Posts

Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join any time.

The Positive Emotional Health and Well-Being course aims to support you to live a socially, emotionally and mentally healthy life. It covers a range of topics over six videos offering practical and actionable tools and techniques to help you step forward and lead a confident, empowered and balanced life.

1. Free Your Mind

2. Letting go

3. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

4. Intuitive Decision-Making: Making choices that are right for you

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Combatting Anxiety

Also check out my 6-part online course on Effective Communication.

Effective Communication, Online 6-part series

This course goes Live in September @ The Sanctuary Wellness, but you can join in any time.

The Effective Communication course aims to support you to better and more effectively communicate. The six videos contain a wide range of communication skills and techniques. Some cover self-talk (yes, we all do it) and explore our role, behaviour, language, triggers, thoughts and emotions. Other videos focus on communicating with other people, understanding our body and emotional reactions and how we land in arguments.

1. Understanding Emotions and Arguments.

2. Interconnectedness of Mind and Body

3. Pressure and Guilt Words

4. Reaction v. Response

5. Perfectionism, Success and Failure

6. Breaking Free of Negative Thoughts

Also check out my other 6-part series course on Positive Emotional Health & Well-Being.

‘3-Step Process to Calm Anxiety,’ Thrive Global.

Many of us have felt anxiety at different times in our lives to differing degrees. I think we can all agree it doesn’t feel nice at all. For some it can present as a shortness of breath, a rapid heart beat, a knot in the stomach or nausea, a racing mind, or a feeling of loss of reality and perception. However you may feel it, the great news is there is something you can do to help yourself in these moments. Let’s start by understanding anxiety.

Anxiety put really simply is when our mind runs ahead to imagining the worst-case scenario. We often then believe this worst-case scenario is true (because it feels that way) which can lead to further anxiety or a panic attack. Our mind has become disassociated from our body and from reality.

For example, you may need to resolve a conflict with a friend, family member or your boss. Feeling nervous or having a reasonable amount of fear can be normal. Anxiety is when you let your mind race ahead in to the worst-case scenario where you imagine it escalating to an argument that you feel you can’t come back from resulting in loss of trust, loss of friendship, loss of job or worse. This is an anxiety-driven thought that may also cause you to feel unable to even attempt to resolve the conflict at all.

A more current scenario in our new world of COVID19 could be that you have a fear of going out in public that escalates to an anxiety-driven thought. It can be normal to feel fear right now. An anxiety driven-thought may be that you think if you go on public transport and touch the handrail on a train or bus that you will get infected by the virus and either get sick and potentially die yourself or can cause someone else to. If this escalates you may feel unable to leave the house and develop a fear of public spaces or people. In the weeks or months to come as the situation changes, you also may still hold on to your anxiety and find it difficult to re-enter the world.

Anxiety-driven thoughts can be about anything, from COVID19 related issues to love or family relationships, jobs, shopping, driving and anything else. I want to teach you a 3-step process to help combat anxiety and calm down the escalation from a thought or fear to an anxiety-driven thought.

Many people think that Step 1 is taking deep breaths but if you are feeling anxious or having a panic attack, you are not yet ready or often even able to take a deep breath.

STEP 1: GROUNDING.

We want to bring your mind back from being dissociated or disconnected from reality and your surroundings and get grounded. If you’re sitting put your hands on the ground until you can actually feel it. You can also grab your body­ – your arms or your thighs to help you find your body again.

If you are standing you can say, “My feet are on the ground, my feet are on the ground, my feet are on the ground.” Anything that brings you back to your physical body. Whilst you’re doing this grounding, look around the room or the space that you are in. Name three or four things out loud that you can see. Example: “I can see my kettle, my shoes, my book, my phone. I can see my kettle, my shoes, my book, my phone.” If you are naming the things that are physically in front of you, your mind is no longer disconnected, your mind is back with your body because you’re in reality seeing and feeling what is in front of you.

STEP 2: BREATHE.

Now you’re ready for a breath. Now that you’re ‘back’ you can know where your lungs are, where your heart, and where your breath is. Take three to five deep breaths.

STEP 3 – REALITY CHECK

Ask yourself questions. What do I KNOW to be TRUE? What are the FACTS? Facts NOT thoughts. In the example above about wanting to resolve a conflict, what are the facts? Fact: You had a conflict. The conflict is unresolved on your side. The rest are thoughts, fears and anxieties. You do not KNOW how the other person is feeling, what will happen when you meet, whether it will escalate or de-escalate or anything else. Stick to the facts – there was a conflict. That is much less scary than where your anxiety-driven thoughts went.

In example two on our COVID19 related situation, you fear leaving the house. What are the facts? Is it a fact that if you leave the house you will definitely become infected? No. Is it a fact that if you touch a surface in a public space you will definitely become infected? No. Is it a fact that the virus does exist? Yes (depending on your belief system). Does that mean you have it? No. Are there safety precautions you can take? Yes. Again the facts are much less scary than where the anxiety-driven thoughts led you.

