Wellness Series - PAAR
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Wellness Series

PAAR is offering Trauma-Informed Wellness Workshops for anyone in the community who is interested at no cost.

The wellness workshops include:


These Wellness Series Workshops welcome people of any gender identification over the age of 14. These workshops are meant to be a place to explore different self-care practices while connecting to others in a safe environment.

There will always be a PAAR Therapist present to provide extra support during these workshops.

See below for details, dates and times for each group:

 *PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED for wellness series participation. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Individuals will not be admitted into the wellness series without prior registration. 


Empowerment Based Self-Defense (SET-Point)

Tuesday, April 6th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: In celebration of SAAM, PAAR is partnering with SETpoint to offer survivor-focused and trauma-informed Empowerment-Based Self Defense coaching, with a core foundation to Believe in Our Strengths and Defend What We Value. There will be two different sessions (April 6th and April 20th). Participants are welcome to attend both or one.



April 6th:  Boundary Setting

60 Minutes

Setting boundaries is a key aspect of healthy relationships – in love, with friends and
family, in social environments, and at school and work. It’s also one of the most
difficult self-defense tools to master. In this session we will:

· Consider ways to reflect on and define our own personal boundaries.
· Learn to use our bodies to maintain personal space.
· Practice using our voices to clearly define our consent, or lack of consent, in
different scenario-based situations.
· Consider ways that various power dynamics may impact our ability to set

Creative Mindfulness with Art

Wednesday, April 7th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: Engaging in artwork can be a natural way to practice mindfulness. Noticing the colors, textures and feel of creating artwork can ground one in the present. In this workshop, facilitators will guide participants using several art-based activities that promote mindfulness.

No prior experience is needed to participate in this workshop.

*Participants should come prepared with paper and other materials to create artwork, such as pens, crayons, or paints–you can choose the materials.

Mindful Music & Movement

Wednesday, April 14th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: This workshop will teach you the principles of mindfulness and incorporate music and movement in a non-judgmental approach.

The group focuses on being aware of your breath, sound, body, mind, spirit, and story through the use of music and movement.

No dance/movement experience is required, and the workshop is for all physical abilities.

Bring a one or two scarves, light blankets, or pieces of cloth to the workshop to utilize as a prop.

Please have a safe space to move in or sturdy chair to sit in if you choose to participate in the workshop sitting in a chair.

This workshop is facilitated by Melissa Moore, LPC, Certified Dancing Mindfulness Facilitator.

Containment Through Ceramics (Bathhouse Ceramics)

Thursday, April 15th 2021, 6-8pm


Description: In celebration of SAAM, PAAR is partnering with Bathhouse Ceramics Studio to bring a virtual clay-based event. In this program, the facilitators and participants will create a space to explore the experience and sensations that come with manipulating clay. The instructors will lead the class in making containers which they can then glaze and bisque fire at the studio. Near the end of the event, a PAAR therapist will lead the class in a “Container Meditation”. Container meditations can be used to assist individuals in alleviating the pain that can come with hurtful thoughts, memories, and body-based discomfort.  This meditation is not about pushing feelings down but is a process of containing them until the induvial is more resourced or able to address what needed containing. This meditation can be particularly helpful for those whose sleep rituals are disrupted by ruminating thoughts and those who experience painful memories in moments that require full attention.  

   To take this class, participants must be able to pick up clay at PAAR’s Southside location during available hours of pick-up and coordinate bisque firing with Bathhouse Ceramics Studio staff upon completion of the class. Clay will need to be dropped off within a week after the event. To coordinate firing, client can contact the studio at their email address: bcs@thebcla.org Social distancing and mask wearing procedures will in place at clay pick-up location. Clay can be picked-up outside of the PAAR building located at 81 south 19th St. Pgh Pa 15203. Hours for clay pick-up are the following: April 2nd 9:00 am- 11:00 am, April 9th 9:00 am – 11:00 am and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  

*This workshop is limited to only 12 individuals*

   Participants are encouraged to bring the following items to the event: 

  • A fork and knife
  • Toothbrush
  • Credit card (not for payment but to be used as a clay tool)
  • Floss
  • Rolling pin or something to roll with
  • Anything else your heart desires to use in this creative process! 

