Ever feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings? Does frustration or worry ever cause you to avoid activities or experiences? If so, you are definitely not alone. All of us struggle at times with painful feelings or thoughts that can get in the way of us fully experiencing all that life has to offer. As a student, there are many ways in which you might notice these tendencies. You might feel so anxious about a class that you avoid going to it, or so overwhelmed by conflict with a friend that you stop hanging out together. You might feel so uncertain about your major or career that it’s hard to even imagine starting to explore your options.
At the Counseling Center, we are offering a new service that directly targets these issues. This 3-session workshop helps you to understand yourself better and make more conscious decisions about your behaviors to help you maximize your potential for success and fulfillment. The workshop is not about making your problems go away. It’s more about changing the way that they affect your life. When we are able to reorient ourselves in how we understand and respond to problems, we are better able to make healthy choices in our lives. The workshop is called RIO – Recognition, Insight, Openness.
The first session focuses on RECOGNITION. Recognition is about taking time to notice and identify our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and when or how we may be stuck. We practice looking at our experiences in an accepting way, without judgment. Recognition is like looking at a map and figuring out where you are now, which is important if you want to be able to make decisions about where you want to go next.
The second session focuses on INSIGHT. In this session, we learn more about our internal experiences and their purpose. For example, if you touch something that is hot, you feel a painful burning sensation. The purpose of the pain is to alert you that something is amiss and needs your attention. Similarly, understanding what our internal experiences are trying to tell us can help us get unstuck.
Finally, the third session focuses on OPENNESS. Openness is about self-acceptance, letting yourself be where you are right now, and also allowing yourself to move forward in desired directions. Change is helpful when we want to adjust something that is outside of us. Openness is helpful when we are experiencing uncomfortable thoughts or feelings inside of us. We can learn to accept the discomfort and at the same time commit to a valuable course of action.
We welcome you to contact the Counseling Center at 410-704-2512 to ask about the RIO workshop. Also, visit our mindfulness webpage for lots of great resources related to these strategies and skills: http://www.towson.edu/counseling/resources/mindfulness.asp
Dr. Mollie Herman, PhD
Associate Director / Training Director
The Counseling Center