Don’t let fears become anxiety-driven thoughts. When we look at the facts, there are usually very, very few facts and the rest are thoughts and fears that lead to anxiety driven thoughts.

For any situation where you feel anxiety rising, whether you are sixteen or sixty, try and remember this 3-Step Process. 1. Grounding. 2. Breathe. 3. Reality Check. This should help calm down your situation so you are able to make decisions that are reasonable for you.

Source: ‘3-Step Process to Calm Anxiety,’/ Thrive Global.

‘Moving Forward in Uncertain Times’ – FB LIVE @Sanctuary Thailand

“Listen to resident counsellor Romi speak about our mental health and emotional well being in these uncertain times and how we can still move forward.” – Sanctuary Thailand.

It is very normal to be feeling pressure, stress, worry, grief or confusion at the moment. Here I talk about how we can move forward. Despite the loss of freedoms: loss of jobs, financial stability, mental health stability, physical contact, loss of routine, how we can still find peace, calm and balance.

FB LIVE talk @ The Sanctuary Thailand, June 2020.

Making Mental Health a Priority During Uncertain Times – Podcast interview on The Big Turtle, U.S.

“A fascinating conversation with Freedom Cole, Dr Patty Hlava and Romi Grossberg on the crucial topic of Mental Health – integrated approaches to healing, how different cultures approach mental health, the use and misuse of medication, and how best to navigate these troubling times with a modicum of sanity.” The Big Turtle Podcast.

A shaky start to the video podcast interview across the UK, U.S. and Asia with a little freeze and a little pause but well worth the watch.

Making Mental Health a Priority During Uncertain Times – Podcast interview on The Big Turtle Podcast, June 2020.

Hosted by: Vikram Zutshi and Lea Horvatic.

Guests: Romi Grossberg, Patty Hlava, Ph.D., and Freedom Cole.

 

The Key Is Self-Awareness  – Podcast interview on Fit for Joy, U.S.

In May I was interviewed by Valeria Teles, a Well-Being Coach, Author and Podcaster in the U.S. She wanted to talk to me about my book and course ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ and together we discussed the mental health and emotional well-being of adolescence with a focus on understanding oneself and one’s friendships.

 

In this episode, Valeria Teles interviews Romi Grossberg.

Teenagers are introduced to the ideas of emotional intelligence, self-awareness and self-understanding: To learning greater life skills and coping strategies to not merely survive school and home life but to thrive socially, emotionally and mentally.

Your E.Q. (emotional intelligence) is based on self-awareness. It is understanding your emotions and why you react to people or situations the way you do.

Increasing your awareness is important for the very simple reason that it ultimately makes life easier! It is difficult to notice the good or acknowledge the ‘not so good’ in life if you aren’t aware in the first place. Understanding and increasing your awareness and learning some of the tools in this book can help you deal with pressure, anxiety, school life, friendships, relationships, arguments, family life and growing up.” She writes in her opening chapter.

‘The Key’ is a guidebook addressing mental, social, and emotional health. Romi believes that in today’s current climate of an elevating mental health crisis amongst adolescence worldwide, it is vital young people are adequately equipped to handle their thoughts and emotions as they move through this developmental stage of identity.

Teens can learn that even seemingly complex issues or problems can be taught and dealt with in very real terms with practical guidance, learning, activities, videos, and discussion.

Romi’s book ‘The Key’ is broken into three sections: 1. My Friendships, 2. Me and 3. My Family. She begins with friendships because friendship is the most important thing during adolescence and so the best way to engage. “It’s not exactly a lie when we say what we know other people want to hear, but it’s not always the truth either. It is us trying to fit in, not stand out, be cool. We all do it. But wouldn’t it be cooler if we didn’t have to always concentrate or try so hard? If we could be honest with ourselves and our friends and know that everything would just be okay?” – writes Romi Grossberg.

‘The Key’ includes over twenty topics including negative thought patterns, unconditional love, bullying, effective communication, anxiety, trusting yourself, and many more.

Source: The Key Is Self-Awareness  — Fit for Joy

Teaching ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ to 200 students!

On 13th December I had the pleasure of being invited to teach roughly 200 students at PanyaDee British International School in Koh Samui Thailand. No, not all at once! I taught in groups of age and year levels. Having multiple cultures, nationalities and languages certainly kept me on my toes. I absolutely love teaching from my book and course The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Mostly I teach one year level or  work with teachers but on this day I got to teach every year level and then meet some of the parents.

My book and course The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens covers over twenty topics offering coping strategies and practical life skills in mental, emotional and social health including exercises and videos. Below is a summary of the topics taught at particular year levels at PanyaDee School.

