
  • Changes in brain function
  • Security priming for feelings of safety and trust
  • Develop positive emotions and resources
*Practice: Loving-Kindness Affirmation

The Truth About Stress
  • Biological markers of stress: telomeres and aging
  • Identify and assess client stress levels
  • Perceived Stress Scale
  • Epstein Stress-Management Inventory
*Practice: Be a Smart Stress-Avoider

Mindfulness for Addictive Cravings
Emotional Regulation for Cravings
  • Impulse Control and Craving Control Using Grounding
*Practice: S-T-O-P Grounding Technique

Changing the Perception of Pain
Mindfulness for Chronic Pain
  • Introduction to the body Scan Practice
  • Demonstrates how to pay attention non-judgmentally
  • Powerful grounding method; applications
*Practice: Surf the Body (The Body Scan)

The Power of Sense Grounding Trauma
Constructively distance form PTSD and negativity
  • Three kinds of sense grounding
*Practice: Focusing on Favorites

Reducing Anxiety by Mindfully Managing Transitions
Managing transitions through movement and nature
  • Process orientation vs. outcome orientation
  • Attention Restoration Theory
  • Effects of nature on focus, moods, & healing
  • Slowing down with nature to get present
Integrated Tools -
*Practice: Ground-Surfing (Mindful Walking)
*Practice: Turning Down the Volume with Nature

Re-Envisioning and Refocusing
Working with difficult, unresolved life situations
  • Metacognition as a path to insight
*Practice: Bear Meditation

Putting It all Together
Creating a mindfulness roadmap for clients:
  • Bundling practices together
  • Engage through learning styles
  • Maintaining skills
  • Follow-up and reinforcement


Donald Altman, M.A., LPC, is a psychotherapist, award-winning writer, former Buddhist monk, teacher and an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. He is also a faculty member of the Interpersonal Neurobiology program at Portland State University and teaches various classes blending mindfulness and Interpersonal Neurobiology.

A prolific writer whose career spans more than 25 years, Donald has authored several pioneering books on mindfulness, beginning with his 1998 Art of the Inner Meal. (HarperOne, 1999). His book, The Mindfulness Code (New World Library, 2010) was named as “One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2010.” He has also authored The Mindfulness Toolbox for Relationships: 50 Practical Tips, Tools & Handouts for Building Compassionate Connections (PESI, 2018), Stay Mindful & Color: Find Calm, Clarity and Happiness (PESI, 2016), Meal By Meal (New World Library, 2004), Living Kindness (Moon Lake Media, 2009), One Minute Mindfulness (New World Library, 2011), The Joy Compass (New Harbinger, 2012), The Mindfulness Toolbox: 50 Practical Tips, Tools & Handouts for Anxiety, Depression, Stress & Pain (PESI, 2014) and, 101 Mindful Ways to Build Resilience: Cultivate Calm, Clarity, Optimism & Happiness Each Day (PESI, 2015).

In addition to his books, Donald was a staff writer for an EMMY-Award winning children’s television show (“The Magic Door”, CBS Chicago), won an American Medical Writer’s Association award, co-created the first interactive comic strip on America Online, and has had articles appear in New Age Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Independent Business Magazine, among others.

Donald reaches out to the professional community by serving as the vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating. Donald works extensively with mindful meditation in his own life, as well as offering these tools to others through his books and classes. He teaches mindfulness and spiritual values around the country. He is dedicated to bringing these ancient practices in tune with modern living and to invite wellness into our stress-filled lives. Donald is also a member of the Burma Buddhist Association. An avid motorcyclist, he enjoys riding his motorcycle along the beautiful Oregon coast.

Speaker Disclosures:

Speaker Disclosures: Financial: Donald Altman is in private practice. He is an Adjunct Faculty member of the Interpersonal Neurobiology Program at Portland State University. Mr. Altman receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Donald Altman has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 12.5 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

This intermediate activity consists of 12.5 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Massachusetts Counselors: CE credit is available. This program has been approved for 12.5 I MaMHCA/MMCEP hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 262 CMR. Expires: 02/04/2017. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 760 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Massachusetts Marriage & Family Therapists: This activity has been certified by NEAFAST on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions, for LMFT professional continuing education. Full attendance at this activity qualifies for 12.5 contact hours. Certification #: PC-.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
This intermediate activity consists of 12.5 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please contact your licensing board to determine if they accept programs or providers approved by other national or state licensing boards. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to participants who are in full attendance and who complete the program evaluation.

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
PESI, Inc. is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. Provider #: 3322. Full attendance at this course qualifies for 12.5 contact hours or 1.25 CEUs in the Category of Domain of OT and Occupational Therapy Process. Partial credit will be issued for partial attendance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Course Level: Intermediate.

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2017 - January 27, 2020. Social Workers completing this course receive 12.5 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 760 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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