(847) 497- 8378 drweisz@copingpartners.com

Dr. Colleen CiraDr. Colleen Cira is the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Cira focuses on providing individual and group therapy services in phases of life issues, women’s health, relationship difficulties, eating disorders, and trauma. The Cira Center also offers presentations, clinical supervision, and consultation services.

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 Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Colleen Cira explains the importance of mindfulness and meditation
  • Dr. Cira shares how she became interested in meditation and how it’s impacted her journey
  • Creating a life by design versus indoctrination
  • How adults can manage complex emotions
  • When is the best time to incorporate meditation into your day?
  • Dr. Cira talks about the five senses as a mindfulness technique
  • How to process and decrease feelings of brokenness

In this episode…

In our fast-paced daily lives, it’s often difficult to reserve time for self-care. But rest and mindfulness-based practices are vital to avoid burnout — especially for busy parents. So how can we incorporate meditative techniques into our days to process emotions effectively?

According to Dr. Colleen Cira, meditation and mindfulness are crucial for mental and emotional health and preserving relationships. These practices exist on a spectrum that involves daily meditation sessions or moments of awareness. If you’re struggling to integrate frequent meditation sessions in your day, Dr. Cira suggests taking time to recognize your feelings, circumstances, and environment by utilizing the five senses to address your needs. Even the smallest moments of mindfulness can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

In this episode of The Coping Podcast, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Leigh Weisz hosts Dr. Colleen Cira, the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, to talk about the value of meditation in processing emotions. Dr. Cira shares how we can incorporate meditation and mindfulness without breaking our busy schedules, how to become intentional with our actions, and the importance of showing up for ourselves and our relationships.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Coping Partners.

Coping Partners is a mental health practice dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults manage various challenges including anxiety, divorce, behavioral issues, relationship problems and much more in the Chicago suburbs.

Our practitioners are devoted to building on our clients’ strengths and bolstering weaknesses.

To gain insight and tools for getting unstuck check out our website at CopingPartners.com, email us at support@copingpartners.com

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

Welcome to The Coping Podcast where we share strategies for coping with the stressors of life, especially the difficulties of parenting. And here is your host, Dr. Leigh Weisz.

Dr. Leigh Weisz 0:15

This is Dr. Leigh Weisz. I am the host of The Coping Podcast where I feature top experts on topics like raising healthy children, parenting and so much more. past guests include therapist Ben Kessler, dietician, Lara Field and many more. Just a quick disclaimer, the information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. This is not intended to provide mental health treatment and does not constitute a client therapist relationship. The information provided is not a replacement for being assessed and evaluated by a licensed professional and is not intended to replace mental health or medical advice. So before we get into today’s topic, I wanted to introduce today’s guest, who is both an impressive and accomplished professional, but also a dear friend, going back to graduate school. Dr. Cira is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a specialization in trauma, sexual abuse and motherhood and predominantly sees adult women. Colleen is a certified clinical trauma professional and is also certified in EMDR, which is a specific therapy technique for treating those who have suffered from traumatic experiences. Colleen founded a group practice in Chicago called the The Sierra Center for Behavioral Health. And most recently, Colleen has started to offer meditation groups, and is teaching others how to be more present in their lives. Please check out her website at cirracenter.org spelled c i r a center.org. So thank you so much, Colleen, for being here. I think the topic of meditation and mindfulness is so relevant to our audience of parents, especially because we’re just all juggling so much running really busy lives. And it’s it’s not easy to even know how to slow down and be present. So I’m really happy you’re here and just wanted to see if you could start by telling us a little bit about why it is so important to be learning about mindfulness practices and meditation. And, you know, what are some of the benefits of this work?

Dr. Colleen Cira 2:27

Oh, my gosh, I have so much I want I want to say about this. Thank you for having me really happy to be here and talking about this, as always, in terms of meditation and mindfulness, I think, I think there’s so many misconceptions about what these terms mean. And because there are so many misconceptions, and because they are so antithetical to how many of us do life these days, I think many of us can experience a resistance to them. It’s like, oh, my brain doesn’t work like that, or I don’t have time for that. And I’ve really, profoundly understand those feelings. And it’s almost like saying, I’m so dirty, it doesn’t make sense for me to take a bath.

Dr. Colleen Cira 3:17

It’s exactly because we are so busy. And so cluttered our spaces, our minds, our lives, that is exactly why these practices are so imperative. But many of us will, will experience quite a bit of internal resistance probably along the way. So with that you listener just know, that’s really normal that makes sense. And maybe stick with us and give us an open mind. Right. And

Dr. Leigh Weisz 3:45

it’s, you know, part of part of why I’m excited to hear from you, Colleen is that, and I have to call you, Colleen instead of dollars here because we met before we were doctor, so I’ve been students too unnatural. But no, I think part of what’s neat is to think about ways we can incorporate mindfulness techniques into our busy days that don’t necessarily look like the traditional, what you think about when you think of like someone you know, going home. I think that’s part of what makes what you do so unique is that you get it that not everyone can do that practice, although it’s wonderful, if you can, and that there’s other ways to incorporate it too. Absolutely. So a couple

Dr. Colleen Cira 4:24

of things there. The first is that anyone and everyone can do meditation it is it is a practice. And so it doesn’t mean that it will not be frustrating at times along the way, but anyone is capable of doing this. And the second thing, though, to your point, Lee is that I think it’s helpful instead of thinking about maybe meditation, as this thing where we sit in silence and our brains are empty and quiet and still for very long periods of time. You know that we maybe think more about meditative moments. Moments throughout our day. that encapsulate what meditation is, which is present moment awareness with an intention of what we want to focus on. That’s all meditation is. And but we can bring that lens into so many different things we do without having to do the V on home moments for long periods of time, right? For sure, for sure. And

Dr. Leigh Weisz 5:24

what would you say are some benefits? Before we dive into how, what why, why is this so important to be present in

Dr. Colleen Cira 5:31

our busy lives? I could honestly spend the majority of our time talking on this. Because the How to is really very, very simple, right? The How to you can get from a million places on a website. So let’s talk about that. And I think the bigger hurdle is that we won’t do this, we won’t engage life, in this way with present moment awareness and intention about what is getting our time, energy, thoughts and feelings. We won’t do this unless we understand the value in it. And all of the things that get in the way, right. So I do think we need to focus on that in a big way. First of all, I don’t want to get too sciency, right. But our nervous system is meant to keep us safe. It’s meant to respond to threats in our environments, mobilize us for action, if we need to fight it or run away whatever it is, and then bring us back to homeostasis, we’re so we’re supposed to live in this place of connection, joy being present, and only visit moments of dysregulation, right? All of which is biologically correct, predictable and normal. But the problem is that our world keeps us kind of living in a space of dysregulation where we only visit, connection, present mindedness, joy, et cetera, et cetera. And so that is really damaging. I could talk for hours and hours and hours on all the ways that living in this nervous system, the stress response, damages our mind, body and soul. But suffice it to say, living in a stress response sets us on a path to disease, illness and death, right. And so we want to live more in a space of homeostasis, connection, and meditation, again, or meditative moment, being mindful, etcetera. present moments awareness combined with intentionality that allows our nervous systems to reset. And the resetting of our nervous system is what allows us to live longer and healthier lives. Bottom line. Does that make sense?

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