Employee Assistance Spring 2017 Newsletter
In This Issue

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Employee Assistance

Tang Center
2222 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

Mon - Fri: 8 AM - 5 PM

Schedule an appointment with an Employee Assistance Counselor by calling the above phone number.

Positive Apps. for Daily Use


Equipped with practices and exercises, this app. reminds you to: 
Stop: What you are doing. Check in with your thinking, and how you're feeling.
Breathe: Practice Mindful Breathing to create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions.
Think: Learn to broaden your perspective and strengthen your levels of calmness by practicing one of the meditations. 

With hundreds of hours of content, and sessions to suit your mood and lifestyle, Headspace is like a personal trainer for your mind. You can even add friends to motivate each other along your mindfulness journey.

Did you know? 

Iphone's have a sleep aid built in. With iOS 10, you can set what time you'd like to go to bed at and when you'd like to wake. At your scheduled bedtime, your phone will send you a reminder, and in the morning, will wake you up with gentle sounds. Simply open the clock app. and tap the Bedtime tab to setup. 




"Too many of us listen to each other with half an ear, preoccupied and not fully present. We tend to listen with bias, making up our minds before we hear the full story...We then make well-meaning comments that do not honor the uniqueness of the other's person's thoughts or feelings, such as, "I know what you're going through." Or, we get distracted by the noise of our internal voices and end up judging or second-guessing one another, which keeps us from really listening. 

What does empathic listening look like? It requires giving up a self-centered view of the world, focusing and paying attention, and setting aside biases or distorted thinking to connect with another person's emotions. It means coming to your interactions with a true desire for connection and understanding, rather than winning."

In his article, "How to Fight Stress with Empathy,"
  Psychologist Arthur Ciaramicoli argues that empathic listening may be the key to reducing stress in our lives.


Book Recommendation

Joy is a sustainable state that fuels our creativity and inspiration for innovation. It strengthens our ability to attract friends and to get along with people. In Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within, Chade-Meng Tan reveals the innate contentment that we all possess, and how to tap into this natural, infinite capacity for joy. These benefits can extend to every aspect of life - our brains work better, our bodies function better, we achieve greater success at work. 

"Meng is a wise and entertaining guide, generously sharing his own incredible life story and outlining the practical steps we can all take to actually train ourselves to live life with less stress, more wisdom and more fulfillment." Arianna Huffington 

What We Do

Be Well at Work - Employee Assistance provides no cost, confidential counseling and referral for UC Berkeley faculty and staff and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory employees.  


Employee Assistance is confidential.
 Our counselors and administrative staff do not share information about you or your visits with anyone outside of Employee Assistance without your consent, except when required by law.


Elder Care



As part of Employee Assistance, the Elder Care program offers confidential, free assistance for current UC Berkeley faculty and staff and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory employees caring for or concerned about an elder.


The Elder Care Counselor, Maureen Kelly, is available to answer your questions, help set priorities, refer you to resources and provide support.


If you'd like to schedule an appointment with Maureen, please call


Tel: (510) 643-7754


Welcome back!

As we return to our regular schedules, many of us hope to begin this New Year and semester with optimistic intentions to incorporate more positivity in our daily lives. One way to achieve this is it to make a commitment to being present in our experiences. This can allow us to be fully engaged with those around us, improve our physical and mental health, and heighten our ability to practice self-compassion and gratitude. Positive thinking plays a key role in effectively managing our stress, and practicing positive self-talk is a gentle and encouraging way to boost your confidence and mood.

Employee Assistance is here to provide you and your dependents with support through short-term counseling, assessment, referrals, and workshops. Please call 510-643-7754 to set up an in-person or phone appointment.


Employee Assistance Spring 2017 Workshops 

 To learn more about these upcoming workshops, additional information about the speakers, and registration details, see our Employee Assistance workshop page. 

Wed 2/8; 12:10 - 1:30pm, Tang Ed Center

This workshop will explore the importance of sleep for our biological and psychological functioning, and how lack of sleep may impact our health. It will explore the evolutionary explanations behind sleep, the biology of sleep, including circadian rhythms and sleep cycles, and its necessity for survival, while providing basic tips and tools to help improve the overall quality of your sleep, including discussing sleep hygiene, phone apps. and other electronic devices.

Wed 2/8; 2 - 3 pm, Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

We all spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for the financial aspects of retirement. How much time have you spent thinking about your emotional preparation for your retirement? In this workshop we'll discuss the factors that are significant in affecting your happiness in retirement. And we'll help you to develop an action plan so that you can take steps NOW to ensure an emotionally successful retirement.
This course is offered as part of the UC Retirement Center's Pre-Retirement Program. 

Wed 2/22; 12:10 - 1:30 pm, Tang Ed Center

Who among us hasn't experienced difficult moods and mind states such as sadness, anxiety, dread, fear and grief? Mindfulness is a time-tested and research-based healing alternative to being dragged down into what can feel often like a bottomless pit. Paying attention to what's happening with intention and without reactivity helps us experience difficult moods from a different perspective, one that enhances our natural capacity for compassion, empathy, attention and presence. Please join us in learning three key mindful methods to help stabilize the mind and bring a sense of warmth and compassion to human suffering.