Year 7. Age 11-12: ‘What I can control v.’s what I cannot control’

I had planned to do a session on ‘Choices’ and ‘How to Think for ourselves’ with this group but when they walked in and I saw how much younger they looked I immediately changed my mind. In Australia Year 7’s are 12-13 years old and at this young age, even a year or two younger makes a big difference. In the moments of them walking in and sitting down I made a whole new lesson plan and wrote up on the board two columns: What I Can Control and What I Cannot Control to begin a discussion on the way we think, behave, learn, act and react, our goals and how we make decisions. It is important to understand at this young age that we cannot control things such as if somebody else likes us or is kind to us but we can control how we react and behave. We don’t want to be getting upset over things we cannot control including others’ thoughts and behaviours, or the way we look, colour of our skin and our height. However we can control the way we want to feel about these things. What we do in response and how we react is our choice.

They were a well-behaved and well-mannered group of students who were keen to get involved, put their hands up and participate throughout the one-hour session.

Below is the group brainstorm we did on the board.

Year 8. Age 12-13 & Year 9. Age 13-14: ‘Choices’

12- 14 years old can be a difficult age group. Being cool and fitting in starts to become more important than doing the right thing, listening to your parents or even listening to yourself. Peer group pressure and even bullying can become intolerable and standing up for yourself increasingly difficult. It is also the age (depending on culture and country) where alcohol, drugs and sex become a factor. For these two year levels I chose the topic of ‘Choices.’

 

After a lengthy discussion around what choices are, how we create good options, make good decisions that are right for us, how to listen to ourselves and deal with peer pressure we also looked at where and how we actually make decisions. Do we listen to our head? Our thinking place of  logic, rationale and common sense but also questioning, criticising and uncertainty. Do we listen to our heart? What we feel, desire, want, love, hurt and pain. Or do we listen to our gut? Sub-conscious space of knowing, trust and intuition. How do we know?

With that in mind I posed a scenario to the group based on my knowledge of this age group and of the local expat lifestyle in this area. The scenario was: You are at a house party with all of your friends from your school and other schools and someone finds a bottle of vodka. All your friends start doing shots. You don’t want to. How do you come to the decision to say no and what might be the repercussions of making this decision?

We looked at the possible positive and negative outcomes on the physical self and the possible positive and negative outcomes on the emotional self. The large group was split into smaller groups to discuss and the results of all the groups were put on the whiteboard.  As you can see from the photo below there can be many contributing factors to the thought process. The idea is not to look at which column has the most/least amount of answers as the ‘correct’ decision to make but to look at what is actually in these columns and listen to your gut instinct to know for yourself what the right thing to do is. What you value (ie:wanting your parents to feel proud or needing to feel cool) will help dictate how you make your decisions. As you can imagine many more topics and questions around what is important and why, how you feel about these things and why etc then enter in to this type of discussion.

The year 9’s handled it well and participated fully whilst the year 8’s, being a little younger were easily embarrassed, giggling, teasing each other and it was clear to me it was ‘not cool’ to participate in this type of conversation. That does not mean it is not relevant. Maybe they didn’t have the maturity yet, maybe I hit a topic to close too home, maybe there is some underlying bullying or teasing within this group but my aim is always the same – 1. That if one student feels more confident to listen to themselves and stand up for themselves then I have done my job. 2. That this conversation may be remembered a few months down the track if they find themselves in a tricky situation.

 

 

Year 10. Age 14-15 & Year 11. Age 16-17: ‘Who Am I?’

Adolescence is the developmental stage of identity where the biggest questions (consciously or subconsciously) are who am I? And where do I fit in the world? Although adolescence is considered 12-18 years I believe these identity questions become more prominent in the later years. 14-18 years old is a great age to be delving in to the topic of identity and trying to understand who we are. It is a big question and can feel hugely overwhelming and confusing so I have developed a way of teaching this that helps create understanding and less stress.

After a discussion around the topic I set the task of answering some questions that are listed in my book The Key (listed below). They answered alone before sharing with the person next to them and then back to the larger group. Asking questions in this way allows young people to learn self enquiry skills and objectively look at themselves in the the different aspects of their life, to look at and understand the similarities and differences of the different ‘versions’ of themself.

Some of the students found the questions easy to answer and some more difficult. They seemed to enjoy the partner sharing part too, learning more about each other and themselves. The conversation moved also in to topics around calming ourselves after arguments or before exams including topics such as meditation, negative thought patterns, positive self talk and the concepts of success and failure and how we understand them.

 

Meeting the Parents

So after an inspiring, exhilarating (and exhausting) day, I had a ‘meet & greet’ with the parents after the school’s day ended. A group of parents from different year levels attended to hear about what their teens had encountered with me. I went through The Key’s topics and then specifically what topics were addressed in each year level. A lengthy Q & A followed.

 

Click here for more information or to purchase your copy of The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens.

 

 

 

PHASE, Asia Pacific 2019

This November for the first time I will be presenting at the PHASE conference in Hong Kong. I will run a one-hour presentation on ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ on 16th and 17th November and a 90-minute workshop on the 16th.

