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Equality & Diversity

Equality & Diversity course timetable

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Mon 1 Mar – Wed 7 Jul

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March 2021

Tue 2

A series of four workshops designed to help participants build sustainable practices to support their wellbeing and resilience in the face of life's inevitable stresses. Each session in the series is designed as a stand-alone workshop, so participants can book on to all four workshops or just one on its own.

Kathrin Hicks is a clinical psychologist who has worked with many different patient groups in the NHS. Her most recent focus has been staff working on the Covid front line.

Workshop 1: How mind and body interact in long term health conditions

Delivered by Kathrin Hicks from the University Counselling Centre

Kathrin will present a framework for understanding how physical and mental factors interact in the experience of long term health conditions, drawing on ideas from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness. This framework will provide the rationale for the interventions presented across the sessions – understanding how and why a technique works will increase the motivation to try it out. In a nutshell, the experience of long term physical health problems can set in motion a vicious cycle of thought processes, emotions and behaviours that makes it even harder to live with the symptoms of the condition. This is not our fault but a consequence of the way the human brain is wired to respond to stressful situations. If we can understand and manage this response better, we can work towards a way of living well with our health problems, rather than feeling like we are in a constant battle.

Concepts to be covered include:

  • The CBT model of the relationship between thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms and behaviours
  • The idea of the “second arrow of suffering” – how we can make a situation worse by thinking about it in a certain way
  • The mechanism of the fight/flight stress response and how this operates in chronic physical health problems
  • The first practical exercise: The 3-minute breathing space

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Wed 3
Mindfulness Practice - Session 6 new [Places] 11:30 - 12:00

Life can at times feel relentless, overwhelming and draining. We can become so caught up in our thoughts and feelings that they entangle us in ways that are harmful. Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as clinical trials show that it works to halve the risk of depression in those who have experienced illness (Professor Mark Williams). Mindfulness practice can help us become more present in the moment, increase our awareness of feelings and help us notice signs of stress, low mood and anxiety so we can take steps to address them. These sessions are offered to help staff experience the benefits of Mindfulness practice as a way of supporting health and wellbeing.

Join Esther Hunt, for a series of six standalone weekly sessions. Book into as many or as few as you wish. No materials necessary, although you may wish to be seated in an upright chair with a blanket around you to maximise the benefits.

Esther Hunt trained as a Mindfulness Teacher with the British Mindfulness Institute and was taught by Dr Patrizia Collard. She is a Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Affiliated Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling in the Faculty of Education.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided in your booking confirmation email.

There is a rush in the media to diagnose a ’tsunami’ of mental health problems during covid while research from University of Sheffield presents a view that there are people who fare better, people who fare worse and many who are doing OK with respect to their emotional well-being. What ‘doing OK’ may mean in a highly stressful world could be mistaken for mental health ‘problem’ rather than a normal stress response to a stressful time. To stop that embodied and wise response to stress turning into enduring mental illness we need to consider those protective factors we have within ourselves and those we can offer to others.

In the role of parents and carers, we may be concerned about how those around us are coping in these challenging times. This session demonstrates through activities and input how attachment theory and positive relationships between people support resilience. The affirmation of social bonds is presented as a way to normalise the stress we are feeling, to support each other and to be ready to promote our own recovery and the recovery of others when stress is reduced.

Fiona Peacock (Certified Theraplay® Therapist, Trainer & Supervisor, Senior Affiliated Lecturer Faculty of Education) will run attachment enhancing activities (children welcome!) and also contextualise the difference between an appropriate anxiety or stress reaction to what is going on in the world, from mental distress or illness.

Sarah Hughes (Senior Staff Counsellor, University Staff Counselling Centre) will give guidance on how carers can support themselves through self-care and signposting to internal and external services.

The session is an hour. Children are welcome to attend this session with you, but you may wish to turn off your video and mute.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

SPACE : Carers @ Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 15:00

Virtual afternoon tea and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining details will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Thu 4
SPACE : Parents @ Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00

Virtual coffee and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Come along to this session if you’d like to develop tools for becoming an antiracist ally and to build a strong antiracist identity.

