I’ve listed below the descriptions of workshops that I enjoy presenting. All of these topics can be custom designed to fit your time and location needs. Most can be offered in a 1-3 hour block of time. I love doing these presentations and always keep as my goal that participants will literally "walk away changed" such that they can apply what they have learned later the same day to whatever situation that fits for them. Please contact me and let's collaborate on how I might offer a presentation for your organization, church group, or educational setting.
"The ballroom was filled with over 500 people. From the back of the room, Kris made her way down the center aisle, silently dragging a heavy gunny sack filled with labeled bricks. The audience turned and watched, intrigued, giggling and laughing with anticipation of what was about to happen. Kris took the stage and she took command. We listened, we laughed, we nodded with recognition as Kris described each one of us as if her talk was written for "me." She blended true stories with poignant principles, and in doing so, left us all changed - a little more at peace, a little lighter and a little wiser. Her motivational speaking is more than motivating. It is moving. The listener is moved - to understand differently, to feel differently, and also to act differently. Indeed, we all walked away changed "
- Mary Maulsby
Everybody Present: Mindfulness in the Classroom
“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is master of himself if he has it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. But it is easier to define this ideal than to give practical directions for bringing it about.”
- William James, Philosopher, Psychologist (1842 – 1910)
This session will “give practical direction for bringing it about” in the living laboratory of the classroom. After all, master teachers are mindful teachers. Often, we don’t have the spare time to add mindfulness training or meditation practice to the formal curriculum. However, we can teach it indirectly by modeling it and incorporating examples while teaching the established course content. A brief introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion and its applications to reduce test anxiety will be included. Participants will walk away with an understanding of what mindfulness is, its benefits, and several concrete teaching practices that can be utilized in their classrooms.
Mindful Self-Compassion to Reduce Test Anxiety
During this innovative workshop, participants will receive an overview of test anxiety and why faculty are invested in minimizing it for students. Traditional test anxiety workshop content will be reviewed and shown to be only minimally adequate. Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and its benefits will be outlined and then its applications for reducing test anxiety will be demonstrated. Specific and easy techniques to reduce test anxiety will be provided. This content is appropriate for parents, tutors, school counselors, teachers, and students. Participants will walk away with new insights about mindful self-compassion and how it can be implemented to improve one’s quality of life as well as one’s performance in all types of situations.
5 Learning and Memory Concepts to Improve Student Success
Educational Psychology research has much to inform the teaching professor about selective approaches to maximize student success. In this session, five learning and memory concepts will be explained. Specific examples of their application will be provided. The concepts that will be covered are cueing, the testing effect, semantic encoding, rehearsal peer teaching, and the spacing effect. When these five concepts are incorporated through teaching techniques, learning and memory potential increases. Participants will be guided through an example of how to coordinate the teaching process to include these five powerful concepts. This content is geared toward tutors, K-12, and college teachers. Participants will walk away with five research-supported teaching practices which, when taken together, create a powerful synergism for maximum learning and retention.
The Lighthearted Professor: Positive Psychology for the Master Teacher
The new field of Positive Psychology has much to inform the college professor about desirable traits and behaviors of the master teacher. This session, of value to faculty at all levels of experience, will identify the character strengths recommended by positive psychology that are also traits identified in the literature as being descriptive of the master teacher. The focus of master teacher traits will be the findings based on the use of the Teacher Behaviors Checklist – TBC (Keeley, Smith, and Buskist, 2006). Particular attention will be given to the qualities of humor, optimism, creativity, approachability, and enthusiasm. Questions and discussion will be encouraged, and then small groups will generate suggested teaching practices that will reflect these five qualities and support the creation of the positive classroom. Teachers at the K-12 and college level will find this workshop beneficial. Participants will walk away with several concrete ideas that can be incorporated into their current classroom teaching style.
The Test Performance Reflection Exercise… or… Why Did I Get That One Right and Why Did I Get That One Wrong?
What do your students do with their multiple-choice tests when you hand them back? Do they hold their breath, glance at the score, make a facial expression and then stuff it in their backpacks? Perhaps you go over the correct answers. At best, students may notice what they got wrong … and then stuff it in their backpacks. Few of them recognize what a great opportunity they have to analyze why and how they got certain questions right and certain questions wrong. This award-winning Test Performance Reflection Exercise guides the student through the process of recognizing the influence of five factors that contribute to their test performance. Those factors are: Mental/Physical State, Degree of Test Anxiety, Preparation, Study Skills, and Test-Taking Skills. This seminar will define the five factors and walk the participant through the process of administering this learning tool. Students will dramatically increase their understanding of how and why they perform on multiple-choice tests and therefore will be able to recognize areas for improvement. This workshop is beneficial for tutors, K-12, and college teachers. Participants will walk away with a copy of the Test Performance Reflection Exercise and an understanding of its benefits and administration guidelines.
How to Apply Psychological Concepts to Improve Learning, Memory, and Test Performance
An understanding of pertinent learning and memory concepts can greatly improve the efficacy of both teaching methods and student learning processes. This “Best Practices” summary offers concrete suggestions and their rationale for improving textbook reading, note-taking, studying, test-taking, and perhaps most importantly, maintaining a positive attitude through it all. We will begin with a short discussion about common student misconceptions about learning. Then, a review of memory concepts related to learning and memory will be covered. Finally, based on a Best Practices review of the literature, a “How To” section will cover specific suggestions about how to: Read a Textbook, Take Lecture Notes, Study, Take a Multiple-Choice Test, and Have a Great Attitude While You’re at It! This workshop will be beneficial for high school and college students and teachers. Participants will walk away with research-based specific tips to improve the overall success of students.
Stress Inoculation Training for EMS Providers
This is not Stress Management training. This is not Critical Incident Stress Management training. Stress Inoculation Training is based on the premise that no particular situation is stressful in and of itself; stress is in the eye of the beholder. It seeks to reach the preventative root of stress, rather than just the surface elimination of critical incident stress or sub-acute chronic stress. This seminar seeks to accomplish two goals: first, to assist the participant in recognizing the beliefs, attitudes, and even worldviews that one can choose to hold that might mitigate the stress, indeed, the trauma that is commonly experienced in EMS work; secondly, this session will describe a Six Step Process that incorporates an Adaptive Belief System in order to “deal with” specific critical incidents. Finally, a healthy, balanced philosophy of EMS work will be proposed and practiced. This workshop is beneficial for anyone in the pre-hospital services field. It can easily be adapted for professionals in other careers. Participants will walk away with an entirely new belief system that is balanced and therefore, maximizes field performance and career longevity.
How to ‘Deal With’ Anything and Everything in Life in Only Six Steps
This signature presentation recognizes that, while we are all exhorted to “deal with it,” nobody really knows exactly what that entails. In this comprehensive treatment of “dealing with it,” participants will be guided through a six-step process that systematically recognizes, evaluates, and addresses everything one might have to deal with in life – from a minor fender bender to the major loss of a loved one. Most of us have unwittingly stockpiled “issues” and baggage that now interfere with our ability to fully enjoy a carefree life in the present. Participants will walk away with a simple process to effectively “deal with” life events so that the burden of those events are not carried into the future.
These workshops can be tailored to your situation, with some flexibility for duration and number of participants. Please contact me to discuss your needs. I will be delighted to work with you to create a memorable experience that will truly allow your audience to “walk away changed.”
More From The “Walk Away Changed” Series©
Psychology of Customer Service
If customer service is part of your job description, you are sitting on a goldmine of influence. That’s right. You can make or break customer loyalty in a matter of seconds, based on how you appeal to the conscious and unconscious needs of the customer. This workshop on the psychology of customer service will completely reframe your assumptions, motivate you, and free you up to easily recognize creative ways to exceed customer expectations. This is a must for people in the hospitality and sales industries.
There is both an art and science to achieving fulfilling interpersonal relationships. The science is your behavior: conforming to social norms, assertiveness, communication skills, decision-making skills, etc… The art of interpersonal relationships is called Emotional Intelligence. These are the “soft” skills, if you will, of people-to-people interactions, such as your intuition, ability to empathize, your self-awareness, your sensitivity to social cues and energetic shifts, and your understanding of emotional needs. Indeed, the “art” is the “heart” of the matter. This workshop has direct application to both your personal life and your business world. In fact, Emotional Intelligence is most often used in the context of corporate leadership training.
Energy Psychology and EFT
Ok, so you’ve just barely accepted that acupuncture might be legitimate, and now I’m telling you that you don’t even need the needles – just tap with your fingers on some meridian points and get immediate physical and emotional relief. Believe me, I know this is a stretch. But that’s OK, it even works on cynical skeptics! This workshop is provided at Level One for the general public and Level Two for helping professionals. Note: this is the only workshop that cannot be adapted to any time constraints.
How would you answer this question? “I’m a parent.” “I’m a spouse." "I work at ________." Who were you before you started defining yourself according to all the roles you play in your life? Sometimes, we get caught up in the expectations placed on us, and we lose our sense of self. Come join us and re-discover how you are uniquely qualified to be the best you possible.