For more information on my presentations/workshops, head to PHASE website.

PHASE Asia Pacific is a conference for all educators focussed on physical education, health, athletics, sports, and experiential learning.  The conference allows participants to learn from leading authorities in their respective fields as well as from practitioner presenters, to network with fellow educators, and to access good practice and resources in multiple formats.

PHASE is an acronym based on the core areas that the community aims to bring together: Physical Education, Health & Wellness, Athletics, Sports, and Experiential Learning.

 

‘Teen Mental Health,’ Medium

There is a growing mental health crisis with our teenagers and young people across the world. In Australia alone 1 in 4 adolescents will experience mental health problems this year and suicide is the most common cause of death for 15–24 year olds. The stats are alarming. One person is one too many.

In my experience with counselling teenagers I have had clients as young as 12 years old suffering from anxiety, clients at 13 believing that their parents divorce was their fault, at 16 not being able to look past a pimple or scar to see who they are as a person and at 17 wondering why they should get out of bed when “today is just going to be as bad as yesterday.” I have worked with adults who at 30 were still stuck in negative thought patterns, at 40 were still traumatised from being bullied at school, at 50 not feeling worthy of love and even at 70 still haunted by teenage family abuse.

None of us are ‘immune to life’ — to traumas, to ‘bad things happening’, to feeling like we have failed, to holding on to past hurts and to the complexities of navigating teenage friendships.

But this is not all doom and gloom.

Life doesn’t have to be this way. The problem is that quite often we don’t know what it is we can try. In those moments we have lost perspective. We have lost faith in the world and we have lost trust in ourselves.

My past clients spurred me to write my latest book ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens.’ The most common sentence I was hearing from adults after working together was, “I wish I had learnt those things when I was younger,” and from that I set out to write. The frustration I felt at working with adults who had been carrying their life’s anxieties and traumas around for 10, 20, even 40 years was deeply saddening to me. Five-minutes is too long.

I believe the answer is in education. Not education that says ‘go to school’ but emotional intelligence education, social-emotional education, life education, education of the self, the heart and the soul.

A friend of mine, Kosal Khiev once wrote a poem ‘Moments In Between the Nights’ and that title alone springs to mind when I think about educating teens. It’s not in the ‘going to class,’ but the moments in between — the moments when no one is looking, when your mind suddenly turns, when doubt, fear, embarrassment, a memory, sadness, anxiety or negative thoughts kick in. It’s in those moments that we need to learn the self-awareness, the skills, tools and coping strategies to find our own balance again.

We can teach young people how to gain perspective, how to process their thoughts, emotions, behaviours and understand how and why they react to situations the way they do. We can teach them to understand and redefine terms such as success and failure. We can teach them self enquiry and self awareness, teach them how to better understand themselves, better understand friendships and the roles they play, that there is always someone they haven’t thought of they can talk to, something else they can try. We can teach them how to breathe — to calm down and to steady the mind. And to remind them that they are in control, that they have choice — choice in their actions, reactions, thoughts and behaviours. That there is ALWAYS something they can do. Life doesn’t happen TO us, we need to learn how to get back in the driver’s seat.

Through self-awareness we can create behaviour change but we cannot change what we are not aware of.

Yes we can even break out of negative thought patterns or better understand and cope with anxiety. There are simple steps that can be followed and in my book and videos I guide teens step-by-step in a very simple, practical and no bullshit way. I don’t brush over topics or say “Oh you’ll be okay.” he book gently holds their hand and takes them on a journey of self discovery where they learn to better understand themselves, find their strengths and resilience and get back in control of themselves.

In psychology terms, adolescence is the developmental stage of identity. Who am I? It is a powerful thing to begin to answer that question as a teen. How many adults can truly answer it?

* The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens is not a substitute for a specialised mental health counsellor or diagnosed mental health conditions.

‘Teen Mental Health’ was posted in Medium in September 2019.

Asia Pacific Writers’ Conference, Macau.

Guest panelist – ‘When on the road and the superhighway is your writing life.’

Nov 5th at the Asia Pacific Writers conference in Macau.

Surfing tours, road trips, exotic and not so exotic postings, ex-pat bunkers, bribery for wi-fi, our panellists have done it all and will share with you their hilarious and often heartbreaking stories of a writing life lived on the road – in a globalised 21st century world where the digital nomad reigns supreme they will examine how the internet has changed the writing landscape – for better or worse.

Chair: Pia Mutsamaski

Panelists: Romi Grossberg, Tim Baker, Kiran Bhat

Pages

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



A guidebook and resource for teenagers, parents, teachers and counsellors and can be taught in schools and community groups.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens is a guidebook that covers all of those topics we just never learnt in school. It has over twenty topics under the umbrella of emotional intelligence; learning how to understand ourselves better and the world around us. THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens guides students through important life skills, teaching coping strategies on various aspects of growing up through teenage years. 

