Monday, October 27, 2014

Gross National Happiness

Led by Heather Tydings-Goldfarb, LCSW-C

It's almost the month of Thanks & Giving. Who is ready for some more RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) and roll 2014? The clinicians at Healing Circles Wellness Circle have joined this group and are ready to spread some kindness! 
If you are new to this group, here's the skinny: 3 years ago, many filled the world with Random Acts of Kindness. The biggest RAOK was someone helping a young girl get a new car (donated by a dealership) after superstorm Sandy washed hers away. One very generous soul organized a large shipment of items to a family who lost most of their belongings in the same storm. Others bought strangers coffee, gave flowers to the check out clerk at the grocery store, helped a neighbor rake leaves, donated blood, babysat for free, dropped off food for their pediatrician, randomly handed out gift certificates at gas stations..... and the list goes on. Starting november 1, this is a place to post all the large and small ways you RAOK it out.
There are two reasons I started this group: I got the idea from studying about the country of Bhutan (see the movie Happy.) Instead of focusing on their Gross National Product, they focus on the country's Gross National Happiness. The governing powers consider the people's quality of life in making decisions (how delicious!)
Also, my family was also given a most memorable RAOK 22 years ago that saved my brother's life. At the age of 17, my brother was stabbed in the heart in Mexico in a random robbery. Once in the hospital (termed used loosely) his heart stopped multiple times. A surgeon pulled me aside and advised they could not do open heart surgery until they had payment. It was the middle of the night and I was in my pajamas and had no belongings on me. A random businessman happened upon the hospital, saw my distress, plopped down $10K and his credit card number and helped me call my parents in the US on his phone card. He also navigated the hospital system for me as I did not speak spanish. He asked for nothing in return. How can I not give to others for the rest of my days?
Feel free to join this love fest in any way that feels good to you; whether publicly or privately. Research shows RAOK's release endorphins. so let's pump up the J O Y.

To join this amazing group and start to RAOK and Roll, click HERE and request approval (it is a closed group). Once approved, start giving!!

Heather can be contacted at 301-712-9015 ext. 1026 or

Monday, October 20, 2014

Clinician in the Spotlight

Bonnie Triantafillos-Wright, LCSW-C

Bonnie Triantafillos-Wright is excited to be with Healing Circles. Bonnie is a licensed psychotherapist and grief coach with training from Cath Duncan’s Creative Grief Studio.  Bonnie has background in all areas of mental health but with a specialty in loss and life and transitions.  She also comes with a strong background in adjustment to illness issues and end of life support and planning. Additionally, Bonnie provided brief solution focused therapy for depression and anxiety with an emphasis on building coping and identifying manageable goals. 

Bonnie graduated from University of Maryland with her MSW and has been working 14 years as a licensed clinician. She has worked as a therapist in a Pediatric Cancer Department doing end of life support to parents, psychosocial assessments, and adjustment to illness therapy.  Bonnie also supported families of pediatric patients with other life threatening and chronic illnesses on the Pediatric In-patient Unit. Bonnie also brings a strong background in supporting clients at end of life while working as a therapist at hospice. She has also provided therapy to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, as well as led psycho-educational bereavement groups. During her time in graduate school, Bonnie worked in a residential treatment center serving adolescent boys and girls.

Bonnie’s personal and professional experiences have provided her with a rich background and knowledge in grief and loss that has been most recently complimented with tools from Cath Duncan’s Creative Grief Studio. Bonnie’s theoretical perspective on grief and loss, coupled with traditional talk therapy, provide an opportunity to empower clients with resilience and creativity in their grief journey. Bonnie incorporates tools that allow her clients to become more self aware and to experience grief and loss more wholeheartedly.  Bonnie uses her skills to encourage her clients to approach their emotional experience with more compassion and curiosity; allowing them to see that there is wisdom and opportunities in their grief. This is a unique approach to grief and loss work, as the process explores opportunities to celebrate the life that has ended and to find ways for continued connection, while also providing space to process and share their loss.  Bonnie’s work supports clients in examining their thoughts, leaning into their feelings and trusting that their emotions ebb and flow, thus providing greater likelihood that they will experience  an authentic expression of their grief.

