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@ Seminar at Parsons Child and Family Center Albany NY

I offered a lunch time seminar for 30 staff members of Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany NY (1). These are professionals who work with children and families with special needs. This was organized by Marylynne Brady Johnson the Chief Training Officer at  Sidney Albert Training and Research Institute (SATRI). Select set of my hand outs (2) were given to every participant. The scanned images of their feedback forms (without names) and the summary of their responses are presented below. I am grateful to Marylynne for offering me this opportunity. I appreciate the wonderful support from Melissa Mace of SATRI ever  since we started talking  about the seminar and for achieving such a wide participation. The professionals who handle difficult families and children  under challenging situations, experienced the impact of practicing the technique for a few minutes, during the seminar. With such a short experience they felt that this simple technique can help them, as well as their child and adult clients which shows the great potential of this technique.    

Scanned images of the feedback forms

Comments about the seminar

  • Very useful – 25
  • Useful – 4
  • Somewhat useful – 1

Titles of the participants 

  • Clinician – 2
  • Family advocate
  • Secretary
  • Social worker
  • Parent partner
  • Program assistant
  • Supervisor
  • Training coordinator
  • WSP (Waiver Service Provider)
  • HR (Human Relations)
  • HCI (Health Care Integrator)
  • School Psychologist
  • Not mentioned – 17

I will use this technique personally for my (concern) 

  • Sleeping/ sleep/ more restful sleep – Total 5 resposes
  • To get sleep, Relieve anxiety
  • Sleep and Focusing
  • Back pain, Sleep issues
  • Sleep, Relaxation
  • Insomnia, Stress, Eating
  • Insomnia and Relaxation
  • Better sleep and Overall  relaxation
  • Anxiety, Back pain, Sleeping
  • Stress reduction, Meditation and with my children for sleep
  • Insomnia, Grief
  • Chronic pain in hip, elbow and feet
  • Back pain and Stress relief
  • Stress
  • Stress and Focus
  • Stress relief, Dealing with anxiety
  • Anxiety
  • Happiness
  • Self and daughter
  • Work, Clients, Family

I can use this technique professionally for 

  • My clients – 2 responses
  • Myself on the job and with my clients
  • Working with children to relax
  • My clients as a relaxation technique
  • The clients I work with in my practice
  • Help parents learn to relax and lower their stress level
  • Some of the lads  I work with
  • Helping agitated youth
  • Teaching kids before impulses
  • Client use and staff use
  • Helping agitated youth
  • Teaching kids before impulses
  • Stress relief – 2
  • Stress, Anxiety, Smoking cessation
  • Kids/ Stress management
  • Stress and Focus
  • Stress reduction with children
  • Stress, Frustration
  • Centering, Calming and Mindfulness
  • Focus and Calming
  • Calm down
  • Relaxing
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Not mentioned – 6

Comments about the seminar 

  • Very simple approach that any one can use. The simplicity is wonderful.
  • Very clear, simple & useful
  • This seminar was very informative. The challenging part is putting it into practice.
  • So simple but so helpful and useful
  • Very simple & helpful. I know this stress but I forget!
  • Lots of helpful tips.
  • Very relaxing, helpful, excited to try the technique at home
  • I plan to start using this and will remember to be patient with it. I am so glad I came to this workshop. Thank you for sharing.
  • Extremely useful and easy to teach others.
  • Very clear and practical
  • Very informative, explained things very well
  • Calming and informational
  • I enjoyed it, very useful
  • I loved it, so simple. Great presenter. Very personable.
  • Excellent presentation. Very mindful & stress reducing
  • Like that there are several variations/ methods so people can choose one they like best.
  • Excellent presentation, clear and concise.
  • I really like the “nibble on the cookie” metaphor
  • Learned something new. Simple and helpful.
  • Very interesting – 3 responses
  • V. good
  • Good
(1) Parsons Child and Family Center: 60 Academy Rd, Albany, NY 12208

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@ Sleeping for 10 hours without a break!

Remarkable feedback from a client Daw (not her real name), one week after attending my first class. She is an immigrant from Burma. She lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before coming to the US. She has limited vocabulary in English and is attending language classes. She was brought to me by a friend who helps her in many ways as a volunteer.

Daw was suffering from severe insomnia for the last 8 years, able to sleep for only 2 to 5 hours. My friend came to know from her previous conversations with Daw that she was kept awake thinking about her old life and people in the refugee camp in Thailand before she came to the US and the struggles of her family here.

What did she learn in the class?
In view of Daw’s language limitation, I demonstrated only the ‘Folding finger mode’ (1) to her, asking her to join me in practicing it on one hand and then the other. Then I asked her to close her eyes and practice this mode on her own, completing both hands. I was watching. She practiced perfectly. I suggested to her to practice this mode when she lied down in the bed and wanted to sleep. I also demonstrated the ‘waking up postures phase I’ (2) and suggested to try them in the morning, lying on the bed, eyes closed when she wakes up.

When did she practice it?
Daw practiced it every night and also on waking up in the morning.

How did it help her? 
Just after a week of practicing the ‘Folding mode’, Daw said that she enjoyed uninterrupted sleep for 10 hours! She was sleeping from 9 in the night to 7 in the morning. Unbelievable!

When I asked her about her thoughts and worries, she said with a smile “No thoughts. No worries.” Her face showed her relief and happiness.

My friend e-mailed these comments a day after the class
“I was amazed by the change I saw in Daw yesterday. She   was very talkative with me in the car. Previously, when I visited her , sometimes she was too tired to talk. Some days, she really struggled to function at all. I think if she can continue to have success in sleeping, her life will be hugely improved. Daw said to me after yesterday’s session that she felt she had not thanked you properly. So can I say “Thank you” now, on her behalf? You have really made a difference in her life!”

Periodic updates

I try to get periodic updates for such beginners. In this case, my friend gets to meet or talk with Daw often. On my request, she e-mails her observations to me. I am thankful to her for these updates.
Jan 21 2013:  “I saw Daw briefly on Jan 14 and asked her about her sleeping.  She said, “Good, every night, good.”
Jan 31 2013: Daw has once again asked me to let you know that she continues with “good sleeping, good eating, everything good!” She looks very well and happy.
Mar 7 2013: “Daw is still doing very well!  She seems to have a very positive attitude about life at the moment, which is great.  She is still sleeping well every night.  I have been encouraging her to teach her 14-year old daughter the technique as she has to have a lot of dental treatment and she is nervous about it – the breathing should help her relax and make the procedures less scary.”
April 2 2013: Daw had a setback with her sleep. In the first class she was taught only the ‘folding mode’. She came for another class and learned the ‘Segment mode’ (3). After a week my friend reported that Daw was able to sleep well and did not need another class.  
Oct 30 2013: “Daw is doing very well.  Her domestic problems seem to be settled and when I see her she seems to be on top of everything and in a positive frame of mind.  She often speaks of you warmly, and is appreciative of the help you gave her at a challenging time.  Honestly, I don’t know if she continues to practice the breathing, but at least she has it as a resource if life gets difficult again.”  


How many people in the world are suffering from insomnia and its multi dimensional impacts on mind and body?. How I wish this technique is taught at schools along with A, B, C, D and 1, 2, 3! The misery some people like her experience due to insomnia is avoidable with the help from this technique. It will lead to better quality of life and higher productivity. The ballooning health care cost may come down a bit.

(1) Folding finger mode
(2) Waking up routine
(3) Segment mode

Related pages
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories
How can I enjoy quality sleep?

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