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WorkLife Group Seminars

The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program offers a variety of workplace seminars in the Medical Center, on grounds, and in the community. For more information or to request a seminar for your workgroup, please contact us at (434) 243-2643 or by using the general information form. Our seminars are generally an hour in length and we prefer to have a minimum of ten registered participants. See below for a complete list of seminar topics and descriptions.


Faculty and Employee Assistance Program Seminar Descriptions

 A New and Wondrous World:  The Essence of Adolescence             
We see the substantial changes in our teen’s physical appearance and behaviors, but we don’t always understand what is actually going on within them and how to address it.  This seminar will introduce and explain basic neurological and developmental changes occurring for your adolescent child, and provide some tips on helpful ways to adjust how we discipline, relate and engage with them.

An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence  
Emotional Intelligence can be simply defined as how we handle ourselves and how we handle our relationships. Emotional Intelligence has four parts: Self-awareness, the ability to manage our own emotions, social awareness (empathy) and relationship management.

This seminar will provide an overview of the 4 core Emotional Intelligence skills, using video clips to illustrate what each skill looks like in action. Suggestions for assessing your own  EI along with simple strategies for improvement will be included.


Boundaries in Health Care
Working with patients is a balancing act. What is helpful behavior? Are there warning signs of being over or under involved with the patient? If you were concerned about overstepping a boundary, what would you do? What will prevent inappropriate behavior and protect the patient?  These and other questions will be discussed in this seminar.


Cultivating a Positive Mindset
This engaging seminar will explore the new research on how we can use effective strategies to cultivate a positive mindset that leads to greater positive emotions and sense of well-being.  We will look at ways to help decrease worrying and negative mind chatter.  We will also learn how our mindset impacts not only ourselves but those around us.

 Effective Communication/Difficult Conversations
Many who usually communicate well, struggle when it comes to dealing with conflict or disagreement.  Come join an interactive presentation that will focus on tools and techniques to enhance effective communication.  Building communication skills can enhance both your personal and work relationships while also decreasing stress and tension in your life.

Participants will:

  • Gain insight into their own communication style
  • Learn how to overcome roadblocks to communication
  • Learn techniques that will create more positive outcomes even with difficult conversations.

Empowered ME!
Often we feel trapped or stuck in a negative cycle it is because we are locked into a frame of mind which highlights only what is outside of our control.  Just as it is naturally human to be imperfect, it is naturally human to have trigger points that "get on our last nerve" and set the stage for us to react in ways that perpetuate the very cycle we wish to break. Discover how to re-claim your own power and respond in ways that make a positive difference.  Join this seminar where we will discuss tools and tactics to create an empowered perspective, identify realistic expectations and goals, and begin to understand how you can create your own happiness and success.


Eldercare Sessions:


  • Conversations in Elder Caregiving:  Join us for this session where we will discuss ways to talk with our elders about the touchy issues of driving, accepting care, living alone, moving, etc. Plan to share your own successes and challenges in having these important conversations.
  • Getting Organized for Elder Caregiving:  In this session we will review the important legal, financial, medical, communication and resource areas pertinent for most elder caregiving situations. Plan to attend if you think you will one day be concerned about elder caregiving or if you are presently in that role.
  • Long Distance Caregiving:  Many of our loved ones live outside the Charlottesville region and require our assistance as caregivers. In this session we will review a number of tips and resources pertinent to long distance caregiving.
  • Managing Dementia Behaviors:  In this session, neuropsychologists will review some of the different dementia behaviors that caregivers often face and provide practical information on management strategies in an education and discussion format.
  • Partnering with Your Doctor:  Please join us for this informative session which will address:
    • How to prepare for doctor’s appointments
    • How to talk so your physician can hear you
    • How to maximize the time you have with the physician for yourself and for the people you assist.
    • Planning Ahead for Long Term Care:  In this session on planning for the care of your elder loved ones, we will discuss the conversations that should be held prior to health care crises and review the various legal, financial and health considerations pertinent to planning ahead. We will also review the continuum of long term care options, their costs and resources and provide some practical suggestions to prepare for this stage of life.


From Toothless Grins to Public Meltdowns: The Joys and Challenges of Parenting Young and Elementary Aged Children
This seminar will show ways to use the everyday joys and stresses of parenting to help your child, and you, understand how emotional needs affect behavior and impact the parent/child relationship.  You will learn important parenting principles, and a few helpful ways to nurture your child's developing mind and relationship skills.

Happy Habits
This fun, engaging presentation shares exciting discoveries happening in the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience.  Learn about innovative strategies researchers are uncovering that can allow us to increase our level of happiness in under one minute a day.  If that were not enough of a benefit, the strategies also increase productivity as well.  

 How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About it
We hear a lot about how important communication is in intimate relationships – and how men and women communicate differently – all of which is true. However, the connection that we have with our partner is paramount to establishing and maintaining long-term satisfaction in relationships. This seminar will help us understand how we can’t help but break connection with our partner if we aren’t attuned to the underlying forces behind our thoughts, feelings and actions.  We will also learn strategies for reconnect and staying connected so that we can improve our relationship without having to talk about it.

 Insufficient Sleep – Causes and Cures 
One in three people suffer from some form of sleep problems during their life time.  More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.  This presentation provides an overview of the causes and potential solutions to insufficient sleep.  Also included is a self-assessment checklist, recommendations for improvement, as well as resource and referral information. 

