“The good news is…your spouse is home; The bad news is…your spouse is home!”  (customized to all deployment communication) If included as a pre-deployment or during deployment session, the title is changed and the techniques are designed to keep communication open and clear while separated, to encourage a strong reunion. If provided as a post 1 or post 2 breakout in a YRRP, it helps couples reconnect and better understand how each other is feeling. 

Have you ever wished your mouth had a “backspace” key? Many issues, both good and bad, between people come down to how they communicate with each other. Learning how to both speak and listen, just might save you from inadvertently saying the wrong thing at the wrong time…especially to someone you love. We will examine and practice strategies you can do to set the stage for a good conversation or discussion with your spouse that doesn’t melt down into a shouting match. To close, we’ll bring this full circle by appreciating the ways you say “I Love You’ with no words at all.

“The Art IN Stress Management (Everyone in all phases of deployment) Managing your stress, and the depression that sometimes comes with it, begins with learning how to focus…mindfully. In this fun and different session, you will learn and experience a method of stress relief via a simple art (yes, art!) project called Zentangle® . The structured patterns you’ll practice deliberately increase focus and creativity (for better problem solving), and will give you a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment…because you can’t fail! The process you will learn and experience can be used at any time when you feel that you need to “step out” of a stressful situation and focus on something else for a few minutes. It does not require any particular physical or creative skill. It does not require a uniform, location or equipment to relax and enjoy. Intrigued? Create a personal peace you can take anywhere, or just attend for the fun of it!  The session is 95% interactive, and taught by a Certified Zentangle Teacher. No artistic talent is required; in fact, less talent is preferred because you’ll be more open to trust the process.

“The Military Recruits…the Family Retains!”  (before and during deployment)
This general session is based on the 2nd edition of the book titled “I’m Already Home…Again” and brings you fun new ways to connect with your families – reunion, community, FRG and extended family strategies – along with a couple of requested favorites – Flat Daddy™ and Mel and Marge. Your ideas and experiences, combined with Elaine’s storytelling ability, take a heartfelt look at the times surrounding the unique demands of deployment, and how you can enhance your families’ readiness. This session is fun and inspirational. The stories and examples hit home with the service members and families because the connection ideas used have come directly from the families who have seen them work! You audience will consider this presentation a gift to them to let them escape into their heads and hearts for a while. This presentation has opened three national Air and Army Joint Family Programs conventions.

T.G.I.F. – Teamwork Generates Innovation and Flexibility  (any phase of deployment)
This brand new course is 100% interactive using a physical building exercise. In a fun way it lets attendees experience what it takes to create strong teams and work better together! All materials are provided.

“How the heck did my butt get so BIG?… and other realities of reunion”  (reunion/reintegration)
You’re home now, and that’s wonderful! But fitting back in has come with some challenges. Together we’ll look at the top 8 concerns people have with reintegration. Let’s see how they compare with your experiences! Now let’s learn what to do about it. With a “lighter” approach, I’ll take you through a hands-on exercise, and teach some techniques designed to facilitate better more open communication between you and your spouse, kids, boss at work, friends, etc. These techniques will be looked at through stories and examples that you’ll find fun and interesting.

From Barracks to Backyard  (reunion/reintegration)
This fun and highly interactive session reviews your most pressing concerns and issues about coming home. Then together we’ll develop new and different strategies to help. You’ll leave with at least 25 ideas to implement immediately.

Make a Small World…Smaller!  (during deployment)
Presented twice to “overflow crowds” at the Philadelphia National Guard convention. Elaine will take you through participation in a fun networking instrument and then teach you how to develop and use your own to help all people in your unit FRG and FAC’s learn about each other. This process is great for rural units whose members are far apart and hard to get involved. The goal of this session is to be sure no one in the unit feels left out or disconnected with the families around them, and that we generate ideas on ways each can help.

Creating a Connections Action Plan for your Family  (before and during deployment)
You’re right: The Military recruits…the Family retains! This 90 minute session is almost entirely interactive.  The group is introduced to the specifics of what a family connections plan should look like and then works with another person to create their own. If they are spouses and/or service members, their plan will be for their family and if they are Family Readiness volunteers who work with other families, they’ll learn how to help the families under their care develop their own plans. We’ll cover ideas for staying connected, and a plan for handling issues that arise while you’re separated. You’ll learn the B.A.N.D method for handing “on the spot” emergencies, and conclude with identifying and updating your “emergency” contacts. We end the session by having you do “Hand Drawings” for each other and your children.

Speak for SUCCESS! – Presentation Skill Training
Designed as a ½ day (4 hour) session and can be extended to a full day. I will provide the concepts of public speaking in a fun, informative and non-threatening manner! We’ll cover how to work with the stress one feels while presenting, how to develop confidence and even how to get to a place of enjoyment. Together, we’ll develop your Authority, Energy and Awareness as they apply to every communication situation…even listening. Why would you need to know this? Because often you, as an FRG or FAC leader/volunteer, are asked to present your ideas to community groups or in meetings. You might also be providing training sessions and doing the teaching yourself. You need to bring out those personal qualities that let you be the best you can be. Just because you’re speaking, doesn’t mean that people are listening!

I’ve also been asked to develop some one-time, state specific training sessions designed around the problems they wanted to solve. I can do that for you too. Just tell me what your needs are and we’ll go from there together.