Workshops and Seminars for Community Members & Professionals

The Workshops Offered by Dave

Workshops can be given at a variety of different locations, can be held at various times, can be varying in length of time (from 1-8 hours) and are intended for men and women (18 years or older). The workshops involve both lecture and experiential learning. Workbooks and/or handouts will be provided. If you are interested in any of the following workshops, feel free to call Dave to schedule one with your group or organization. The cost for workshops, seminars, and trainings is $250-$750 per hour depending on the audience, the group, or the organization requesting it.


Learning to Recognize and Handle The Anger Within and Around You More Effectively

Offered by Dave Decker, M.A.

Anger is a powerful human emotion. Even though it is generally painful and uncomfortable, it can also be a life-affirming and helpful force in your daily life that leads to self-knowledge and genuine intimacy with others. Unfortunately, all too often, it becomes a destructive force that leads to attempts to hurt, demean, humiliate, punish, intimidate, and control those around you, which eventually results in emotional distance, mistrust, and isolation and can even lead to legal and work difficulties. The way it goes depends on the choices you make and how your anger is handled. Cynicism, hostility, disrespect, abuse, and violence which are, in fact, distortions of anger, are all around us in our world today. Sadly, for many people, anger, that normal and natural human emotion, when it becomes distorted literally can become a "dark side" that seems to come out of nowhere to overwhelm much of what could be good and satisfying in their lives. And, all too often, anger can also develop into a seemingly insurmountable problem with partners, children, family and friends, at work, and even in the car while driving.

Although anger is a difficult emotion to address at times, it can, in fact, also be a helpful and productive force in your day-to-day living. In the end, the anger you experience can lead to self-knowledge, problem-solving, and intimacy with others when you learn to handle if effectively. How anger affects your life depends on what you do with the anger within and around you.

This workshop focuses on defining what anger is (and isn't), how and where you developed your attitudes and beliefs about anger and its place in your life, and how to identify ways to be more aware of your anger cues and triggers and your personal escalation process so that you can effectively intervene when you need to do this. You will also learn some specific and practical ways to slow down and de-escalate so that you can begin to handle your anger differently when you have the potential to become disrespectful and explode or withdraw. Finally, you'll get some ideas about how you can begin to share the anger that you do experience in a more clear, assertive, and respectful way.


What it is, Where It Comes From, How It Affects You and Others, and How To Move Beyond Your Shame to An Empowerment-Based Lifestyle

Offered by Dave Decker, M.A.

Think back for a moment to your time as a child. For some, childhood memories meant chatter at the dinner table, sitting with our parents as they read stories to us, and playing happily with friends. For others, however, we may remember demeaning lectures when mistakes were made, hostile and abusive arguments between our parents, being ridiculed by peers or siblings, and an almost constant state of feeling self-doubt and insecurity.

This second set of experiences can lead to TOXIC SHAME, which involves an overwhelming belief that you are somehow defective and "never quite measure up" to who you are "supposed" to be. It contributes significantly to all emotional distress in life, including depression, anxiety, verbal and physical abuse of others, compulsive over-eating, alcohol and drug abuse, and a whole host of other unhealthy, compulsive, and demoralizing attitudes and behaviors. Shame leaves you feeling "stuck" and makes it difficult for you to become who you really want to be.

This workshop defines what shame is and contrasts it with empowerment, a very different belief system based on self-respect and accountability that leads to personal growth and the ability to truly connect with the other people in your life. It also discusses how shame develops, how it can affect your day-to-day functioning, and what you need to do to overcome its damaging and paralyzing effects. Stop letting those old shaming messages run your life! See how becoming empowered and creating a new "life script" for yourself can be helpful and healing as you move forward in your life.


Learning To Be More Assertive In Your Daily Living

Offered by Dave Decker, M.A.

Do you ever feel like you want to tell people something but you just can't seem to "get it out?" Do you ever wish you could say "no" when someone asks you to do them a favor?

Standing up for yourself, with partners, parents, and others, can really be difficult! We don't want to hurt or offend other people. But it also doesn't feel very good to carry around the resentment and frustration that comes from not saying anything at all or saying things in such an ineffectual way that what you say can easily be disregarded by others.

