The Importance of Belonging


Being connected to the people we love is critical to our emotional and physical well-being.  Many people experiencing our services are sick from loneliness.  This workshop is about ideas for moving beyond interventions and coverage to a system that supports enduring, freely chosen relationships.  The workshop can be conducted in either a one-day or two-day format (the latter involves problem-solving with teams).


At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have developed knowledge in the following areas:

  • The impact of loneliness in the lives of people who experience disabilities, particularly as it relates to difficult behaviors;
  • The importance of going home to the people we love as an important organizing strategy for helping people to develop relationships;
  • Strategies for helping people who are lonely to develop enduring, freely chosen, positive relationships.
  • Problem-solving strategies for times when relationships are unbalanced or slow in developing.

Suggested Agenda

The following is a suggested agenda only.  Starting and ending times may vary.  Regular question and answer breaks are built into the day.

09:00   Introductions and Housekeeping

09:10   Part One: Loneliness and the importance of going home to the people you love.

10:30   Break

10:45   Part Two: Building positive, enduring relationships

12:00   Lunch

01:00   Part Three: Building positive, enduring relationships

02:30   Break

02:45   Part Four: Building positive, enduring relationships

04:00   End


The Importance of Belonging (available in Spanish).
Optional:  Loneliness is the Only Real Disability and Who Holds Your Story?

Thumbnail Sketch and Photo

A thumbnail sketch of David and his work for conference brochures.  Includes information about audio-visual needs.  A photo for brochures can also be downloaded.

Audio Visual Needs

If available, an LCD projector (if not, an overhead projector), screen, , large pieces of paper, masking tape, felt pens (or a blackboard), and, if you are expecting over 50 people, a lavaliere microphone (a microphone that can be worn as a necklace or attached to a shirt or tie).

Contact Information

David Pitonyak, Ph.D.

540-552-5629 VOICE

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© David Pitonyak, Ph.D.