"Let us walk with dignity and start 'one anothering'." - Dr. Honey Carandang (Truth-telling & National Healing: Claiming Our Dignity & Integrity as a People talk, June 30, 2011)

A Day of Mindfulness

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“Are you raising a future terrorist in your home?”: Dr. Honey’s Interview on the effect of exposure to abusive behavior on a child

 

“When you are young, you do not have the critical thinking to discern whether your parents are right or wrong. If the mother is neglectful, you will not see your mother as unloving. Rather, you see yourself as unlovable…If a parent sends the message that you are unlovable, you carry that with you for a long time,”

– Dr. Honey Carandang

 

          With the seemingly growing prevalence of violence in our lives today, protecting our children from exposure to situations of abuse is no easy task. From videogames to social media, even the familial interactions that they witness, children are constantly being exposed to its various forms.

            Dr. Honey, in her quest to promote mindful parenting, shares with the Philippine Daily Inquirer the importance of a parent’s awareness of his/her behavior while also actively monitoring his/her child’s activities; and on how the quality of life at home plays a key part in the latter’s development.

For the whole interview, please click the link below:
http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/266587/raising-future-terrorist-home/#ixzz4lGTIDIp6

 

 

Categories: interviews

MLAC Partnership with Consuelo Foundation

by Hannah Morillo

One of the most fruitful projects that the MLAC Institute has started in 2016 and continued to this year is its partnership with Consuelo Foundation, Inc. True to living to its motto, “Giving hope”, Consuelo Foundation with MLAC, was able to provide psychological intervention to at-risk youth and survivors of trauma and abuse, to its partner organizations, Messy Bessy (House Foundation) and Purple Centers Foundation.

The MLAC Team (Uzi Araneta-de Leon, Rory Catipon, Bless de Asis, and Hannah Morillo) led by Dr Honey Carandang, set out to the production house and office of Messy Bessy in Pasong Tamo, Makati, and to the school of the children in Purple Centers Foundation, Tondo, Manila to provide individual therapy sessions, group and family therapy, and group mindfulness-based expressive arts and play therapy. Being able to reach out especially to people where psychological intervention is not readily available is one of the most gratifying ways MLAC offer psychosocial support. We look forward to continuing partnerships such as this, and to extend our services to those who need them most.

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Tita Honey during one of our group mindfulness-based expressive arts therapy sessions. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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Traversing Tondo: on our way to Purple Centers Foundation. (Photo by Rory Catipon)

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Looking out from Purple Centers Foundation in Tondo, Manila. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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The final session of the girls from Messy Bessy was a culmination through their music therapy, among others. It was a “treat” to witness a live and intimate performance from the artist (Dr. Chris Carandang) whose original compositions have touched their hearts throughout their therapy sessions. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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A visit to the MLAC Institute clinic: The children of Purple Centers engage in free play and a jovial exchange of stories and experiences. (Photo by Hannah Morillo)

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One way of sifting through one’s experiences is through art. (Photo by Uzi Araneta-de Leon)

The Young Mothers of Tumana

by Rachel Ann Rosales Parr

The MLAC team, spearheaded by Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang, went to Barangay Tumana (Marikina) on April 22nd 2017 to conduct a parenting workshop with about 30 young mothers of the community. This was the 6th of an ongoing annual series of parenting activities organized and facilitated by MLAC in partnership with LINKS School for Life for the residents of Tumana.

The workshop started off with the main idea phrased as a question, “Paano maging mahusay na magulang?” (How does one become a good parent?) This may sound like a daunting question but it is one that falls squarely in place with the MLAC flagship advocacy entitled, “Parenting is Nation-building.” This advocacy was given its name by Dr. Honey Carandang and was borne out of her unwavering belief in the critical role of parents/caregivers as co-builders and shapers of our children’s identities – the very identities that will create and impact the future of our nation.

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Dr. Honey talks to the mothers on how to become a good parent

Unpacking this huge question was done through an informative talk wherein Dr. Carandang discussed the importance of communication; disciplining with dignity; truthfulness; family bonding; having fun with your child; finding a support group; and most importantly – taking care of oneself. Participants were then divided into smaller groups, each assigned with an MLAC team member to act as moderator/facilitator. The young mothers in each group were invited to reflect on the talk, identify the points that resonated with them, and impart ideas on how they could apply or use these take-home points.

