Setting Intentions as a Catalyst for Growth

by Jennifer Perry
Welcome to March! Our theme this month is fittingly “Growth: Thought into Action”.  I love March and looking for the first signs of Spring. Small flowers that start to come up, even as they are covered in snow from a late winter storm. While it may not seem like it, according to the winds and bluster that accompany March, I think of the small snowdrops and crocus as Mother Nature’s intentions of Spring.   
Intention is defined in three ways: 1) a thing intended, an aim or plan; 2) the purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct; 3) the healing process of a wound.  This Spring, I have a new offering. It was once a thought, then an intention, and is now an action! I am offering a 10 week Peaceful Parent Coaching Program. One of my favorite pieces of the program is sharing with parents how to have “Empowered Conversations” that both honor the authentic reactions of all parties AND seek to reach a peaceful resolution.
Setting an intention for a conversation is remarkably healing. Even the old, chronic arguments in relationships that seem beyond resolution not only can be healed but can be a catalyst for a deeper intimacy and growth. The conversation starts with an intention.  Even in the most conflictual of impasses that can occur between spouses, parents and children, friends and other family members, an intention can reach out like a small flower in the midst of the iciest storm.
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Experiment with a few of the suggestions below for empowered conversations (adapted from the Jai Parent Institute and Non-Violent Communication:

  • Breathe and notice ~ as you are talking to your loved one keep your breath and body sensations in your awareness. If you notice yourself getting hijacked by the argumentative process, stop. Take a sip of water, notice it out loud: “I’m getting worked up and unproductive, let’s take a break and come back in a few minutes.”
  • State your intention ~ and restate as many times as necessary. Your intention is a guide for the entire conversation. Encourage your loved one to state an intention as well.
  • Take responsibility for your part ~ own any fears that are pulling you into combative mode and anything that is affecting how you show up to the conversation. This also helps your loved one understand where you are coming from.
  • State your feelings and needs ~ we can argue about rules and points of view but feelings and needs just are. Get clear on what your own feelings and needs are and practice communicating them.
  • Offer empathy for your loved one’s feelings and needs ~ Imagine how they must be feeling and given who they are, how they experience the situation.  Ask them if your understanding is correct and resonates with them. This is fertile ground for intimacy and respectful problem solving.
  • Make a request ~ after laying down the groundwork (it gets easier and more natural with practice!) make a request in the spirit of collaboration toward a common goal. “Would you be willing ….” is an excellent way to clarify and move forward together.

Jennifer Perry, MA, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mindfulness Teacher and Peaceful Parenting Coach.

Using Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment strategies she helps clients relate to themselves and their experiences with compassion in order live full and meaningful lives. She builds on her clients’ values and strengths and teaches them mindfulness and creative problem-solving skills, empowering them to find authentic self-expression in the world. Her approach balances the desire for personal growth and change with acceptance and loving-kindness for self and others.

Contact her at and 215-292-5056.

Additional Resources about the power of setting intentions

Featured Programs

New 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Program

Is parenting more difficult than you ever imagined?  Do you react to your child in ways that you feel horrible about later?  Do you long for connection and cooperation with your child but find yourself relying on techniques that seem to pit you against each other, locked in a seemingly endless battle?

There is help. You can learn the practice of peaceful parenting. You can learn tools and techniques supported by the latest brain science to infuse your parenting with more mindfulness, presence, attunement, and connection. You can parent from a place of love, not fear; cooperation, not coercion. A peaceful home is possible! Parenting is a journey, a practice. You can get support so that you can:
  • Learn to address your triggers as a parent.
  • Become your child's emotion coach and learn an empowering communication style based on feelings and needs.
  • Discover and articulate your family's values and use them to set limits that peacefully stick.
  • Explore and manage anger in healthy ways and repair the inevitable ruptures that occur.
  • Shift from a dominant, "power-over" paradigm to a peaceful parenting paradigm.
To learn more contact Jen Perry at 215-292-5056 or

Growing from Your Heart and Soul
(A CEM Workshop)

Wed., 3/23, 7:30-9pm
Join us for an evening of community, connection, movement, and relaxation as we explore growing our presence in the world through connecting and expressing from our heart and soul.  Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM) is a monthly workshop series focusing on body-mind integration. Each month the discussion and activities center on a specific theme such as stress management, emotions, and finding balance in your life.

No experience or previous training is No experience or previous training is required.