Boosting Your Mental Energy 
Thu 3/16; 12:10 - 1:20 pm, Tang Ed Center 

Participants will learn about the physiology of stress and how mental states affect the nervous system. Concepts that are important in stress management, such as; resonance frequency breathing and increasing heart rate variability will also be discussed. Participants will be led through several mindfulness breathing exercises aimed at evoking the relaxation response, shifting mood, and increasing awareness. The workshop will end with a fun exercise highlighting the importance of laughter and play.

Wed 4/19; 12:10 - 1:30 pm, Tang Ed Center

Habits form the structure of our lives. Habits matter because 40% of what we do every day is governed by them. What we eat, how much we move our bodies, how much we sleep, how we treat the people in our lives are all determined largely by habits. Healthy habits help us to be healthy and happy. Unhealthy habits keep us from living the lives we want.

In this workshop we will explore how habits work and how we can change unhealthy habits. We will also learn about our own habit tendencies and how we can form new healthy habits.

Wed 4/5; 9 - 12 pm, Tang Ed Center

External stressors are real, yet how we choose to view, experience and manage them is an internal process. To maintain a healthy level of stress, we must cultivate an ability to remain flexible and open in order to adapt and adjust to challenges. This workshop will examine common traits of resilient people, and explore ways to strengthen our own resiliency skills, while introducing the concept of managing our energy instead of managing our time as the foundation for healthy practices, high performance, and sustained personal renewal.

Visit the  Elder Care Workshop page  to learn more about these upcoming workshops, including more about the speakers, dates and times, and registration information.

Speaker: Michelle Peticolas, PhD

Speaker: Angela Porter, Oakland Breema Center

Speaker: Janet Van Deusen, HICAP Program Manager

Speaker: Stephanie Bonigut, Alzheimer's Association

Be Well at Work Spring Programs 

As part of University Health Services, Be Well at Work offers faculty and staff an array of services that will help you lead a healthy and balanced life. These services include employee assistance, disability assistance, ergonomics, wellness, work-related medical treatment and work/life services and workshops. Click here for a list of all upcoming workshops.

Mindfulness Meditation Group
Take some time out for you, and try the free meditation group led by staff members who meet during lunch hour every Tuesday at the Tang Center.

Where: Tang Center, 3rd Fl. Conference Rm (3110)
When: Every Tuesday, 12:10 - 12:50 pm
Format: Drop in - no registration necessary.

Post-Election Stress

For many people, the tumult of the recent election has led to
significant amounts of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. 
The following resources may be beneficial to you at this time:

Loving Kindness Meditation - This meditation will guide you to a deeper appreciation for self and the world around you. Useful for anyone who desires inner peace as well as general relaxation.

If you have experienced past traumas, including deaths, losses, violence or other assaults, you may be experiencing memories and feelings from those events and have increased symptoms now. For very public traumas, even those who have not directly experienced the crisis may be affected.
One of the strengths of UC Berkeley is the engagement of students, faculty and staff in campus dialogue. At times these discussions can be emotionally charged and those leading the discussion need guidance about how to support individuals who may be understandably distressed by the content.

If you find yourself in need of processing these varying emotions, Employee Assistance is available for phone or in-person sessions. 
Living with Passion & Purpose 4-Part Class 

Discovering our life's purpose can help us move through our
everyday life with with greater focus and clarity. Asking ourselves two questions: What is most important to me in my life? What are my deepest values and beliefs? can allow us to begin to find and develop our purpose. This class series explores these questions and many others to discover what touches and inspires us most deeply. 

When: 4 consecutive Monday's beginning Feb. 6th - Feb. 27th
Where: East Bay Meditation Center, 285 17th Street, Oakland
Time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Cost: Free - Donations accepted

Introductory Meditation Class

Insight meditation is a process of learning to live in the present moment.It cultivates a clear mind and an open heart. It develops the equanimity and compassion that allows one to live more easily with the ups and downs of life. The Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley is offering a free
Introductory Meditation class which will combine practice and teachings that underlie the meditation.

When: 6 consecutive Monday's beginning Jan. 23rd - Feb. 27th 
Where:  1823 9th St,  Berkeley
Time: 7:30 pm - 9 pm
Cost: Free

 No pre-registration required. 
Breema: The Art of Being Present with Moving Meditation

Breema bodywork and Self-Breema exercises use nurturing touch, tension-relieving stretches, and rhythmic movements to create physical, mental, and emotional balance. The Oakland Breema Center is offering classes which focus on self understanding, and inner harmony. 
Connection to the Body is The Bridge to Reality:
This three week class will present Breema Bodywork, Self-Breema exercises, and ideas from the Breema philosophy that support a practical approach to self understanding.
When: Saturday, Jan. 21st, 28th, & Feb. 4th. 10 am - 11:30 am
Breema Bodywork and Principles: Body Comfortable: This is a class to support bringing Breema's principles to our everyday life. As we learn and practice a wide range of Breema sequences and Self-Breema exercises we have an ideal opportunity to practice Breema's Nine Principles of Harmony. 
When: Mondays, 7 pm - 8:30 pm

Fee for classes: $10 drop-in
For more information please contact:
The Breema Center (510) 428-0937