Learnings shared

One of the more salient points noted was about the challenges involved in disciplining a child. While many mothers talked about not wanting to curse, shout, or become violent towards their children; the stressors of being hard-up, having poor role models, and the lack of support systems often led to lapses in their efforts to be kind and respectful parents. Several mothers talked about the difficulties in shielding a child from learning how to curse or how to unlearn the behavior of using foul language. This is an impossible task for so many who continue to live in conditions where swearing and the use of offensive language are rampant in the community, in social media, and in local television where well-known public personalities are constantly seen touting this behavior as a sign of power and bravado. There were several young mothers who, despite the harsh living conditions, recognized the value of being truthful and being able to talk to their children in a way that does not hurt or diminish the child. For some of them it was time to break the cycle of being hardened and desensitized to violence and cruelty.

It was also observed and noted that a significant number of the participants were single parents who lived with or near the houses of other family members. This was seen as a highly valued social condition that allowed them to leave their child in the care of relatives in order find work and earn a living. Unfortunately, there were quite a few single mothers who did not have the same supportive family conditions. As a result, some have become despondent, while others talked about abandoning and neglecting their children.

The value of self-care appeared to be relevant to many of the young mothers. Several of the participants saw themselves as young adults who should give importance to looking good whenever possible, notwithstanding the stressful and worrisome lives they lead. However, the lack of social support, resources, and the lack of time prevented many of them from even fulfilling the most basic tasks of eating on time and bathing as regularly as they would want to. Those who were married and those with common-law partners mentioned the need to find ways or strategies to get their partners to participate and be more engaged in taking care of the children. This, in turn, would create more “bonding time” for father and child and allow more “me-time” for the mothers. Some mothers seemed to find the concept of relaxation and doing things for the “self” alone as ideas they haven’t thought of for a long time.

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The MLAC Team, Dr. Cecile Palma, and the young mothers

Reflections and conclusions

In the small groups, each young mother appeared to listen intently to the other, seemingly in quiet acceptance of their differences and perhaps smiling as if to echo the oneness and interconnectedness of their experiences – as mothers and as Filipino women. Part of the value of these small group sessions is in the way that the interactions reaffirm the uniqueness of each participant within the context of the shared experiences that connect and bind them to one another. Dr. Honey Carandang and the MLAC team work with Filipino families through a dynamic process that involves communicating knowledge and creating shared spaces, which participants may use to appreciate their individual and common experiences in a deeper way. It has always been a main objective of these parenting projects to have participants emerge with renewed energy and gain insights that they can own. Hopefully, being able to claim and give meaning to their own stories will give these young mothers the courage and the optimism they need as caretakers and co-builders of the next generation.

Paano Maging Mahusay na Magulang: MLAC Team returns to Brgy. Tumana for Parenting Workshop

Dr. Honey Carandang and the MLAC team in partnership with LINKS School for Life conducted a Parenting Workshop for the teenage and young adult mothers of Brgy. Tumana. LINKS School has been the venue of the workshop for the past six years. A complete writeup will follow care of our team member Richie Parr.

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MLAC Team at The 11th Hour: A National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation and Mental Health

The MLAC Institute served as a partner for The 11th Hour, a conference organized by Balik Kalipay Center last March 22 and 23 at De La Salle University. Dr. Honey and our team members, Ms. Bless de Asis and Dr. Joanna Herrera, were able to give presentations on the following topics:

  1. Psychosocial Impact of Disasters on Women and Children – Dr. Honey Carandang
  2. Mindfulness and the Clinical Practice – Bless de Asis and Joanna Herrera
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The MLAC Booth Outside the Conference Hall

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Dr. Honey giving her talk on the impact of disasters

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Dr. Honey with the panelists

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Dr. Joanna starting the session

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Dr. Joanna giving her talk on Mindfulness

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Tita Bless talking about the Gifts of Mindfulness

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Dr. Joanna and Tita Bless during the panel

Congratulations to Dr. Honey, Dr. Joanna and Tita Bless!

Learning Session on Mindfulness and Work – Life Balance at the Senate Electoral Tribunal

Last March 14, Dr. Honey Carandang was invited by the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to give a learning session on Mindfulness and Work-Life Balance.

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Dr. Honey explains the flow of activities for the day

The talk was divided into two parts: BALANCE: The Key to Emotional and Spiritual Wellness and Mindfulness. The talk emphasized the need for balance between work and play, being with others and solitude, doing and being, and caring and being cared for.

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Participants trying out a mindfulness activity

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Employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal check out the books of Dr. Honey and MLAC Institute

Dr. Honey also emphasized the need for mindfulness practice in helping the employees of SET to cope with the daily challenges of their lives both at home and work. She ended her talk with mindfulness exercises such as the use of imagery. Participants were also able to ask questions and share their thoughts on the topic.

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A participant asking Dr. Honey a question on mindfulness

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Dr. Honey hands out a certificate of participation to an employee of SET

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Participants hold up their certificates as they pose with Dr. Honey for a group photo