MISSOULA –The School of Extended & Lifelong Learning at the University of Montana is developing new, community-based, personal enrichment programs for adults who are transitioning to a new stage of life or experiencing a major challenge.
The first series in this new program is called “Life Transitions,” and is comprised of low-cost courses for community members in the areas of movement, creative expression and resilience.
“Major life transitions, be it a job change, preparing for retirement, experiencing a loss or adding a new member to the family, all come with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities,” said Program Director Janie Spencer. “These courses are meant to provide mindfulness and connection.”
The first course in the series, Facing Life’s Challenges: The Art and Science of Resilience, is a three-hour intensive workshop that will be held Thursday, April 17. Kevin Dohr, a clinical psychologist and leader of the Happiness Project, will instruct the course. The workshop is offered in partnership with the Red Willow Learning Center and will help participants learn how best to cope with difficulties, setbacks and adversity.
The second course is Healing Yoga with Jasmine Goldberg. This workshop meets for six weeks on Thursday evenings, April 17-May 29, on the UM campus. Participants will meet as a group and work through yoga postures while deepening self-awareness between poses with journal writing. Jasmine is a certified yoga instructor and mental health counselor.
SELL has partnered with Zootown Arts Community Center to offer Reimagining Life Through Art, a two-course series. The first course, Turning Another Page, will be held Sunday, April 27, and Sunday, May 4. It will be a twofold session during which participants will use a variety of mediums and embellishments to create a book symbolizing times of transition through life. During the second course, Seeing Through My Eyes, held Sunday, May 18, and Sunday, May 25, participants will first make plaster gauze masks using their own faces as a mold. In part two of the session, students will paint and embellish the masks to represent their “inner selves” and “outer selves.”
New courses focusing on the many practical, social and psychological aspects of life transitions will be added regularly.