The losses and crises of life rarely occur at a “good time.” Getting through the holiday season after experiencing a major loss or transition can be an overwhelming task. Two-plus years in, we are still absorbing the impact of the long pandemic and other societal challenges as the holidays approach. If you have experienced a major loss or transition, whether due to illness, death, divorce, job loss, relationship changes or other challenges, we invite you to explore ways of coping with holiday expectations and demands.
In this workshop, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Alison Issen will present ways to reduce the stress of preparing for the holidays while making your celebrations simpler, more spiritual and less materialistic. The inspiration and practical advice Issen will share will help you heal during this special time of year.
By participating in this program, you can expect to:
- recognize unrealistic expectations, pressures and other commitments that increase stress levels during the holidays.
- understand the impact of holiday memories and expectations on the grief process.
- develop strategies for healthy boundary setting, prioritizing holiday values and communicating current needs to friends and family.
This program is presented by Alison C. Issen and is hosted by the Winter Park Health Foundation.
About the Program Presenter
Alison C. Issen is a licensed mental health counselor and registered nurse. She is recently retired as the outpatient counselor at Orlando Health/UF Health Cancer Center. For several years, Issen coordinated the Sage-ing Center, a program which encourages and supports adults of all ages, but particularly those in the second half of life, to inventory, evaluate and intentionally plan a life of purpose, learning, fulfillment and community service. She brought this comprehensive program to the hospice several years ago and developed Hospice of the Comforter’s Quality of Life Education Program.
Issen has taught Psychology at the college level and has worked in the field of Health and Wellness for more than 35 years, including more than 10 years as a hospice nurse and counselor. Her areas of specialty include stress management, grief and loss, end-of-life, aging and relationship issues, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Positive Psychology.
She has a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Beyond her professional life, Issen is an “extreme gardener,” volunteers at a local animal shelter and performs with local singing and theatre groups.