Dr. Massey’s Workshops

I have conducted workshops for corporations, non-profit organizations, public groups, students, and professional meetings. Enjoying groups of all sizes and having worked with 15 to 400 people, I view any workshop as another avenue to promote healthier living and personal growth. I teach concrete skills and tackle tough issues in a direct yet compassionate manner. Workshop topics include anger management, conflict resolution, stress management, assertiveness training, communication skills, relaxation training, healthy lifestyles, parenting, ethics, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues. Audience evaluations indicate that they enjoy and benefit from my sense of humor, years of experience, adaptability, insightfulness, and communication skills.

Anger Management

Many of us think we “shouldn’t” get angry. We may fear that anger will be destructive or may believe it is wrong or useless to feel angry. Through years of experience working with people, I’ve seen that being angry isn’t the problem, but sometimes it is what we do with our anger that can cause problems. I can teach you how to listen to your anger, how to decide when your anger does need an outlet, and how to figure out ways to express anger constructively.

I will help you to:

  • Gain information from anger, which may warn us that we are being mistreated or that we are expecting too much
  • Determine if anger belongs to the current interaction, is carried over from past situations, or both
  • Identify past destructive anger expression habits
  • Recognize trigger situations and signs that we need to calm down before we speak or act in ways we’ll later regret
  • Develop outlets like exercising or journaling to “let off steam” so that you can talk calmly when needed
  • Distinguish between situation where direct discussion of anger is or is not useful
  • Talk through your anger or listen to others’ anger more effectively, such as not taking it personally

Assertiveness Training

You don’t have to be a doormat or a bully in dealing with others. I’ll show you how speak up for yourself in ways that are useful for you and others. I will also help you learn to listen to another person’s needs without losing sight of your own needs. Assertiveness involves balancing both people’s needs.

Through group activities, discussion, interactive exercises, and role-play, participants learn to:

  • Distinguish between assertive, passive, and aggressive behaviors
  • Identify internal barriers to saying what they really think or feel
  • Speak up without spouting off
  • Listen effectively
  • Recognize and deal with passive-aggressive and manipulative behaviors
  • Demonstrate they have really heard what someone is saying
  • Create outcomes which balance their own goals with other people’s goals

Communication Skills

Most of us know how to speak, but do we really know how to communicate? I teach the powerful skills of effective listening and self-expression, helping people master the complexities of communication. Effective communication involves direct and diplomatic expression of your thoughts and feelings as well as truly hearing what others say.

Through role-playing and other activities, participants will learn how to:

  • Find what you really want to say
  • Hear the feelings behind what others say
  • Say what you need to without trying to hurt others
  • Let others know that you understand their feelings or perspective
  • Talk in ways that preserve your relationships
  • Negotiate so that both parties experience as much of a “win-win” as possible
  • Recognize when someone cannot hear you and find ways to take care of yourself

Diversity Workshop

Dealing with differences can be scary, hard, and confusing. Many aspects of our personal and professional lives bring us into contact with a wider variety of people than most of us have met before. I provide the tools to create an inclusive and productive environment for everyone in your organization.

There are countless reasons we don’t get along with people we perceive to be “different,” whatever the differences may be. Fear, prejudice, and differing values are among the obstacles we face in dealing with people different from ourselves. Focusing on the common goals of your organization, I help people understand and accept differences while connecting through human similarities. Next, I demonstrate the benefits of “different” people in professional and personal relationships.

Through group activities, discussion, interactive exercises, and role-play, participants will:

  • Recognize the differences that make them uncomfortable                      
  • Identify barriers to relating to people with differences
  • Challenge and change internal barriers to dealing with differences
  • Search for ways to connect with others through similarities
  • Focus on accomplishing shared goals
  • Find the value differences bring to personal and professional settings

Healthy Living

I believe our minds and bodies are deeply connected, along with our spirituality, and I view health in a holistic manner.

I’ve trained in and worked with the following mental-behavioral health-related issues:

  • Stress, anxiety, and anger management
  • Living with HIV and other immune disorders
  • Managing gastro-enterology problems and diabetes
  • Adjusting to cardiovascular conditions and cancer
  • Dealing with other chronic illnesses
  • Coping with a loved one’s alcohol or drug problems
  • Compulsive behavior–eating, gambling, excessive exercising, overworking
  • Alcohol and drug abuse or addiction

I encourage clients to choose from the following tools as needed to:

  • Evaluate if their priorities and choices match their health needs and true values
  • Manage time, work, family and other demands
  • Set limits on their commitments so they have time for self-care
  • Assess their family and social relationships to see if they get enough support
  • Learn how to choose and use support systems which can truly be helpful and caring
  • Meditate, pray, have quiet or relaxing time
  • Pursue activities and hobbies which feed their spirit and rejuvenate their energies
  • Increase fun and play in their lives
  • Find enjoyable ways to exercise (as approved by their physicians)

Since I “walk the walk” of mindfully maintaining a healthy work-life balance for myself, I have first-hand knowledge of the value of self-care. This experience makes it very rewarding to work with clients to find balance in their lives to maximize their health and happiness.

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Overall, Americans have developed better understanding, acceptance, and support of people who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB). Some LGB individuals struggle with self-acceptance. And, fear, misunderstanding, and lack of information can still be barriers for some in having comfortable, positive relationships with LGB people in their lives. Some people want to be supported or connected with LGB people they know or work with, and they just need help knowing what steps to take.

I can enable you to:

  • Understand why we prefer people similar to ourselves, but can benefit from being around a variety of people
  • Replace myths and misinformation with summarized research findings about sexual orientation
  • Be aware of “heterosexism” (the assumption that everyone is heterosexual)
  • See the links between sexual orientation discrimination and other forms of discrimination
  • Be clear that accepting differing sexual orientations doesn’t make one LGB or encourage others to become LGB; it only validates and supports the experience that is already going on
  • Commit to respecting LGB rights in the workplace, for the sake of productivity, even if supporting LGB people does not fit with your values or beliefs outside of the workplace

Gender Identity issues are less well understood in our country, but the dialogue is gradually increasing and improving.

I can facilitate understanding these issues by helping you to:

  • Grasp the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Clarify the definitions of cross-dressing, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, and gender fluid 
  • Examine assumptions that limit all of us in our expression of our self-identified genders
  • Discuss fears of more varied gender expression and gender fluidity
  • Understand the complex psychological realities of being gender independent or gender variant
  • Embrace and support yourself or others in gender transitions
  • Deal with concrete realities, such as the “bathroom issue”

Stress Management

Trying to keep pace with increasingly hectic lifestyles means many of us lose track of our own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. I’ll show you how to take care of yourself so that you feel and function better in all areas of life.

Stress is a part of life, but it can be managed. I will increase your awareness of positive and negative stress, plus teach you how to cope with both types of stress. I’ll also show you how to make choices to prioritize what is really important to you.

Interactive activities, discussion, relaxation exercises, and good old-fashioned fun will enable participants to:

  • Recognize sources of “positive” and “negative” stress
  • Identify ways stress is helpful and harmful
  • Change thinking patterns that increase harmful stress to thoughts that improve efficiency and enjoyment
  • Find and pursue fulfilling activities
  • Distinguish between what is important vs. what is urgent
  • Focus on the areas of life needed for a healthy, balanced lifestyle
  • “Practice” relaxing and laughing
  • Live happily ever after (okay, this is in development)