Thursday, 09 April 2020 12:26

Local Psychologist Service to Offer Mental Health Education Classes

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Online classes for anyone willing to learn more about mindset and coping with COVID-19 will be offered starting next week by ECS Psychological Services.

Erin Christopher-Sisk, founder of ECS Psychological Services, and her team will offer multiple online videos and Q&A sessions to provide the opportunity to ask direct questions to clinicians. 

“You’re going to have a live interactive opportunity to ask a trained mental health professional some questions,” Dana Jacobs, clinical supervisor and director of military programs, said. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to offer some of these classes.”

Jacobs has worked as a clinical supervisor for the past few years and will conduct a psychological education online class that focuses on the power of positive thinking during COVID-19. The class will focus on how people can shift their perspective to focus on a different mindset. 

“Right now, a lot of people are focusing on ‘I’m stuck at home’ vs. ‘I have the opportunity to be safe in my home’ and ‘I have a chance to connect with people in a different way,’” Jacobs said.

She added rather than focusing on this awful thing that’s going on and how it’s not creating some positive things, focus towards creating positive things based on this situation.

Kelly Tobin, one of ECS psychologists on staff, will offer another class, which focuses primarily on how much fear is playing a role and how well people are coping with it right now. 

“Essentially she’s going to be helping people to learn and discuss how they can identify when our threats are fear based vs. reality based. It could be things that are coming from our past that really might be informing how we’re viewing current situation and not necessarily the reality of the current situation,” Jacobs said. 

She added that Tobin also will teach guided imagery, some deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to prevent panic in fear based anxiety. 

In addition to these interactive classes, Jacobs said a Facebook Live Q&A would be hosted as well. The classes will be offered at no cost as Jacobs said ECS didn’t want the cost to be a barrier to helping out the community in any way they could. 

“Right now when we’re struggling in lots of different ways, not least of which is financial. Just being able to offer these classes for free is exciting. That way if you have insurance, great, and if you don’t that’s okay too,” Jacobs said. 

Jacobs added that more pop-up classes could be offered in the future based on interest. 

“Quite honestly we’re just hearing from the population that we already work with and the population that’s reaching out to us. Our philosophy at our practice has always been to meet the needs of the community, so were more than happy to open up other classes based upon interest,” Jacobs said. “What are people needing right now, what do they want to know and we’re willing to come up with some materials to help them through that.”

Specific dates and times have not been selected for the classes yet, but Jacobs said more information can be found online on ECS website as well as their social media sites.

The online platform ECS will use is still being discussed, but ECS does have HIPPA compliant video platforms visits for adults and children they may use. 

ECS operates out of multiple locations. Their Church Street location is easy to reach from Ballston Spa, Greenfield, Wilton, Corinth, Amsterdam, Clifton Park and other areas south and west of Saratoga Springs. Their Lake Avenue office is the home of our Therapeutic Farm and offers, group counseling, therapy cats and dogs along with access to our beautiful gardens and walking trails. It is at this location that they partner with Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, Inc. to offer Equine Assisted Learning. 

Wednesday, April 22 | 1-1:30 p.m. 

Live Q&A session to address coping tips, concerns surrounding COVID-19, protecting our mental health and more. Please join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code: 948-417-461


Thursday, April 23 | 1 - 2 p.m.
Free online session to learn and discuss how to identify when our threats are fear- or reality-based. Participants will also learn how to use guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation to prevent panic.  Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code: 771-013-013

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