Bonnie works with anyone grieving as a result of any death. Bonnie also supports those facing end of life, chronic illness and life threatening illness, loss of job, divorce/end of relationships or any life changing event that brings about feelings associated with grief and loss. Bonnie also provides education as to what grief looks and feels like so that clients have permission to experience grief for those circumstances that are “non-tangible” loss; specifically loss not experienced by death. With a strong medical social work background, Bonnie provides education and awareness to clients dealing with physical illness and pain. Through exploration of lifestyle and coping, Bonnie works with clients to make adjustments that may improve their overall physical and emotional health. 

Bonnie can be contacted at: 
301- 712-9015, ext. 1046 

Meditation Offered by Pam McDonald, LCSW-C

Pam McDonald, LCSW-C,  offers weekly meditation groups at Healing Circles! 

Pam will continue to offer her 30-day meditation coaching program to assist beginners in getting started with a meditation practice. Pam will guide you to discover and experience meditations that fit your needs and lifestyle. The meditation coaching package includes:

  • Weekly, 50-minute meditation practice and coaching sessions at Healing Circles
  • 4 digitally recorded meditations to keep your practice going
  • Daily emails delivered Monday through Friday to inspire and strengthen your practice
  • Personalized coaching and instruction to fit your needs

Dates: NEW! This program is now offered on an ongoing basis. You may sign up at any time and begin when it fits your schedule.  

Meditation practice times: Meditation coaching participants will meet with Pam for her meditation practice sessions on Tuesdays from 6:00-6:50 p.m.

Location: Healing Circles Wellness Center, 10 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 203, Frederick, MD 21701

Cost: Receive 30 days of supportive meditation coaching for only $100.

In addition, Pam is now offering her open meditation group every Tuesday evening. These mid-week meditation gatherings are a great way to learn and experience the benefits of meditation through an informal format with a guided meditation.

Format: At each gathering, Pam shares a short inspirational reading followed by a guided meditation. Questions and comments are welcome after the meditation. 

Location: Healing Circles Wellness Center, 10 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 203, Frederick, MD 21701

Meditation schedule: EveryTuesday evening from 6-6:50 p.m. 

Cost: By donation (suggested donation: $10.00)                  

RSVP’s appreciated. For more information, please call Pam at 301-712-9015, x1022 or email at On the web:

Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child

With Psychotherapists Bonnie Triantafillos-Wright and Christy Van Horn

Do you sometimes feel confused or overwhelmed when trying to parent your child? And yet, you may also be aware of their unique gifts and wisdom beyond their years.” Raising a highly sensitive child is an exciting journey when you have the insights and tools to fit your child’s needs.

Do some of the following remind you of your child?
  • Does your child seem to feel things deeply?
  • Does your child appear very emotional or strong willed?
  • Does she appear “wise beyond her years”?
  • Does your child complain about the texture of his clothes due to tags?
  • Does your child ask a lot of questions?
  • Is your child a perfectionist?

  • If so, you may be parenting a “highly sensitive child.”
Join therapists Bonnie and Christy for a six-week group to increase your insights into the beauty and challenges of parenting the highly sensitive child. Based on the bestselling book entitled The Highly Sensitive Child, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D, we will provide practical coping skills to manage these sensitivities through a child’s different developmental stages. By becoming informed and aware of your child’s needs and sensitivities, you will learn to help your child navigate their world with a cool set of new tools aimed at strengthening self-esteem and validating their Gifts and unique purpose.

When: Group begins Tuesday, November 4! Meets for 6 consecutive Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00 pm 

Where: Healing Circles Wellness Center, Group room, 10 N. Jefferson St. Suite 203, Frederick MD 21701

Who: Parents, caretakers and friends of highly sensitive children

Cost: 2 installments of $260.00 per participant or a one- time payment of $468. 
The book, The Highly Sensitive Child, will be provided at the first group.

Reserve your seat today! Call Bonnie Triantafillos-Wright at (301)-524-0296 or email at On the web: