Get schooled! Classes and online learning opportunities starting soon

flowersBy Jenny Westberg, Portland Mental Health Examiner, May 3, 2013

Along with spring blossoms, this May is bright with learning opportunities for those interested in mental health. With classes ranging from dream interpretation to cinema to living well with bipolar disorder, it’s a great time to learn something new and broaden your understanding of yourself, your friends, and your world.

The list below is in order by starting date, with the exception of the last entry, which is an online course structured according to the learner’s schedule.

Note that the first class listed is scheduled for this Sunday, May 5; other classes may have limited openings, and some offer discounts for early registration, so if something interests you, reserve a place now – and let the enrichment begin!


Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for You and Your Loved Ones to
Manage the Illness and Create a Life of Wellness

  • Instructor: Julie Fast
  • When: Sunday, May 5, 2013, 2-4 p.m.
  • Where: Cedar Mill Community Library, 12505 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR
  • Cost: Free
  • To reserve a seat, RSVP to Gayathri Ramprasad at or call the Cedar Mill Library at 503-644-0043 ext. 114.

ASHA International and the Cedar Mill Community Library present a free two-hour workshop with author, speaker, and family coach Julie Fast. It is ideal for individuals affected by bipolar disorder, their family members, healthcare providers and the general public. Topics include:

  • Understanding the Incidence & Impact of Bipolar Disorder
  • Different types of bipolar disorder and their symptoms
  • A 4-Step Plan to Manage the Illness and Create a Life of Wellness
  • Wellness Resources

For more information: see

Julie A. Fast is a leading mental health expert on the topics of bipolar disorder, depression, seasonal affective disorder and mood management. She is the bestselling author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder and other books on mental health.

WATCH – ASHA International


Dreamwork Fundamentals: Practical Tools to Enhance Life and Work

  • Instructors: Will Hall, MA, Dipl. PW and Suzette Payne MA, Dipl. PW
  • When: Saturday, May 11, 2013, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Where: Process Work Institute, 2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland, OR
  • Cost: $120 (PWI members $108)
  • To register, email or call 503-223-8188

How do you figure out what a dream means? Using Jungian and Process Work methods, this class will equip you with essential tools of curiosity, symbolic association, body awareness, amplification, and creative expression. Dreamwork can be fun, inspiring, and easy, and will open you up to a whole new creative resource you can draw on for living. Anyone new to understanding dreams or wanting to deepen their skills will find Process Work a practical and effective approach.

Download flier here

Will Hall MA, Dipl.PW, is an internationally recognized therapist and mental diversity trainer who has himself recovered from a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Host of Madness Radio and founder of Portland Hearing Voices, Will’s writing has appeared in the Journal of Best Practices in Mental Health and Modern Community Mental Health Work: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Oxford Press). For more information, visit

Suzette Payne MA, Dipl.PW is a Process Work Diplomate, practicing therapist, and teacher. Both Will and Suzette have a longtime passion for teaching and learning about the power of dreams. As therapists and teachers, they’ve used night dreams and daytime dream-like experiences as an active and ongoing part of their professional and personal lives for many years, and are inspired to share what they have learned about the power and usefulness of dreams.


Dreaming the Movies: How We Live Inside the Films We Love

  • Instructor: Will Hall, MA, Dipl. PW (see bio above)
  • When: Two days, Tuesday May 28 and Tuesday June 4, 2013, 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Where: Process Work Institute, 2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland, OR
  • Cost: $100 (PWI members $90)
  • Early Registration (by May 14): $90 (PWI members $80)
  • To register, email or call 503-223-8188

Download flier here

George Lucas acknowledged Carl Jung’s vital influence on “Star Wars,” but what light can Process Work shine on film storytelling? How do the emotional power and aesthetic fascination of films resonate with our spirits? Why do we love films so much?

In this two-night cinematic extravaganza, explore three great films by masters of the form: Howard Hawks’ “Bringing Up Baby,” Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” and Byambasuren Davaa’s “Story of the Weeping Camel.” Come study amazing scenes, learn basic film concepts, and try out imaginative tools that blur the boundary between audience and screen. Discover how we are already living the movies we love – and add new depth to your film watching enjoyment. (View these great films online first!)


Living With Suicidal Feelings: From Powerlessness To Engagement

  • Instructor: Will Hall, MA, Dipl. PW (see bio above)
  • When: Saturday, June 8, 2013, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Where: Process Work Institute, 2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland, OR
  • Cost: $120 (PWI members $108)
  • Early Registration (by May 24): $108 (PWI members $96)
  • CEU’s available for this class through the NASW
  • To register, email or call 503-223-8188

Download flier here.

Shrouded in taboo and judgment, suicidal feelings are much more common than we realize. How can we support others – and respond to these feelings in ourselves? Discover latest research about responding to suicidal feelings, hear about innovative practices, and learn practical tools for engaging with these often frightening and overwhelming emotional states. Clinicians, students, people who have struggled with suicidal feelings, family, and others welcome. Co-sponsored by Portland Hearing Voices.



Transforming Our Suffering – An Online Family Recovery Course

  • Instructor: Krista Mackinnon
  • When: Online, asynchronous, flexible times
  • Cost: $150
  • For more information, or to register, visit

Through a dynamic online learning community, this 8-week course will support and educate families and friends of people who have received a psychiatric diagnosis and/or are struggling with mental health problems. Using latest research and practical tools for recovery, Transforming Our Suffering addresses: Stories of Your Experience; the Continuum of Mental Health, Distress, and Psychosis; Fundamentals of Recovery; the Power of Hope + Resilience; Strengths Based Perspective; Relationship Building Amidst Psychosis; Boundaries, Limits and Barriers; and Celebrating Recovery Stories.

You can participate during the hours that fit your schedule in this asynchronous class. Course content will be delivered to your email inbox twice a week and will also include access to a password-protected online learning community where you can find additional resources, videos, homework challenges and facilitated community discussions.  Pre-registration is strongly reccommended. Enrollment is limited to 50 participants.  If you have any questions or wish to join waiting list, please email Krista at – Online Family Mental Health Recovery Course, with Krista Mackinnon

Krista Mackinnon is mental health recovery consultant/trainer/counselor. She is the CEO and co-founder (with Will Hall) of, an innovative online therapeutic education and support community for families that works in partnership with Family Outreach & Response Program (Toronto) and MotherBear CAN (North Carolina).