This workshop focuses on what assertiveness is and how to make it an ongoing part of your life. It will present ideas and specific strategies that will assist you in speaking up for yourself, in an effective and respectful way, whenever you need to do this. The workshop can also help you get to know yourself better and then set clear limits and maintain healthy boundaries with the other people who are a part of your life.

In addition, part of the time in the sessions will be spent actually practicing these skills and techniques. You don't need to put off learning how to tell people what you think, feel, want, and need anymore. Give yourself the chance to be different!


Protecting Yourself And Your Loved Ones From Your Own or Others' Road Rage

Offered by Dave Decker, M.A.

Angry and aggressive driving is a fact of life today! Road rage is defined as an extreme form of aggressive driving. It happens everywhere and it is not only dangerous but sometimes it can even become deadly. Handling yourself and situations around you when you are driving on the roadways is more than just hoping that things will be okay. This seminar offers practical information and strategies on how to take care of yourself and those you love when other drivers or you yourself become angry. This workshop discusses what road rage is and how it occurs, gives some specific examples of road rage, identifies the different types of road ragers, and addresses how to protect yourself if you encounter explosive anger (in yourself or someone else) when you are driving. The workshop can help you learn some concrete skills and tools that will assist you in recognizing and handling your own (or other people's) anger on the highways if this has been an issue for you.


Building And Maintaining A Healthy And Loving Relationship With Your Life Partner

Offered by Dave Decker, M.A.

Relationships with our partner can really be hard! We all too often end up swinging back and forth between being over-involved, controlling, and angry with one another OR being distant, unconnected, and leading "parallel lives." This workshop offers some specific ideas about how to re-connect in a healthy way and how to put more zest back into a relationship that may have become "stale" in the frantic pace of everyday life. Good relationships take a commitment of time and energy, like all the significant parts of our lives. Having some guideposts along the way can help make the journey a little less difficult.

This workshop offers an opportunity to assess your compatibility and highlight "trouble spots" with your partner. It focuses on how your current relationships has been affected by your family of origin and the messages you got there about how relationships with partners were supposed to be. It identifies some of the specific ingredients that are necessary to build and maintain a healthy relationship in the present. Finally, you'll get some practical tools that will help you become more assertive with one another, communicate more clearly, and handle conflicts more respectfully and effectively whenever they occur (as they always will). In addition, you'll have the opportunity to actually practice some of these new skills in the workshop.

Healing Shame

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

(from 90 minutes to 3 hours)

Examining the nature of shame, how it is internalized, and the cognitive/emotional/spiritual consequences. How to heal shame.

From Shame-based Masculinity to Wholistic, Healthy Manhood

(from 90 minutes to all day)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

How boys and men are shamed into the masculine norm, and how this can lead to unhealthy behavior, addictions, and violence; how to develop the traits of healthy masculinity—power, passion, purpose, persistence, presence, piety, paternity, perspective, politeness, patience, pardon, pliability, peace-making, and partnership.

Raising Nonviolent Children in a Violent World

(90 minutes to 3 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

Causes of violent behavior in children and adolescents, and how to teach them peace-making and interpersonal skills.

Reaching Healthy Maturity: An Antidote to the Culture of Disrespect

(from 2 to 5 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

This workshop focuses on some of the major problems of contemporary culture—narcissism, addiction, impulsivity, toxic media, immature sexuality, absent parents, materialism, consumerism, unhealthy male and female socialziation messages, hostility, rudeness, and depression. We will discuss 15 ways to help children and adolescents learn how to grow up into mature, compassionate adulthood. Video, discussion, and lecture.

Bullied to Death

(90 minutes to 3 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

Causes of bullying, frequency, types of bullies, effects on victims, and how to create a bully-proof environment.

Coping with Loss and Disappointment

(2 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

The grief process, and how to help others work through their grief.

Marginalized Kids

(2 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.

Who are they? Why don't they fit? How does being marginalized affect them, and others? What can we do about it?

The Spiritual Advantages of Involved Fatherhood

(2 hours)

Offered by Mike Obsatz, Ph.D.