Until now, I have taught THE KEY (1st Edition) myself as a 10-week program in 2017 and 2018 at Bialik College, the top school in Victoria Australia. This second edition: ‘THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ launched in 2019 includes more activities, writing exercises, re-cap sections, youtube videos and discussion points. 

My aim in doing so is to reach more teenagers by making it easily accessible and digestible to more students and more teachers. This second edition holds all of the necessary information to be taught without my physical presence. It includes numerous videos I have made to explain more tricky topics such as understanding anxiety, negative thoughts, three different types of calming breathing techniques and more.

There is something for everyone.

Whilst I am still available to teach the course myself or run workshops on specific topics, redesigning THE KEY helps me achieve my larger goal – to reach more young people and help them lead a more socially emotionally healthy life. My dream is to have it translated in to numerous languages and available worldwide.

The language is simple and the guidance is practical. For younger teens it is a great introduction to the new world of understanding emotions and a useful ‘go to’ manual for when things arise. For mid and older teens it can be like having a personal counsellor on hand with tips and tools for handling different emotions and situations.

If you are a teacher, parent, educator, teen counsellor, school psychologist or teenager – this book is for you.



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 6 to 15 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. Please register or sign-in to view them.

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



An interactive guidebook written for teenagers. A resource for parents, teachers and teen counsellors.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens addresses many obstacles and difficulties adolescence face in emotional and mental health and provides them with practical and real-life steps toward greater health and confidence.

The Key engages teenagers using self enquiry and self awareness to better understand themselves, their thoughts, actions and reactions, giving them back a sense of self control. It offers practical guidance and strategies, putting seemingly complex issues in to perspective through learning, sharing, writing therapy, activities and fifteen videos.

With over 20 themes, The Key addresses topics such as anxiety and stress, negative thought patterns, exam preparation, controlled breathing, calming down, school, friendships, how to trust yourself, communicate effectively, understand sibling rivalry or a parents’ divorce and so much more.

The Key offers practical step-by-step guidance in how to lead a socially emotionally healthy life. In a world where mental health in adolescence is on the rise, this book aims to equip teenagers with the skills they need to thrive in school, in the home and in life.

If you are a teenager trying to understand yourself – your friendships, handle pressure, have good family relationships, deal with anxieties and get through school and life in a stress-free way, then this is for you.

If you are a parent wanting to assist, support and understand your teen better, then this book is for you.

If you are an educator, teen counsellor or school psychologist looking for a new resource full of activities, videos and practical explanations, then this book is for you.

If your school is interested in The Key, it can be taught in the classroom as a full course or as customised workshops by myself, a teacher or counsellor. Email: romigrossberg09@gmail.com



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 6 to 15 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. Please register or sign-in to view them.

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The Key-JULY 2019

The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens



A guidebook and resource for teenagers, parents, teachers and counsellors and can be taught in schools and community groups.

T

HE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens is a guidebook that covers all of those topics we just never learnt in school. It has over twenty topics under the umbrella of emotional intelligence; learning how to understand ourselves better and the world around us. THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens guides students through important life skills, teaching coping strategies on various aspects of growing up through teenage years. 

Until now, I have taught THE KEY (1st Edition) myself as a 10-week program in 2017 and 2018 at Bialik College, the top school in Victoria Australia. This second edition: ‘THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ launched in 2019 includes more activities, writing exercises, re-cap sections, youtube videos and discussion points. 

My aim in doing so is to reach more teenagers by making it easily accessible and digestible to more students and more teachers. This second edition holds all of the necessary information to be taught without my physical presence. It includes numerous videos I have made to explain more tricky topics such as understanding anxiety, negative thoughts, three different types of calming breathing techniques and more.

There is something for everyone.

Whilst I am still available to teach the course myself or run workshops on specific topics, redesigning THE KEY helps me achieve my larger goal – to reach more young people and help them lead a more socially emotionally healthy life. My dream is to have it translated in to numerous languages and available worldwide.

The language is simple and the guidance is practical. For younger teens it is a great introduction to the new world of understanding emotions and a useful ‘go to’ manual for when things arise. For mid and older teens it can be like having a personal counsellor on hand with tips and tools for handling different emotions and situations.

If you are a teacher, parent, educator, teen counsellor, school psychologist or teenager – this book is for you.

THE KEY has been taught in workshop or full course form at:

Bialik College, Australia. 2017, 2018.

PanyaDee International School, Thailand. 2019.

THE KEY has been presented at:

The Cultures of Thinking Conference, Australia. 2019.

PHASE International Education Conference, Hong Kong. 2019.



“The Key engages students to better understand their thoughts, emotions, behaviours, actions, reactions and how they interact with the school, their friends and with their parents at home. Romi’s aim is to increase self-awareness and create behaviour change at home, at school and out in the world. Clearly the students changed from some negative thoughts to positive ones as well as treating their peers and parents with more gratitude. Romi has changed a number of students in a positive manner and I commend her on all that she has achieved.”