 Is it Rude, Mean or Bullying? How to Constructively Address Inappropriate Behavior in the Workplace
Poor communication not only affects us individually but has a major impact on patient safety and patient outcomes.  This presentation will define the above terms, discuss the impact of disruptive behavior on coworkers, patients and the health system and explore the roles of both employees and managers in addressing inappropriate communication. There will be an emphasis on how to respond appropriately to specific types of negative communication, tips for improving comfort levels and a review of UVA resources available to provide support and guidance.

 Keeping the Love Relationship Alive - What Really Counts
Establishing long term love and excitement in our most intimate relationships is one of the main challenges we face throughout our lives. Anyone in a relationship or who plans on being in one needs to know how to keep love alive over the long term. But how do we learn this secret? Come learn valuable methods for reinvigorating your most sacred love relationships and understanding what really matters in the quest for enduring love.

 Living a More Balanced Life
Many of us desire a more balanced life, but find it difficult to achieve and/or maintain balance in our fast-paced world.  This interactive seminar will explore ways to help increase balance and create a plan to start making balance more present in your life. 

 Meditation -- What Is It and Why Should I Care?
Perhaps you have heard of meditation, but aren’t sure how these techniques might work for you.  Want to make an informed decision and be sure you aren’t missing out?  This workshop provides information, as well as practical tools you can use in your day to day life to respond to and manage stresses from both home and work settings.  These tools also help you learn how to respond to challenges with your highest degree of skill and wisdom.

 Meditation – An introduction to Practice
This seminar provides basic information regarding meditation as well as an introduction to several different meditation exercises that can easily be implemented in your day to day life both at work and at home.  LINK: Introduction to Mindfulness with Dr. John Schorling:  http://www.medicalcenter.virginia.edu/feap/work-life/mindfulness/feap-introduction-to-mindfulness

No Drama Discipline It is easy for us to get into a cycle of negative behavior and punishment with our kids.  Unfortunately this robs of us what we want most, calm and compassionate connection to them. In this seminar you will be introduced to ways to reach your child, redirect emotions and turn meltdowns into opportunities for growth.  You’ll gain an understanding of the link between your child’s developing brain and the way you react to his/her misbehavior; and learn how to apply this knowledge to peacefully resolve conflicts, inspire happiness and strengthen resilience in everyone in the family.   Link to vide: FEAP Spotlight: No Drama Discipline from UVA Link on Vimeo.    PASSWORD = FEAP


 Psychological Readiness for Retirement
When beginning to think about retirement, most employees consider the financial aspects thoroughly and thoughtfully but often don’t give credit to the emotional, social and psychological aspects of retirement. In this session we explore how people make the decision to retire, what they do in retirement and some strategies for being a “positive retiree.”

 Resiliency: Responding to Stress with Success
Resiliency is defined as, “The process of good coping and adaptation in the face of challenge, trauma or significant source of stress”, (APA). Learn how it is possible to minimize your internal stress response to challenging events. Join this seminar to learn strategies to build resiliency in your own life.

 Strategies for Successful Customer Service
Tools and tips to set the stage for exceptional customer service in challenging circumstances is the focus of this workshop.  Issues addressed include: tactics to diffuse and redirect difficult personalities while maintaining a calm and professional demeanor as well as interpersonal communication methods for high level skills in listening, identifying and expressing key issues, and problem solving tactics.  This program is designed for direct-line employees who already understand and practice basic customer service skills successfully.

Stress Management
Managing stress is an important part of keeping life balanced.  We know that stress creates both physical and emotional strain on our body and mind.  This workshop will focus on time management strategies to simplify life; optimism to increase joy and happiness; and leisure activities to provide rest and rejuvenation.    Come and learn many techniques to better manage personal stress.

 Surviving and Thriving Emotionally in the Midlife Years
Midlife is a normal developmental phase that all adults go through. Many stereotypes exist regarding midlife reactions for both women and men but the reality is that midlife happens to everyone and how we choose to respond to the challenge of midlife is what is important. In this session, participants will increase their knowledge and understanding of the psychological process of midlife, understand some possible precipitants for entering this stage of life and identify productive strategies to enhance the midlife years.

 The Science of WILLPOWER
Will power is considered a more accurate predictor of how well you will do in school or at work than level of intelligence.  When asked about willpower most people think about whether or not they have any.  What if willpower isn’t about something you either have or don’t have?  What if willpower is actually linked to a biological response you can enhance? Join this seminar to learn effective strategies to enhance your own willpower as well as discover how “I WANT POWER” and “I WON’T POWER” can help you reach your goals?  This seminar is based on Kelly McGonigal’s groundbreaking book, “The Willpower Instinct”.

 Understanding Long Term Care Insurance
In this session we will review the costs of long term care and explore the various aspects of Long Term Care Insurance as a potential part of one’s financial plan for the future. We will look at who can benefit from having LTC Insurance and what features should be considered, as well as costs and options for coverage. The University’s Genworth offering will be discussed but this session is provided by FEAP so no insurance products are sold or individually promoted.

 Understanding Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and Coping Mechanisms for Stress
Managing stress is an important part of keeping life balanced.  We know that stress creates both physical and emotional strain on our body and mind. This workshop will explore the origins of our stress and introduce alternative methods for creating lasting coping mechanisms.

 Wired for Happiness
This fun, engaging presentation shares exciting discoveries happening in the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience.  Learn about innovative strategies researchers are uncovering that can allow us to increase our level of happiness in under one minute a day.  If that were not enough of a benefit, the strategies also increase productivity as well.   LINK to video:  http://www.medicalcenter.virginia.edu/wdc/feap/Mary_Sherman_Talk.flv/view