Make your Mind your Friend: Learning to Handle Challenging Emotions

2-Day Mindfulness and Resilience Retreat 

With Mary O'Callaghan

Sunday 20th January & Saturday 9th February
10am - 4.00pm each day
(Participation in both days required)
Cost: €150

Ever feel overwhelmed by moods, stress, anxiety?  During this two day retreat we will learn creative ways of engaging with and responding to difficult emotions such as anxiety, anger, fear,depression, drivenness and loneliness.

Emotions the Stuff of Life
Emotions, whether difficult or pleasant ones, are part and parcel of life.  Pleasant emotions tend to give us a sense of ease, contentment, even joy and a feeling that life is how we would want it always to be. 
However, as most of us know only too well, life also presents us with more challenging emotions such as fear, loneliness or anger, any of which can overwhelm us or leave us struggling to make sense of them.  
In fact, difficult emotions can become our greatest teacher. They can be a way of letting us know that our life is out of balance, that our system is spun-out or that the view we hold about how life is for us needs re-forming.

Engaging Emotions Skilfully
Skilfully responding to our emotions is a tricky business and requires insight and skill. 
During the past several decades I have recognised both in my own personal life and my professional life as psychotherapist and mindfulness trainer that there are effective ways of responding to and creatively engaging with our emotions and that these are learned skills.  
Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Neuroscience have offered us effective lenses to look more deeply into our emotional life and have offered us ways of engaging with our emotions that lead to greater freedom and creativity. 

‘Enlightening’ Trio
Psychotherapy helps us to understand the developmental baggage we carry from our past. This gives us insight into patterns we keep repeating. 
Neuroscience helps us to understand how chemicals get dumped into our nervous system that give rise to fight, flight and freeze responses which in turn limits our capacity to think and respond skilfully. 
Mindfulness helps us to calm our system, see with greater clarity and find ways of responding rather than reacting.
During the retreat we will explore this trio to reinvigorate our curiosity and vitality about our inner life and have a greater sense of freedom and agency in our engagement with everyday life. 

About Retreat Facilitator
Mary O’Callaghan, MA, EAP, is the director of Oscailt and an accredited psychotherapist. My background is in humanistic and Integrative psychotherapy.  I have always been interested in unconscious processes and completed an MA in Jungian Studies to this end.

Before becoming a psychotherapist I spent 8 years living as a monastic in Asia and Europe where I underwent intensive training in Buddhist psychology, philosophy and meditation.  These have been lifelong interests.  

I have led meditation retreats in Europe and Asia and am passionate about the meeting of eastern and western psychologies and in integrating mindfulness into everyday life.


Course Commitment
 This course is best suited to people with some mindfulness experience. As practitioners of mindfulness we recognise that regular practice is what brings about the possibility for personal transformation. Mindfulness as a practice is a means by which we can look deeply, understand and transform our heart and mind.
Therefore, a commitment to half an hour practice each day during the month between each retreat day is strongly recommended.  So please bear this in mind before embarking on the retreat. This course will be a combination of teaching,  led meditation practices and group discussion.