Ian PoyserAssistant Principal-Pastoral Care Head of Middle School, Bialik College.

“The Key is very readable. (Romi) Grossberg addresses her teenage audience in a language that is unpatronizing while presenting complex issues and concepts with exceptional clarity.

The Key never offers bland, “look on the bright side” advice. Grossberg delivers a series of common-sense self-care strategies in a clear and comforting manner designed to help put adolescent problems in perspective. Moreover, she provides her readers with the strategies for practical problem-solving and finding solutions to stressful situations. The author also gives teenagers terrific tips on becoming more balanced and goal-oriented. As the readers navigate the activities they can come to powerful and meaningful decisions and take greater control of their lives.”

Kevin MorleyAuthor, Oxford University Press Independent Education Consultant

“Today’s teens are anxious and stressed. The pressure to keep up – both in school and online – has led to a mounting mental health crisis in schools and universities worldwide. It’s clear we need to take a preventative approach, one that will help our students find healthy ways to cope. Social and emotional learning provides the framework to get us there, but finding ways to get students onboard can be tough.

The Key is full of creative resources and strategies to help teens take ownership over their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life both in school and beyond.”

Amy Lauren SmithConsultant and Education Editor



Below are fifteen YouTube videos matched to the topics in your book THE KEY, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens. Just click on the numbered video when you come across ‘watch video’ in your book. Videos 11 and 13 are ‘locked’ due to privacy. As the reader of THE KEY, you are invited to register and be able to view them.

 The Key – Video 01: Hello!

The Key – Video 02: Who am I and why I wrote the book

The Key – Video 03: Unlocked: What’s in the Curriculum

The Key – Video 04: What teenagers think

The Key – Video 05: Finding a Counsellor is like shopping for shoes

The Key – Video 06: Learning Belly Breaths

The Key – Video 07: Breathing with colours

The Key – Video 08: Mindfulness Meditation

The Key – Video 09: Let’s understand anxiety

The Key – Video 10: Understanding Negative Thoughts

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Please login or register to view this video.



The Key – Video 12: Tone of Voice

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Inside Out Movie Clip Sadness Comforts Bing Bong

Inside Out – Sadness Saves Riley

Blog

Teaching ‘The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens’ to 200 students!

Teaching 200 students 'The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens' - a guidebook on mental health, emotional health and social health.
20 January 2020/by Romi Grossberg

The Recovery Village, US

Sharing information from other organisations and networks about teen mental health. This one is from The Recovery Village, US.
14 December 2019/by Romi Grossberg

‘Teen Mental Health,’ Medium

In psychology terms, adolescence is the developmental stage of identity. Who am I? It is a powerful thing to begin to answer that question as a teen. How many adults can truly answer it?
26 September 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Cultures of Thinking Conference 2019 (& radio podcast interview)

This week I presented at The 7th Annual Cultures of Thinking Conference by way of a 90-minute workshop.
23 August 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Workshopping with teens in Romania

I was invited by my Romanian friend and colleague Ema to run…
1 July 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Is Perfectionism getting in the way?

If perfectionism gets in the way of you completing tasks, whether it be a project, sending off a manuscript, finishing a piece or art work or anything else, then check out my take on perfectionism... and rainbows.
3 April 2019/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Indonesia.

I was on a panel as part of the 3-day Asia Pacific Writers and Translators 10th anniversary conference.
30 October 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Holistic Counselling

Holistic Counselling looks at all of you. It recognises that people are not one-dimensional and that all the different parts that make up a person need to be factored in, to be able to fully understand the person. Holistic Counselling looks at mind, body and spirit.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tips for Journalling

A short four video series to help you journal. For those who have never journalled, have stopped somewhere along your life journey, or are just curious to hear more.
29 September 2017/by Romi Grossberg

THE KEY: Hear what the students had to say

Teaching TEENAGERS about EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.
17 August 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Bitter Sweet

I finally made it to the Maccabiah Games in Israel but it feels bitter sweet.
16 July 2017/by Romi Grossberg

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? Have you told someone about it?
24 April 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Learning to Breathe

Have you ever stopped to notice your breath before?
When…
31 March 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Tears in Phnom Penh

I never know when the tears will come but I know they are there.
14 January 2017/by Romi Grossberg

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Manila.

‘APWT is the largest, longest running, functioning literary network I know of in South East Asia and the Pacific’.
30 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

“One day I just let go…“

I love what I do!
Last month I held my 'Writing from The…
14 October 2016/by Romi Grossberg

I am a Writer not a Hooper

I often thought if I had I joined in years ago at our weekly hoopjam instead of watching, drinking coffee, juggling, socialising and dancing, maybe I could be good too.
9 September 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Australia – you amaze me!

