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Becoming The Person You Really Want To Be

Personal Growth Workshops Offered By

Dave Decker, M.A.
Licensed Psychologist

Workshops are given at different locations, are generally held from 6:30-8:30 PM weekday evenings or from 10 AM-12PM on Saturday mornings, are intended for adults (18 years or older), and involve both lecture and experiential learning. There are usually anywhere from eight to fifteen participants in the workshops. Handouts will be supplied. Click a title below to scroll to a description of that particular workshop. Click here to go to the current Seminars page.

MAKING ANGER YOUR ALLY: Learning to Recognize and Handle The Anger Within and Around You

Anger is a powerful human emotion. Abuse and violence, distortions of anger, seem to be all around us in our world today. Sadly, for many people, anger is literally like a "dark side" that seems to come out of nowhere to overwhelm much of what could be good in their lives.

Anger becomes a destructive force in your life when it leads to attempts to hurt, punish, intimidate, and control those around you, which eventually results in emotional distance, mistrust, isolation, and even legal difficulties. Unfortunately, all too often, anger can also develop into a seemingly insurmountable problem with family and friends, at work, and even in the car. However, although anger is generally a painful and uncomfortable experience, it can also be a helpful and productive force in your day-to-day living. In reality, it can lead to self-knowledge, problem-solving, and intimacy with others when you learn to handle it effectively. How anger affects your life depends on what you do with the anger within and around you.

This five-part workshop for men and women 18 and older focuses on what anger is, how and where you developed your attitudes and beliefs about anger and its place in your life, and how to identify ways to be more aware of your anger triggers and your personal escalation process. You will also learn some specific and practical ways to slow down and de-escalate so that you can begin to handle your anger differently when you have the potential to explode or withdraw. Finally, you'll get some ideas about how you can begin to share the anger that you do experience in a more clear, assertive, and respectful way.

Cost for the series is $350 ($650 for couples).
NOTE: This five-session anger management class is NOT therapy nor is it intended to serve as a domestic abuse treatment program but rather as a educational overview of what anger is, what anger isn't, and ways to handle your anger more effectively when it arises.
(current dates/times)
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STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! Learning To Be More Assertive In Your Daily Living

Do you ever feel like you want to tell people something but you just can't seem to get it out? Do you ever wish you could say "no" when someone asks you to do them a favor? Standing up for yourself, with partners, parents, and others, can really be difficult! We don't want to hurt or offend others. But it also doesn't feel very good to carry around the resentment and frustration that comes from not saying anything at all.

This five-session workshop (ten hours total) focuses on what assertiveness is and how to make it an ongoing part of your life. It will present ideas and specific strategies that will assist you in speaking up for yourself, in an effective and respectful way, whenever you need to. In addition, part of the time in the sessions will be spent actually practicing these skills. You don't need to put off learning how to tell people what you think, feel, and want anymore. Give yourself the chance to be different!

Cost for the series is $295.
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ANGER ON THE HIGHWAYS: Protecting Yourself From Your Own or Others' Road Rage

Angry and aggressive driving is a fact of life today. Road rage is defined as an extreme form of aggressive driving and it can be dangerous and sometimes even becomes lethal. Handling yourself on the streets and highways is more than hoping that things will be okay. Dave offers two seminars that offer practical information and strategies on how to take care of yourself and those you love when other drivers or you yourself become angry.

Seminar I offers five 2-hour sessions (10 hours total) overview of what road rage is, examples of road rage, different types of road ragers, and how to protect yourself if you encounter it (in yourself or someone else) when you're driving.

Cost for Seminar I is $295.

Seminar II offers five 2-hour sessions (10 hours total) to help you learn new skills to handle your own anger on the roadways.

Cost for Seminar II is $295.
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EMPOWERMENT: Overcoming The Pain From Your Past

Think back for a moment to your time as a child. For some, childhood memories meant chatter at the dinner table, sitting with our parents as they read stories to us, and playing happily with friends. For others, however, we may remember demeaning lectures when mistakes were made, hostile and abusive arguments between our parents, being ridiculed by peers or siblings, and an almost constant state of feeling self-doubt and insecurity.

These sorts of experiences can lead to toxic shame, which involves an overwhelming belief that you are somehow defective and "never quite measure up." It contributes significantly to all emotional distress in life, including depression, anxiety, verbal and physical abuse of others, compulsive over-eating, alcohol and drug abuse, and a whole host of other unhealthy and demoralizing attitudes and behaviors. Shame leaves you feeling 'stuck' and makes it difficult to become who you really want to be.

This five-session series of workshops (ten hours total) defines what shame is and contrasts it with empowerment, a very different belief system based on self-respect and accountability that leads to personal growth and the ability to truly connect with others. It also discusses how shame develops, how it can affect your day-to-day functioning, and what you need to do to overcome its damaging and paralyzing effects. Stop letting the old shaming messages run your life! See how becoming empowered can be helpful for you.

Cost for the series is $295.
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WHY DON'T THINGS FEEL THE WAY THEY USED TO?: Building And Maintaining A Healthy Relationship

Relationships with our partner can really be hard! We all too often end up swinging back and forth between being over-involved, controlling, and angry with one another OR being distant, unconnected, and leading 'parallel lives.' This 6-hour three session workshop offers some specific ideas about how to re-connect in a healthy way and how to put more zest back into a relationship that may have become 'stale' in the frantic pace of everyday life. Good relationships take a commitment of time and energy, like all the significant part of our lives. Having some guideposts along the way can help make the journey a little less difficult.

This five-session series of workshops (ten hours total) offers an opportunity to assess your compatability and highlight 'trouble spots' with your partner. It focuses on how your current relationship has been affected by your family or origin and the messages you got there about how relationships were supposed to be. It identifies some of the specific ingredients that are necessary to build and maintain and healthy relationship in the present. Finally, you'll get some practical tools that will help you become more assertive with one another, communicate more clearly, and handle conflicts more respectfully and effectively. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to actually practice new skills in the workshop.

Cost for the series is $295 ($550 for couples).
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Additional workshops offered by Dave include:

Domestic Abuse: What It Is and How To Intervene;

Batterers: Who They Are and How To Help Them Change;

When Violence is Present: Assessment and Treatment Options;

Please Be Careful: The Warning Signs That You May Be Getting Involved With An Abuser;

Trust---It's Not Just For Boy Scouts: Learning To Build and Regain Trust in Your Relationships;

and others.

Call Dave at 612-725-8402 or 651-646-4325 for more information about any of these workshops and for the specific dates, times, and places they will be held.
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About Your Workshop Leader:

Dave Decker, M.A., is a licensed psychologist in private practice. He sees clients in individual, couple, group, and family therapy. In all, he has worked for 20 years in mental health, chemical dependency, and college settings providing therapy for clients addressing a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, and relationship unhappiness. In addition to his clinical work, Dave has written a book called Stopping The Violence; developed and written two anger management workbooks; served as a media consultant on anger, road rage, and domestic abuse issues; and presented numerous workshops in various settings on topics such as assertiveness, anger regulation, domestic abuse, men's issues, stress management, shame and empowerment, grief and loss, and healthy relationships. He is a dynamic speaker and therapist who, through lecture, experiential exercises, and video clips, actively seeks to involve workshop participants in an exciting and growth-producing experience. If you have questions about this workshop, feel free to call Dave at 612-725-8402 (voice mail) or 651-646-HEAL[4325].

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