The Personal Compass Workshop: Transform Stressors into Opportunities for Self-Care

Skills - Sponsored by Creighton University

Kristin MacDermott, LPC, MFT

Founder & President, Reimagine


AAFP 1.0 | ACSM 1.0 | CDR 1.0 | NCHEC 1.0

The Personal CompassTM is a foundational tool of the Reimagine Core Program, which has been proven in multiple studies with researchers from the Duke Cancer Institute to promote clinically significant improvement in the quality of life of people with cancer across key psychosocial benchmarks, including: anxiety, distress, depression, PTSD, and self-efficacy.
While the program was created to promote resiliency in the face of cancer, the intervention is not about cancer. It’s about self-efficacy and self-care.
People start taking better care of themselves when they: develop self-awareness about the ways they cope with stress and the beliefs that inform their behavior; recognize that their personal needs are important and worthy of being met; and begin to believe in their ability to get their needs met — even in the face of highly stressful circumstances.
The tools of the Reimagine Core Program take people through a carefully designed, step-by-step, proven process, in which they learn new ways of approaching stressors, thinking about their behavior, and taking care of themselves.
THE PERSONAL COMPASSTM teaches a solution-focused approach for responding to stressors one at a time. The process transforms stressors into opportunities for getting personal needs met and demonstrating self-care by helping people:

  • Understand the mind-body connection (how their thoughts impact them physically, emotionally, and behaviorally)
  • Recognize unmet needs 65-MINUTE SESSION:
  • Identify concrete action steps for getting their needs met
  • Access positive emotions at will
  • Tap into their Inner Wisdom

Presenter Bio(s):

Kristin MacDermott is a licensed professional counselor with a specialty in marriage and family therapy. She is the writer and co-creator of The Seven Pillars of Personal StrengthTM, a resiliency training curriculum proven in multiple studies by Duke Cancer Institute to improve quality of life of cancer patients across multiple psychosocial benchmarks, including depression, anxiety, distress, PTSD, and self-efficacy. It was also shown to improve fatigue.
MacDermott founded Pillars4Life, Inc. (dba Reimagine) to transform cancer care by making effective psychosocial care affordable and accessible through the unique combination of an evidence-based resiliency training curriculum, live online instruction, and distance-learning technology.

The program has received funding from some of the most trusted names in the oncology world, including National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Duke Cancer Institute, Susan G. Komen, Livestrong, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Women’s Cancer Research Foundation, and 20 hospitals in the U.S. MacDermott secured close to $2m in funding for four research studies to ensure the program is rooted in peer-reviewed science.

While Reimagine’s curriculum was developed and tested with people facing cancer (both patients and caregivers), it is not about cancer—it is about resiliency. The program is currently being provided to people with Diabetes and other chronic illnesses. It has been utilized to promote resiliency in the face of non-health-related stressors. Naval Special Warfare Foundation funded a project that provided the program to Navy SEALS and their families to help them cope with the often devastating transitions in and out of deployment and combat. West Los Angeles VA has offered it to veterans. Los Angeles Police Department is offering it to police officers. It will soon be available to anyone looking to learn proven strategies and skills for coping with life stressors.

Prior to founding Reimagine, MacDermott co-founded a non-profit in Colorado called Pathfinders, Still the managing board member of Pathfinders, MacDermott has helped raise over $4m to provide psychosocial services and volunteer support to thousands of people touched by cancer and grief, who would not have otherwise been able to afford it.

Included in her roles at both Pathfinders and Reimagine is the training and supervision of all mental health care providers and skills-training instructors, which has totaled more than 40.
Besides trainings and supervision groups, MacDermott has also led numerous workshops for patients, caregivers, nurses and other healthcare personnel. She has run numerous support groups and has also led workshops for women and people facing end-of-life. She has recently begun speaking at conferences.

MacDermott holds a BA degree from Duke University and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She also studied at the London School of Economics. She has completed Mind-Body Training in Positive Psychology at Harvard Medical School, as well as Cancer Guides, Mind-Body Medicine, and Advanced Mind- Body Medicine training at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C.

She is presently writing a book on resiliency