Empowerment Based Self-Defense (SET-Point)

Friday, April 20th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: In celebration of SAAM, PAAR is partnering with SETpoint to offer survivor-focused and trauma-informed Empowerment-Based Self Defense coaching, with a core foundation to Believe in Our Strengths and Defend What We Value. There will be two different sessions (April 6th and April 20th). Participants are welcome to attend both or one.



April 20th:  Basic Physical Resistance Skills

60 Minutes
In this Empowerment Self Defense session, we’ll discuss and practice some very simple
and practical physical self defense tools. Participants will learn the ways that their bodies
are engineered to be strong. We’ll practice using our strengths in ways that will maximize
effectiveness, building confidence in our ability to defend ourselves.  We will discuss
common objects that can be used as supplemental self defense tools.

Writing Workshop

Wednesday, April 21st 2021, 6-7pm

Description: Storytelling is certainly not a gift reserved for the chosen few—the professional journalist, screenwriter, or novelist. It is a skill everyone can learn and practice. Whether you’d like to create for your eyes only or craft something for a wider audience, telling your story can be a powerful way to process impactful and memorable experiences. Here, we will demystify the craft of storytelling and open the door for you to bring your story to life.

Importantly, this group will be a safe place for people to reflect and write — a judgment-free zone where we will start on a foundational level by simply putting pen to paper. It is not always easy to figure out where to begin, so during the workshop we will explore ways to get our creativity flowing. By the end of hour, you will have the beginning of a story — one infused with the original style and word usage unique to you and your lived experience.

The Coping Container

Thursday, April 22nd 2021, 6-7pm

Description: The Coping Container presents to the participant ideas for coping with distress, negative feelings, or a crisis with physical reminders and tactile tools to help bring calm and relief. The focus will be on what to add to the container for whichever skill is needed rather than the craft of making or decorating the container. The participant will gain tools for crisis, anxiety reduction and feelings of sadness and grief through use of the five senses, technique reminders, and evoking pleasant memories and sensations.

* The participant may bring any kind of container, box, shoe box etc. or simply watch and gain ideas.

Therapeutic Gardening (Braddock Youth Project)

Monday, April 26th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: The Braddock Youth Gardeners plan, plant, and maintain three Braddock Youth Project (BYP)-run garden sites. They explore issues related to the food system, food access, and food justice to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a group of urban, organic growers. The team also learns how to cook with the food produced at the garden sites, through a series of food literacy workshops.


During this unique workshop run by BYP’s dedicated, knowledgeable gardening team, the youth will discuss gardening as a form therapy, each participant discussing their own connections to gardening. 

Chamomile, Lavender and Sage. 

Workshop participants have the opportunity to pick up a free plant at the PAAR office, prior to the workshop. We will be offering chamomile, lavender and sage. Pickup dates and times are: 

9-11am, Thursday, April 22nd

2-4pm, Friday, April 23rd

Pickup Location:

91 S. 19th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


Yoga: Gentle Raja Yoga for All Levels

Wednesday, April 28th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: This yoga class is an invitation to be present in your body, engaging in intentional and gentle movements. My yoga training focused on holding back and listening to what your body needs in that moment and responding. This class will focus on these intentions and I invite you to join, even if that means you only hold one or two restorative poses and listen throughout the class.

*While not required, it is recommended participants have space to move, yoga mat, water, and aids such as yoga blocks, blanket, bolster, pillows, etc.

Get Moving: Trauma Informed Fitness

Thursday, April 29th 2021, 6-7pm

Description: PAAR will be offering a trauma informed fitness workshop as part of SAAM. This movement group is focused on learning how to work out without a gym or equipment, using only your amazing self and your natural strength. This workshop provides education on work out moves, routines, and stretching for all levels. There will also be discussion about the connection between the mind and body, combining enjoyable physical activity and mindfulness.

*While not required it is recommended participants have space to move, water, and a yoga matt, towel, or blanket.