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Turning Stress into Resilience Workshop Sept 18

Blogon September 9th, 2016Comments Off

Turning Stress into Resilience

Sunday September 18, 2016, 1pm to 5pm

Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre

Practical Body-Mind Awareness Exercises to
…engage an increasingly chaotic and stressful world
…with greater mental and emotional strength, courage and wellbeing

Turning Stress into Resilience 

During this workshop Lennart Krogoll will guide participants in exploring a series of practical mindfulness based, body-mind-awareness and movement exercises.

These techniques can be applied on the spot, before, during or after stressful situations. They also help us over time to cultivate our inherent mental and emotional resilience, strengthening our ability to engage in stressful environments in an increasingly chaotic world, with more sanity and awareness. They can empower us to prevent long term stress effects, and assist in transforming old stress and trauma injuries.

We will also explore the science and nature of stress, stress injury, trauma and anxiety, as well as resilience, and how these affect our cognitive, emotional and physical systems and thus our decisions, our actions, reactions and interactions.

US Naval Research Centre and the Mindfitness Institute have conducted valuable research on these specific techniques, and the methodology, which Lennart has been trained in, to assist with challenges in high-stress service organisations, such as police and military forces, veterans, emergency response and correctional services.

No previous experience necessary.

You may register via email here.

There is a fee of Can $ 65

Sunday September 18, 2016, 1pm to 5pm

Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre

5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS, B3J 1E9


Multi-pronged approach to PTSD

Blogon September 7th, 2016Comments Off

Looking at a multi-pronged approach to address PTSD

Whether we call it PTSD, OSI or effects of post mission trauma, many psychologists serving veterans, as well as our veteran warriors themselves, recognise that cognitive therapy is of importance, however, cognitive therapy alone does not appear to bring forth the results we desire.

How many of you have actively explored multi pronged approaches? What would such a multi-pronged approach include? Would it include a combination of cognitive, cultural, ritual, behavioural, experiential therapy? …. and what about a pre-verbal approach?

Here I am trying to offer a few thoughts and experiences about the benefits of including a ‘Pre-Verbal’ element into a recovery process, as one of multiple prongs.

I am working with a series of brief body-mind exercises that initially have been developed for the US Marines. The US Naval Research Centre, in collaboration with the US Marine Corps and the Mindfitness Institute, has conducted valuable research studies on these specific techniques. Numerous neuroscience studies also support the beneficial effects of these techniques.

I find working with these exercises most effective, because they directly address the pre-verbal level of our brain and nervous system. These techniques help us release excess energy, and ground, settle and stabilise a dysregulated nervous system. In that way they can substantially support our stress injury healing process and our ability to cultivate resilience. The practices de-conflict the brain connections that are compromised by outer or inner stressors and help the conscious thought and complex, and responsive decision making process ‘come online’ sooner, when overridden by survival reaction or autonomic nervous system dysregulation.

The exercises can be applied in acute situations as practical immediate self care, when affected by stressors or re-activated trauma. They also empower us to prevent long term trauma effects, and assist us in transforming stress injury over time, while also building mental and emotional resilience.

In addition to teaching these exercises and creating personal practice routines during workshops or counselling sessions, I also find it helpful to discuss the science of these techniques, and explore together, what trauma, stress injury, anxiety, or what resilience actually is. Discussing some of the recent brain research on these topics, in practical, experiential terms, helps demystify trauma. We can easily understand how the various aspects of our brain function together, how they are involved in all our interactions and decisions, and how these are affected by outer and inner stressors and traumatic events. In a nutshell, acute stressors, OSI or trauma activation, compromise the connections between the reptile survival-brain, emotional memory brain, the rational thinking brain and direct experience brain. The reptile survival brain, the brain stem, regulates the autonomic nervous system and bodily functions. It fires much faster than the slow loop of rational decisions that filter information flow through the other brain parts before commanding action. Under threat, the brain stem takes over and floods the nervous system with energy, hormones, adrenalin in order to activate fight, flight, or freeze response, overriding all other brain functions. After the thread has seized, this energy cannot be released by using language, logic and reasoning. Animals have an automatic way of allowing that energy to discharge after a shock or stress reaction. The survival brain and autonomic nervous system do not respond to rationale, or verbal communication, they function on a pre-verbal level. This pre-verbal level is addressed by the practical mindfulness based, body-mind awareness, movement and somatic stretching exercises I mentioned above.

This allows us to see how our trauma reaction and stress injury effects are natural, healthy, even wise and protective responses.  It turns out that fundamentally there is actually nothing wrong with us, with the person as such.

We could compare this to when the engine light comes on in our car, we do not take the bulb out or put duct tape over it, or dismiss the car altogether. Instead we look into what the car needs, where there might be a blockage or leak that has developed, and needs attention and care, – and we ideally attend to that as soon as the engine warning lamp send us the message that there is need for care, and we do it with the appropriate tools and support.

Recognising this natural process, can be empowering and help us reconnect with our dignity, purpose and humanity, if we were led to belief that we had lost that. It can inspire accepting and taking more responsibility and action towards holistic recovery and wellbeing.

My passion and interest in this topic is based on teaching mindfulness exercises since 1986, and in particular enjoying my work with groups of people who serve in high-stress environments, having led many leadership and resilience training programs using applied mindfulness-in-action scenario exercises.

In an ideal world, training in these exercises, could be part of pre-deployment training, arming our warriors with these practical body-emotion-mind resilience, stress management and self-care tools. This could prevent short and long term injury, increase agile mission efficiency, and support a healthy post-mission live.

I appreciate your comments, input or questions and look forward to many conversations.

Lennart Krogoll

See Mental Emotional Resilience Inoculation Training (MERIT)  for military, police and other high-stress service organisations

Happy New Year!

Blogon January 22nd, 2016Comments Off

Happy New Year!
We hope 2015 was successful for you and your business, and wish you a prosperous and healthy 2016! HRO Core is excited to begin 2016 in a new space in downtown Halifax, at 5162 Duke Street, Suite 400.
So far this year we are delighted to be working with two new clients on benefits, and employee handbooks. The Health, Wellness and Mindfulness Programs we launched last year have been a big hit and are evolving as we add new partners to the delivery team.
Book a session now with our local dietician who will provide a delicious lunch-and-learn packed full of information. Last week she delivered a session on how to adjust your diet to boost the immune system and avoid those nasty winter colds!
Or, you could start off 2016 by introducing Mindfulness to your team – improve communications, reduce stress and make a move for a more effective team!
Another option is a goal setting session: we help individuals establish financial, personal, physical, spiritual, work, social, and family goals. The research is clear: people who set goals are more successful. Successful, well-rounded people make effective employees, and goal setting is a great activity to get employees on track for the rest of the year.
All our best wishes for 2016, looking forward to being in touch,
Bryan & Liz
The HRO Core Team