Personal beliefs influence all aspects of our lives…the choices we make, how we perceive ourselves and, in turn, how we are perceived and treated by others, our sense of self, sexual and body image, how we make decisions, our overall mindset, and the spirit with which one carries themselves. Our relationship with ourselves tends to be a work in progress, and it can quickly be derailed by any trauma in life.
For our patients undergoing mastectomy and breast reconstruction for either a breast cancer diagnosis or for risk-reducing purposes, the theme of loving ourselves is especially relevant. By creating an environment that supports personal change and facilitates growth within our Sisterhood of Support groups, we are able to strongly focus on Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). PTG emphasizes the opportunity to reassess priorities and personal goals following the trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Seena Russell Axel’s especially unique and meaningful Radical Self Love workshop, on February 6, provided an extraordinary opportunity to challenge personal beliefs and acknowledge what we admire about ourselves. We talked about releasing negative thoughts towards ourselves and embracing more loving thoughts; additionally, her interactive exercises challenged us to think about how the relationship with ourselves and others would be different if we truly believed we are Goddesses. I witnessed strides in Post Traumatic Growth as each participant was asked to tap into their strengths and share them with other members of the group. Certainly, Dr. Russell Axel’s vast experience coupled with her sensitivity and dynamic personality created an aura of trust and inspiration.
Seena Russell Axel, PhD, a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, has been a practitioner and teacher/trainer of body/mind/spirit healing arts throughout her life and has become masterful at offering these skills to make meaning of and honor the life journey. She is a yogini, author, poet, grandmother and the Founding Director of the Return to Self-Counseling Center, specializing in women's (50+) spirituality groups.
The following email reflects the sentiment of the many I received following the workshop:
“Seena is just incredible, what a great session with some amazing women.”
Our gratitude to Dr. Seena Russell Axel for sharing her time, expertise, extraordinary self, and instilling a sense of empowerment in our patients.
-Mollie Sugarman, Clinical Director, Patient Empowerment Program