I planned a 3 week trip to Melbourne as an International guest…
18 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My Book Launch

The week after I landed back in Thailand, the Tea Temple threw me the most beautiful book launch party.
3 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

My amazing trip to Samui

Once again I was invited by the amazing Anna Sugarman to host my 'Writing From The Source' workshop at her yoga teacher training in Bo Phut.
1 July 2016/by Romi Grossberg

Melbourne events in May

I have finally landed in sunny Melbourne (yes the sun is actually…
16 May 2016/by Romi Grossberg

The Bliss Festival

If there is a better way to end the year than the Bliss…
1 January 2016/by Romi Grossberg

‘Stand Up’ Workshop

When the amazing International spoken word artist Fleassy Malay…
8 September 2015/by Romi Grossberg

‘Climbing the Walls,’ Griffith Review

Last year there was a call for submissions for the best new writers in Asia under 40.
11 August 2015/by Romi Grossberg
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Get Tips, Bits and Info from Romi

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Privacy Policy   |   Testimonials

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Counselling

I am passionate about sharing my skills to help you reach your full potential.

I believe that everyone should seek counselling at some point in their lives. We all go to the dentist or car mechanic every year but when do we give ourselves the gift of an emotional check in?



My sessions are forward thinking to help you achieve your goals.

W e can work together on how to: quiet your mind, trust yourself, recognise your goals and strengths, communicate effectively with partners, children, parents and friends, break out of old patterns or negative thought behaviours, let go of old stories, understand and better cope with mental health, make decisions that are right for you, gain clarity, focus, calm and more.

My promise to you is that you will learn practical and effective skills, tools and techniques to bring in to your daily life immediately.

Holistic Counselling includes the ‘all of you’, recognising that:

  1. We are multi-faceted human beings and our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health need to be in-line for us to function at our best.
  2. Our upbringing; our family, culture, society, religion and nationality can play a part in how we think, act, react and behave.

Let’s chat from the comfort of your home.

I offer 60-minute online counselling sessions. You can book one session or a block of three or five at a discounted rate.

I work with Adults, couples and teenagers (12+).

University Qualifications:

Bachelor of Social Work (2006), Monash University, Australia

Bachelor of Social Science (1997), LaTrobe University, Australia

Other Qualifications:

*Dealing with Depression, *Anxiety and Panic Attacks’ Management, *Drug & Alcohol Harm Minimisation, *Suicide First Aid, *International Public Health, *Disaster Relief Management

Complete this form to get started.


This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.


Your Privacy

No information here will be shared with any third party. If you are under 18 we will discuss getting your parent/carer’s permission before beginning our first session.
Cancellation Policy: Please cancel a minimum of 24 hours before the session starting time. Failure to do so will incur the full payment fee.



If you are visiting Thailand you can work with me face-to-face at depending where I am or simply stay in touch via my newsletter to see what country I am in.


What People Say



Kate, New Zealand


Marta, Italy


Nik, Australia


Tash, Australia

“I was worried my thoughts were crazy or silly but you made me feel normal and like I could cope with life again.”

AnnaUSA

“I love that you focused on the future not the past and then gave me useful tools to move forward in life. Thank you”

RobertFrance

“I enjoyed using writing in the session. I have never experienced something like this before. It was really challenging but helped me concentrate, focus and think clearly and importantly – it was fun too.”

NathanAustralia

“I’ve been going to counselors for my eating disorder for over ten years now and that was the best session I have ever had. That was the first time I wasn’t made to feel stupid and where I felt I was talking to someone who was my equal but with loads to teach and share with me. I now feel I have a new set of tools and tricks I can try that will be with me always. I feel empowered. Thank you.”

PanUK

“You have helped me far more than you could possibly imagine! You helped me integrate all the information, thoughts and feelings. You helped me develop an action plan with tools and writing that I could go home with to help me keep my new-found peace of mind. It really tied everything together for me. You gave me a good bag of gems to take home and play with. Thank you Romi for creating the space to let me be me and for listening without judgment, you made me feel safe and accepted for all that I am. Your insight is deeply appreciated.”

AngelAustralia

“I found Romi really easy to talk to and her style of counseling gentle yet effective. I like the way she makes you see the different points of the problem and shows you how simple sometimes the answers can be.

I felt the heaviness lifted by talking to her and found her very easy to connect and relate to.

I have cried and I laughed with her and I am very grateful for her kind words. Big thanks Romi!

JaanaU.K.

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Get Tips, Bits and Info from Romi

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Privacy Policy   |   Testimonials

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The 5-Minute Guide to Emotional Intelligence, Your Journey Your Journal

Learn how to shut your mind off, get out of your head and embrace The Art of ‘Gutism.’


Emotional Intelligence is proving to be the greatest predictor of people’s happiness and success.

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence improves self-awareness, leads to more meaningful relationships and overall increases your emotional well-being.