So many people say, “I just need to deal with it.” Or, “He hasn’t really dealt with it yet.” Or, “I’m just dealing with a lot these days.” What exactly are they talking about? We will learn a step-by-step process for “dealing with” everything from a fender bender to the loss of a relationship. Come learn how to stay current with all the “crises” of everyday life.
The good news is that the power of positive thinking is just as powerful as the power of negative thinking! Which one do you choose? For some of us, the Inner Critic talking inside your head could actually be considered guilty of verbal abuse! Why do we do this to ourselves? We will learn how to stop those automatic thoughts, rationally assess our irrational beliefs, and replace them with a more realistically positive script.
We all get the blues now and then, and many of us have experienced periods of true depression, even thoughts of suicide. There are several possible explanations for the depression that seems to come out of nowhere. Situational depression stems from the ordinary challenges of a life lived fully. We will review some ways that you can help yourself to feel better, and you will be invited to look at depression less as an adversary, and more as a possible teacher.
What is your source of self-esteem? Is it achievement? social status? approval from others? We will take a look at internal and external sources of self-worth and how you arrived at your current feelings about yourself. Then, we will question our assumptions and perhaps make some new choices.
Adults Are to be Seen and Heard
Many of us are uncomfortable speaking up for ourselves. We think that the polite thing to do is to not trouble anyone or bring attention to ourselves. In our attempts to get along with others and avoid conflict, we often deny the legitimacy of our own feelings and needs. Let’s learn some ways to be assertive without being aggressive or passive. Yes, it’s possible!
When Even Your Butterflies Are Anxious
Feelings of anxiety and panic are much more common than people realize. We will take a gentle look at some common triggers and offer suggestions for recognizing and preventing the escalation of anxiety. Normal fears and anxieties will be discussed as we discern the difference between stress and problematic anxiety.
Anger is one of the most abused emotions of the human experience. Most of us either over-express it or under-express it. What models did you have growing up? Come and make peace with anger. We will learn about anger, how to express it and how to be on the receiving end of it – safely. Wear loose clothing (just kidding!).
Spirituality For the Other Six Days of the Week
Wise elders from many spiritual paths have had in common the observation that true spiritual serenity lies in the experience of everyday life. Remember how you feel at the ocean, on top of a mountain, under a star-filled night sky. That connectedness to the universe is available here in town, every day, even at the intersection of Montgomery and San Mateo. Come and share with us. Learn how to be in the moment and access that “big picture” perspective without having to travel to Tibet.
Codependency: It’s Everywhere! It’s Everywhere!
What exactly is codependency? Come and let us explain this misunderstood concept. We will look at its original meaning, and how it has come to mean everything from normal kindness to pathological dependency. The truth is somewhere in the middle. We will explain how to know whether a given decision or behavior is codependent, and also the underlying reasons for it.
Finding our way along the grieving path can be a challenging journey. Death and divorce are the obvious losses that touch our daily lives. Remember that grieving is work, and while there are no shortcuts, there are ways to direct your own process to get through to the other side. We will talk about the grieving process and offer some suggestions that might make your way a little easier.
You will be amazed at the number of research-based psychological principles that have immediate
application to your daily life. We will uncover useful living tips that have at their origin, concepts from Brain Biology, Learning Theory, Memory, Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques, Social Psychology, and Life Span Development. Come and learn the theoretical explanation for all the advice your therapist has been giving you!
The Relationship Instruction Guide: An Owner’s Manual©
We all have good intentions in our relationships. It is just hard to know sometimes the difference between reasonable expectations and the playing out of old problematic patterns. Several “rules” for relationships will be offered. It is proposed that if both partners can agree to these premises, then misunderstandings can be greatly reduced.
Say that again? Communication is so taken for granted. After all, I said what I meant, and you should understand me. We will review several solutions to some common problems in listening and speaking. The focus will be on enhancing communication skills, not just “talking about talking.”
At an Impasse – Now What Do We Do?
Most of us have never been taught how to argue with any degree of maturity. Conflicts are inevitable in every type of relationship. We will learn some conflict resolution strategies, some basic negotiation skills, and “fair fighting” rules. Bring your latest example of a meltdown and we will do a “post-mortem” to see how it could have been handled differently.
"Kris Roush is an incredibly clear and engaging public speaker. She has a genuine gift for connecting with her audience in many ways. Her ability to weave insight, humor, and wisdom into her storytelling is both amazing and wonderful. I always feel so welcomed in Kris' presence, whether I am in a small group or a very large one. She is knowledgeable as well as skilled in articulating the subject at hand. More importantly, her generosity of spirit is conveyed in her speaking. For me, it is a pleasure and an honor to be in attendance where Kris is presenting because I know I will be enriched by what she has to say."
- Carmel Merryman