Strengthening Relationships Presentation Series

The Employee Assistance Program is proud to announce our Strengthening Relationships Presentation Series. Join us monthly on zoom as speakers share their professional expertise on helping people strengthen their relationships, with a range of topics and strategies for intimate relationships, friendships, families, and coworkers. See a list of our planned speakers and presentations below. Full schedule for November 2023-June 2024 to come! Sign up now on UT Learn.

September“Saying No: The Art and Science of Setting Boundaries" presented by Sarah Porter, PhD, a licensed psychologist and founder of a workplace training and consulting practice on Wednesday 9/27 at 11:00 a.m. This presentation which will focus on when and how to successfully set boundaries at work. You will walk away with a simple decision-making framework and multiple techniques you can use to diplomatically field requests from supervisors and coworkers alike.

October“Building Neurodivergent Affirming Spaces: Love, Work, and Friendship” presented by Kyler Shumway, Psy.D. President and Chief Clinical Officer of Deep Eddy Psychotherapy on Friday 10/13 at 10:00am. Neurodiversity is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be shared. In this talk, we will explore how to create inclusive and supportive environments for people with diverse nervous systems. Whether you are a people manager, friend, family member, or loved one, you can make our world a better place by helping others belong.

November: “Navigating the aftermath of betrayal: The Gottman Approach to Trust Recovery” presented by Vagdevi Meunier, Psy.D. a licensed clinical psychologist , Certified Master Gottman Therapist, and Founder/Executive Director of the Center for Relationships on Tuesday, November 7th at 12:00pm. The Gottman Method is based on the Sound Relationship House model that was developed by Drs. John & Julie Gottman after 40+ years of systematic research into what makes relationships healthy or dysfunctional. Betrayal impacts the weight-bearing walls of your Sound Relationship House and can make your world feel like it’s crumbling. In this webinar we will address the three stages of recovery from betrayal: Atone, Attune, and Attach and address the key tasks and outcomes that predict successful repair and restoration of safety and trust in a relationship.

December: “Navigating Parent-Child Conflict: The power of reconnection and repair” presented by Kat Scherer, Ph.D. a licensed clinical psychologist and educator on Friday, December 15th at 12:00pm. Conflict and challenges are an inherent part of the parent-child relationship - and developmental experts tell us they are necessary for personal and social growth. Even the most thoughtful and well-intentioned parent will experience discord and disruption. Preparing for such problems and facilitating repair will help children develop confidence and relational resilience.

January: “Caring for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Perinatal Period” presented by Elaine Cavazos, LCSW-S, PMH-C,a licensed therapist and Chief Clinical Officer at the Reproductive Psychiatry Clinic of Austin, on Tuesday, January 23rd at 12:00pm. Becoming a parent or adjusting to parenting multiple children is a monumental and life-changing developmental task, particularly in our current social and political climate. Parents are being asked to manage the difficulties brought on by these stressors while also handling the psychological and biological changes that come from the act of forming a relationship with their child/children. This workshop strives to impart actionable steps that parents (and those who might be in the support network of new parents) can take to care for their emotional wellbeing. We will acknowledge the stressors that exist for those in the perinatal period and the shared goals of building meaningful support for each other.

March: “Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback” presented by Sarah Porter, PhD, a licensed psychologist and founder of a workplace training and consulting practice on Wednesday, March 20th at 11:00am. This presentation will focus on best practices for not only successfully communicating praise and constructive criticism at work but also responding well during these tricky conversations. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with feedback. As the giver, you want to strike a good balance between recognizing strengths and weaknesses, yet you sometimes struggle to get it right. As the recipient, you want to know how you’re doing but don’t always walk away feeling fully seen or clear on your next steps. Fortunately, there are proven strategies you can use to get the most out of your next feedback session. In this training, you will learn best practices for not only successfully communicating praise and constructive criticism but also responding well during these tricky conversations.

April: “It's a PART-Y: Helping our parts work together in relationships and work life” presented by Ashleigh Gore, LCSW-S a licensed therapist and leadership consultant, on Wednesday, April 10th at 12:00pm. Do you ever feel like you are at war with yourself? Well, that could be your internal monologues (yes, monologues) conflicting with one another. In this training participants will learn about Internal Family Systems and the importance of “parts” work. We will discuss the different “parts” of ourselves, how they can show up in our relationships, our workplace, our daily lives, and ways to have our “parts” working together and accepting one another in order to live with confidence, guided by curiosity and compassion.

May: “Balancing Love and Duty in Caregiving: Taking Care of Self While Taking Care of Others” presented by Monica Thiagarajan, Ph.D. a licensed psychologist, on Wednesday, May 8th at 12:00pm. In the complex role of caregiving, individuals often find themselves at a crossroads between nurturing their loved ones and safeguarding their own well-being. Caregivers frequently navigate the delicate balance between competing responsibilities and the relentless demands of those they care for. Whether simultaneously parenting while caring for an aging relative or managing multiple caregiving roles, the weight of these obligations can seem overwhelming, leaving little room for self-care. This presentation provides caregivers practical ways of nurturing their well-being while fulfilling their caregiving responsibilities. Through an emphasis on mindful awareness and fostering self-compassion, caregivers gain the tools to navigate their roles with attentiveness, empathy, and resilience. This approach equips them to provide compassionate care while mitigating the risk of burnout and overwhelm, ultimately fostering a healthier and more fulfilling caregiving experience. The practice of mindful caregiving cultivates a powerful synergy, benefiting both the caregiver and the recipient of care.