The training will be split into two 1h sessions.

This will allow us to make space for discussion while not making the zoom meeting too long.

While the session may be most helpful to white colleagues, everyone is warmly invited to attend.

YOU MUST BE AVAILABLE TO ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation emails.

Stress and Anxiety Workshops

Overall Aims of 4 weeks

  • Help recognise your signs of stress and anxiety
  • To ‘normalise’ stress, anxiety, worry
  • To understand the power of our individual attitude towards stress & anxiety
  • To foster resilience and coping with stress and anxiety
  • Be given the time in our busy lives to consider our individual responses to stress and anxiety

Week 2 - The focus of this workshop will be on worry and anxious thoughts and how they impact on our wellbeing. We will look at strategies to help address worries directly as well as activities to distract and soothe us. There will be time for Q&A at the end.

  • Introduction – The worried mind
  • Progressive relaxation exercise
  • How worry and anxious thoughts impact on our wellbeing
  • CBT strategies to manage worry
  • Assessment and action process
  • Soothing and distraction
  • Rest and relaxation

Delivered by Sarah Hughes from the University Counselling Centre

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Fri 5

Come along to this session if you’d like to develop tools for becoming an antiracist ally and to build a strong antiracist identity.

The training will be split into two 1h sessions.

This will allow us to make space for discussion while not making the zoom meeting too long.

While the session may be most helpful to white colleagues, everyone is warmly invited to attend.

YOU MUST BE AVAILABLE TO ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation emails.

Mon 8

Dr Nicola Rollock and Professor Stephen J Toope in conversation

Dr Nicola Rollock and Professor Stephen J Toope discuss race, gender and identity at the University of Cambridge as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Dr Rollock is a leading academic, consultant and public speaker whose scholarship addresses racial justice in education and the workplace. She holds a number of advisory appointments including with the Wellcome Trust and the British Science Association. She is Distinguished Fellow at the Faculty of Education and was appointed Senior Adviser on Race to the Vice-Chancellor in October 2020.

Professor Stephen J Toope has a distinguished career as an academic leader and as a renowned scholar of Human Rights Law. He is the first non-Briton to serve as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge. Since taking up the post in 2018 he has been a strong advocate for equality at the University.

Tue 9

Workshop 2: Physiological responses and relaxation

Delivered by Kathrin Hicks from the University Counselling Centre

The most straightforward way of interrupting the vicious cycle of negative thoughts and feelings associated with long term health conditions is to start with the physical processes involved in the fight/flight stress response, particularly breathing and muscle tension. If we can slow down our breathing and reduce muscle tension, this sends the message to the brain that we are safe, which has a calming influence on our thoughts and feelings.

Concepts to be covered include:

  • Brief description of the brain processes involved in the fight/flight response, and how these are affected by breathing and muscle tension
  • Description, demonstration and in-session practice of different techniques for slowing down breathing and reducing muscle tension
  • Troubleshooting how to practise these techniques

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Thu 11

Stress and Anxiety Workshops

Overall Aims of 4 weeks

  • Help recognise your signs of stress and anxiety
  • To ‘normalise’ stress, anxiety, worry
  • To understand the power of our individual attitude towards stress & anxiety
  • To foster resilience and coping with stress and anxiety
  • Be given the time in our busy lives to consider our individual responses to stress and anxiety

Week 3 - This week we will take a deeper look at stress and anxiety, work on what our triggers are, and any behaviours that might maintain an anxious state.

  • What Triggers anxiety?
  • Think more about the physical symptoms
  • What maintains anxiety
  • Negative Automatic Thoughts
  • Intrusive Thoughts

Delivered by Euan Ambrose from the University Counselling Centre

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Tue 16

Workshop 3: Thinking

Delivered by Kathrin Hicks from the University Counselling Centre

The way we think about a situation has an enormous influence on our subjective emotional experience and on our behaviour. This process is more complicated than examining supposed thinking errors or trying to “think positive.” In this session we consider different types of worry and how to respond to them and focus in particular on changing our relationship with our thoughts, rather than the content of the thoughts themselves. Being able to take a step back and observe our thinking processes rather than becoming tangled up in our thoughts can make an enormous difference to how we respond emotionally and behaviourally.

