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Author Archives: Faith Mayer

Packed House is Wowed by Lynn Lyons

In a world full of noise and negativity, Lynn Lyons, psychotherapist, and author of several books including Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents, is a light in the darkness. With her expertise, quick wit and unending stories, Lynn educated a packed house at the kick-off event of the Dr. Charles P. Conroy Speakers Series with stategies for how to recognize and ultimately, overcome, anxiety.

Psychotherapist Lynn Lyons telling a story.

“How can we not be anxious in a world that values safety overall,” Lynn asked. “We track our kids on their phones (stop that), and we can know anything at the click of a button. We need to stop telling our kids to be safe all of the time. The world is not a safe place, the key is to learn to deal with it,” Lynn said. The example she used was an elementary school sign that read “Be safe” as kids were heading off for the summer. “I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, I had a great summer, it was so safe,” she quipped.

Lynn addressed an audience of approximately 200 people on Thursday night November 30. She began her talk by addressing what anxiety really is, and where it comes from. She noted that in 2014 the World Health Organization declared that depression was the leading cause of illness and disability in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19. The adults were not far behind. With all of this bad news, Lynn decided to make it her life’s work to help people identify and treat anxiety so that they could live full and productive lives.

“Anxiety comes from two places,” she said. “It’s genetic or you experience trauma. Our mission is to diminish the pattern that supports anxiety and depression, and find a better way to handle the feelings that arise.”

She offered several alternatives to dealing with anxiety by sharing several anecdotes of real-life cases she has handled. Her first suggestion is to allow a person to feel worried and then demote it in the brain. “Don’t offer alternatives that suggest nothing bad will ever happen as that isn’t reality, she noted. “If someone is afraid of dying, the odds of that happening are 100%, so how are you going to handle that without allowing alternatives? Instead, when you have a thought, feeling or sensation that leads you to feel anxious you need to learn to respond and react differently.”

(L to R) Perkins CEO Michael Ames, Lynn Lyons, Dr. Charles P. Conroy

Some of her other suggestions included naming your anxiety, “Oh, Pete, I knew you were going to turn up, so nice to see you.” Another is to purposely immerse yourself in the anxiety-producing situation. She then went on to tell a story about how she, personally, is medically triggered. “Any kind of description of a medical event, and I am going down,” she said. Her solution has been to purposely immerse herself in events that may lead to someone talking about medicine.

Lynn’s engaging style had many in the audience nodding in recognition or enjoyng her sense of humor. At the conclusion of the event – as guests were mingling over coffee and cookies – many were heard saying,”That was excellent.”  Or “I wish I had brought my daughter/son, this would have made such a difference to him/her.” At the conclusion of the event, Lynn sold and signed copies of her many books and chatted at length with many participants.

The ultimate goal of Lynn’s talk was to teach that people – particularly children – can change. They can learn a better way to handle their worries and live a fuller life by asking “how” and not “why” questions.For more information about Lynn and her practice click here.

The Dr. Charles P. Conroy Speakers Series, named in honor Conroys 28 years of service as executive director, is focused on bringing members of our community together for lectures and discussion of a wide range of topics related to the various programs and services provided by Perkins. Speakers will focus on topics such as child development, mental health, education, intellectual and developmental disabilities and organizational planning and leadership.

 

 

Perkins Kicks Off 2017 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends, During Perkins’ Evening Under the Stars gala earlier this month, author and guest speaker, Steve Pemberton, told the audience about his unfathomable adversity as a child. Despite predictions of having not a chance in the world, Steve rose above appalling circumstances through the investment of a few who believed in him. Like thoseContinue Reading

Perkins Welcomes New Child Development Center Director

Perkins is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Sinclair as the Director of our Child Development Center. Patty comes to us with several years of experience in the childcare industry, most recently having worked as a Field Director for Bright Horizons. Prior to that appointment, Patty had worked for Bright Horizons as the directorContinue Reading

2016 Gala Auction Bid Leads to Once in a Lifetime Experience

A night on the town to support a great cause is always an exciting experience, but winning a coveted auction item simply pushes the experience to another level – especially if it is an auction item you have long desired. Perkins Clinical Coordinator Bridget Matte, her husband Greg, and her son Nick had the opportunityContinue Reading

Leading Economist Teaches Students Rules for Success

Dr. Fred McKinney spoke to Perkins high school students today as part of our ongoing inspiring speakers series. Dr. McKinney is the current Managing Director of the Minority Business Programs at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Prior to his time at Dartmouth, he served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of BusinessContinue Reading

Perkins Unveils 2018-2020 Strategic Plan

Dear Friend, I am pleased and very proud to provide you with our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, Expanding Capabilities for Greater Impact. This plan represents months of dedicated work on the part of Perkins trustees and employees. Included in the plan is our refreshed Mission, Vision, and our Values. We invite you to partner with us asContinue Reading

Taste of Wachusett Celebrates Twenty Years

Hard to believe the Taste of Wachusett is in its twentieth year. The very first host, Susan Templeton, the then Executive Director of the Wachusett Area Chamber of Commerce, decided that it would be great fun to create a trade show for the sole purpose of sampling great food and drink while mingling with aContinue Reading

Successful Initiatives Save Money

Going and staying green is an important goal here at Perkins. We have put many initiatives in place over the last several years to reduce our environmental footprint and, in the process, save money. From purchasing environmentally benign cleaning products, switching our ice melt to a biodegradable anti-corrosive calcium magnesium acetate product, to single-stream recyclingContinue Reading

Heroes and Leaders Celebrated at Summerfest

The annual SummerFest celebration hit the sunny lawns of the Doctor Franklin Perkins School this past Thursday evening, August 17th. Families and staff alike could be seen socializing, enjoying delicious food, and partaking in numerous games and activities dotted around the campus. Attendees were able to enjoy the bouncy house and obstacle course, pet theContinue Reading

Grit Defines Perkins Class of 2017

  As the clouds parted to reveal the sunshine rather than downpours, Perkins graduates paraded across the manor lawn proudly dressed in Perkins purple ready to receive the accolades they have worked so hard to achieve. Presiding over the event was CEO Michael W. Ames, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer Timothy Hammond, and Director of EducationContinue Reading