Strengthening your inner E.Q. can feel like a big undertaking, both overwhelming and time-consuming. Romi Grossberg’s incredible journal-style book breaks it down in to simple 5-minute per day exercises that are straightforward and more importantly – fun!

Reclaim your Inner Power.

Learn how to get past perfectionism, get through procrastination and re-discover your true voice.

Connect to your Source, your Inner Voice, your Gut; the Centre of your Emotions.

With this inspirational new 30-day program toward Emotional Intelligence we’ll address common blocks to emotional understanding and your fears of expression. Start your journey toward self-discovery with just 5 minutes of writing a day.

Let your Intuition Speak. Learn how to listen.

This journal is for you. No judgement; there is no right or wrong, no good or bad. There is no particular end destination. The challenge is in the doing. So do. Write. Get to know yourself.



‘Through Writing from The Source I went from thinking, “I can’t write and I have nothing to say” to finding myself writing deep and creative stories in a completely organic way. Connecting to your source is undoubtedly a great way to connect to your true self.’

KiaraUK

‘This process gave me the tools to navigate the blocks that plagued my creative process and I had a blast doing them.’

TiaUK

‘These amazing exercises were extremely helpful for me to get out of my ‘never stop talking mind’. I learned the importance of surrendering to whatever comes on to the paper.’

AiJapan

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About

Author, Counsellor, Writing Therapist & Public Speaker.



Counselling sessions for adults and teenagers.

On-line and in-person.

Workshops, courses and curriculums. 

Mentor of writers and want-to-be writers.

Public Speaking.


I love what I do.


I have been called a gypsy, a nomad, a hippy, a fairy, a bookworm, a rebel, sporty-spice, crossword junkie and the ‘grass-is-greener’ girl.



Maybe I was all of these things.

I

have been a sports teacher, a photographer, a social worker, a mental health specialist, a drug and alcohol counsellor, a public speaker and a traveller. I was one of those people who was always searching, though I never knew what I was looking for… until now. Living in South East Asia since March 2010, I feel that I have found… well, that I am found. 

Today I practice Holistic Counselling – because ‘holistic’ includes the ‘all of you’ and as unique individuals we need to recognise that our cultural, family, religious, spiritual and societal upbringing influences different aspects of us: the way we think, react, respond, feel and understand the world. My counselling sessions are forward thinking, looking at where are you now? Where are you trying to get to? What is in the way? And how can we make the path clear and easy? 

In sessions I may incorporate talk therapy with writing therapy and breath work and always promise to give you practical and grounded guidance with real life tools and techniques to take away. I work with mental health, emotional health, decision-making and trust, career advice, relationship advice, communication skills, societal issues and more, helping you find your voice and trust yourself.

Writing Mentorship: A journal writer since 1984, I write with ease and flow and teach others how to do the same. I teach self-expression, journaling and flow writing in both group and private sessions. I teach people how to get out of their head, connect with their body, get in touch with their source – their gut, the centre of all emotions. I even invented a word for it in 2015 – gutism.

I work with authors, writers and want-to-be writers at any stage of writing from the brainstorming stage right through – I give advice, tips, tools and techniques (not editing) of books, scripts or writing therapy and journalling. Writing for me is about understanding the process between the head, heart and gut. Writers block is when those three are in conflict.



I have been a volunteer worker since before I probably knew what it meant. It just seemed natural to want to help those less fortunate.

I have volunteered in Israel, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Australia. I have been a carer in disability homes, an art teacher, a sports manager, a teacher at isolated schools for migrant children, a life skills coach for street kids and a community development worker for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

In 2010 I became the Manager of Tiny Toones Cambodia and my whole world changed. My heart got broken in to a thousand pieces and put back together over and over by the slum’s most precious street kids. I sat by their side through drug addiction, family violence, pain, recovery, relapse, slavery, corruption and poverty. They, ‘my kids’ taught me about unconditional love, respect, honour, determination and friendship. They taught me about family when they chose me as their mum, aunty and big sister.

“You should be a writer,” I kept hearing from friends and colleagues. I was a story-teller, definitely. I loved public speaking and have travelled on stages across Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore and even the first ever Tedx Phnom Penh in 2011 and interviewed in newspapers, radio and television including the highly-regarded ABC Australia Network with journalist Kate Arnott.

In November 2012 I went to Laos for my first writers retreat purely because it felt right – even though I was broke and terrified. I don’t remember making any decisions since. Things just happened. Do what you love and the rest will come. I met incredible authors who became mentors and I fell madly in love with the pen. Eventually, I tore myself away from my beloved Cambodian family and moved to a small island in southern Thailand to focus on writing. This is when I truly felt I could call myself an author.

Now I sit in my office (by that I mean on my balcony) looking out in to the jungle, writing and editing. Going to work as a counsellor is only a hop, skip and jump over the hill. Life is beautiful.

Do you what you love …

and the rest will come.

Now, back to my office….


Recent blog posts

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