Concepts to be covered include:

  • Differentiating practical and non-practical worry
  • The concept of thinking “errors” and the degree to which this is helpful
  • Thought “fusion” and “defusion” – becoming tangled up versus untangling ourselves from our thoughts
  • Practical exercises, including in-session demonstration and practice, for managing different types of worry

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Thu 18

Stress and Anxiety Workshops

Overall Aims of 4 weeks

  • Help recognise your signs of stress and anxiety
  • To ‘normalise’ stress, anxiety, worry
  • To understand the power of our individual attitude towards stress & anxiety
  • To foster resilience and coping with stress and anxiety
  • Be given the time in our busy lives to consider our individual responses to stress and anxiety

Week 4 - In this final workshop we will take a look at the various causes of workplace stress, its tell-tale symptoms, and ideas for stress-management and self-care. There will be reflective-practice exercises and time for Q&A.

  • Introduction - Managing workplace stress
  • What are the causes of workplace stress
  • Recognising the symptoms of work related stress
  • Ideas on how to manage workplace stress

Delivered by Sarah Hughes from the University Counselling Centre

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Tue 23

Workshop 4: Behaviour

Delivered by Kathrin Hicks from the University Counselling Centre

The most common behavioural consequences of long term health conditions are avoidance and doing too much. These often go together in a “boom or bust” cycle. We will look at what this means in the context of living a life in line with our values and how we can work towards achieving a balance of rest and activity, and of different types of activity.

Concepts to be covered include:

  • How the boom/bust cycle operates and its long term consequences
  • The idea of behavioural activation: the positive impact of gradually increasing activity on mood
  • The idea of activity scheduling, with a particular emphasis on balancing activities we “have” to get done and activities that bring us pleasure, meaning and social connection
  • The concept of our core values and how we can use this to influence the way we plan our activities

There will also be time to pull the ideas from all 4 sessions together, considering them within the original conceptual framework.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

April 2021

Thu 1
SPACE : Parents @ Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00

Virtual coffee and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Wed 7

Come along to this session if you’d like to develop tools for becoming an antiracist ally and to build a strong antiracist identity.

The training will be split into two 1h sessions.

This will allow us to make space for discussion while not making the zoom meeting too long.

While the session may be most helpful to white colleagues, everyone is warmly invited to attend.

YOU MUST BE AVAILABLE TO ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation emails.

SPACE : Carers @ Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 15:00

Virtual afternoon tea and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining details will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Fri 9

Come along to this session if you’d like to develop tools for becoming an antiracist ally and to build a strong antiracist identity.

The training will be split into two 1h sessions.

This will allow us to make space for discussion while not making the zoom meeting too long.

While the session may be most helpful to white colleagues, everyone is warmly invited to attend.

YOU MUST BE AVAILABLE TO ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS.

Joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation emails.

May 2021

Wed 5
SPACE : Carers @ Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 15:00

Virtual afternoon tea and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining details will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Thu 6
SPACE : Parents @ Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00

Virtual coffee and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Wed 26

Delivered in a safe and supportive environment, this harassment prevention training offers individuals the opportunity to learn about the different factors that might create and perpetuate a work environment in which harassment and bullying occur, and strategies for how to address this.

This training session is only open to the School of Arts and Humanities staff members.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided in your booking confirmation email.

June 2021

Wed 2
SPACE : Carers @ Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 15:00

Virtual afternoon tea and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining details will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Thu 3
SPACE : Parents @ Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00

Virtual coffee and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

July 2021

Thu 1
SPACE : Parents @ Cambridge new [Places] 10:00 - 11:00

Virtual coffee and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining instructions will be provided on your booking confirmation email.

Wed 7
SPACE : Carers @ Cambridge new [Places] 14:00 - 15:00

Virtual afternoon tea and chat to share experiences, discuss challenges and get updates on University initiatives and policies to support parents and carers.

Zoom joining details will be provided on your booking confirmation email.