To RSVP or to learn more contact Brittiney George at 610-389-7866 or or visit us on Meetup.

New Offerings

New Everyday Mindfulness Beginner’s Meditation Class

6 Wednesdays, 7pm – 8:30pm
beginning March 23, 2016
Cost: $299 includes materials and audios.

Many people are convinced that they cannot meditate. Come to this class and discover that everyone can meditate everyday. Mindfulness Meditation has been scientifically proven to have robust psychological and physical benefits even at the beginning of its practice. Learn to use these simple but powerful techniques throughout the day to skillfully meet life’s ups and downs.

»  For information please contact Jen Perry at 215-292-5056 or Class size is limited to 8 participants.

EMDR Basic Training

July 29-31 & November 18-20
Elizabeth Venart, Director of The Resiliency Center, and Regional Coordinator for EMDRIA Montgomery-Bucks is thrilled to announce that Barb Maiberger will be returning to our area to teach the EMDR Basic Training.  

EMDR Therapy is a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach that helps facilitate healing of traumatic memories – and provides a powerful and effective approach to resolving the emotional pain at the root of current stuck patterns.  

This EMDRIA approved EMDR Basic Training will be facilitated by Barb Maiberger, MA, LPC â€” the author of “EMDR Essentials: A Guide for Clients and Therapists.” Barb Maiberger is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, and an EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist who brings years of experience, her background in somatic psychology, and an engaging and effective teaching style.

» Learn more and register online

Meeting Yourself: Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Therapy Group

Mondays, 11-12 noon

Do you have a harsh inner critic that punishes you mercilessly for every perceived mistake? Are you a people pleaser to the extent that you completely neglect your own basic needs leading to chronic exhaustion and overwhelm? Are you your own worst enemy? There is another way.

In this group, participants will learn techniques designed to address the inner critic and cultivate acceptance, care, compassion, and friendliness toward themselves. Developing a personal mindfulness and heartfulness practice is central to this group as well as exploring ways in which the practices enrich everyday life and ameliorates suffering.

» For more information contact Jen Perry at 215-292-5056 or
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March Events

Learn more about all of our offerings – and how to RSVP – by clicking on the program title on our online calendar or following the links below.

FREE Health Coaching Session

Health Coach Dana Barron, PhD, CHC is offering complimentary 30-60 minute heath coaching consultations.
» Contact Dana at healingpathcoaching or 215-688-5108.

FREE Self-Love Challenge

» Take the Self-Love Challenge by practitioner Katie May online now

Journal to the Selfâ„¢

Tuesdays, Start date TBD, 6-8 pm. 
» Contact Anjana @  or 267-422-2861.


8 Week Teen Empowerment Group for Girls:
The Most Radiant You 

Enrolling Now!
Mondays, Feb 15 - April 5
7 – 9:30 pm
» Contact Elizabeth Campbell at elizabethannecampbell8 or 610-757-8163.


Baby Signs® Special Introductory Program

Sundays, 2:30-3:45pm
» Contact Brittiney George @ or 610-389-7866.


The Greater Philadelphia Holistic Parents Meetup

Date change!
2nd Saturday of the month
» Learn more


Sound Meditation and Relaxation Experience

Every other Sunday at 7 pm


DBT Skills Group  

Tuesdays at 7:30pm
» Pre-registration required


Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evening

Monthly on Wednesdays at 7:30pm
» Learn More


Rest, Restore, and Move Class

Every other Tuesday at 12pm
» Learn More


EMDR Consultation Group

Monthly on Friday at 8:30am
» Learn More


LPC Supervision Group for Therapists

2 Wednesdays per month at 5:30 pm
» Learn More

Youth and Tween Peer Group Therapy

2 Wednesdays per month


Interstitial Cystitis/ Pelvic Pain Support Group

Monthly on Wednesdays at 7:30pm


Teen Group Therapy Circle

» Learn More


Philadelphia Writers Workshop

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Pre-registration required.
» Learn More


Morning Meditation

Mondays, 8:30 am
» Learn More


Evening Meditation

Thursdays, 7:30 pm
» Learn More


Qi Gong Classes

Thursdays at 2 and 6:15 pm
» Learn More


Knitting Circle

Monthly on Saturdays
» Learn More
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Quote of the Month

“When our actions are based on good intentions our soul has no regrets.”

~ Anthony Douglas Williams

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