Frequent Questions about the IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program


How can I learn more about the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program before I decide to purchase it?


You can listen to a half-hour recording of an orientation session on the program that was conducted for the facilitators who pilot tested the workshop series in 2013. This is posted on the IONS website Conscious Aging Orientation page. There you will also see the testimonial comments from the pilot test facilitators. You can email specific questions on the curriculum to Kfreeman@noetic.org or general program logistics information to mrobertson@noetic.org.

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Can I speak with other facilitators who have conducted the program?


There will be a monthly teleconference session where you will hear from the other facilitators in the program and be able to ask questions. When facilitators graduate from the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program they can opt to list their contact information on a directory page on the IONS website where you can contact them directly.

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Can I get individual coaching on how to set up and conduct the Conscious Aging workshops?


IONS is in the planning stages for the creation of an additional facilitator training program to be conducted in Winter 2014–2015. This program will provide opportunities for deeper learning and individual coaching. This advance training will only be open to graduates of the foundation Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program. At this time there are not private coaching sessions available, though you can bring your questions to the monthly teleconferences.

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How will I market the Conscious Aging workshop series in my local community?


The Guide included in the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program has a section on sales and marketing. This will walk you through the process of marketing the program to organization and communities. When you purchase the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program you will receive electronic documents including a marketing brochure that has been created on the workshop series, which you can tailor with your contact information and workshop series specific details. The pilot test facilitators were mainly very successful in generating registrations for the workshop series and many were quite surprised by the high level of interest in them.

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Do I have to create lectures on Conscious Aging for this program?


The Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program is structured so that facilitators follow the inspirational ideas in the sessions. The sessions are designed as conversation circle study guides. Your role is to make it easy for the participants to go through the activities and guide the process so that all know how to participate. The inspirational ideas are provided with each session so that you do not need to design and deliver separate lectures in this content area. Of course, if you are a seasoned practitioner you can add in your own expertise and experience to enrich the sessions, but it is not required that you do so.

The Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program includes a very prescriptive Guide that gives facilitators everything they need including: agendas, time lines, discussion prompts, key learning messages, activities, and much more. So your role is to work with the group to progress through the workbook together. We do recommend that facilitators have a level of comfort in front of groups and have experience as a group process facilitator in either volunteer or professional settings.

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What are my roles and responsibilities to IONS as Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program Graduate?


Once you purchase and study the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program, successfully pass the online self study test, and receive your completion certificate, you are eligible to market, facilitate, and charge fees for the Conscious Aging workshop series in your local area as a private practitioner or community volunteer. You do not have the right to teach others to facilitate the course or to offer it under an organization name unless further licensed by IONS.

IONS retains all rights to our products and intellectual property as well as the right to distribute workbooks and facilitator's guides through our bookstore or other entities. As a Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program Graduate you agree to purchase a Conscious Aging Companion Workbook from IONS for each participant in the IONS Conscious Aging workshops you conduct. (Workbook prices range from $19.95 to $9.95 each, depending on quantity ordered, with the price for 30 units being the lowest price per unit at $9.95 each.) This Workbook ensures that all participants receive standard information from IONS on this topic.

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Can I tailor this program for my church group's religious beliefs?


Yes, you can tailor the program towards the needs of the group, including religious or cultural beliefs, age, gender, size of group, physical needs, and more. As to any religious or spiritual beliefs, the series focuses on enhancing wisdom from our inner knowing, from inspirational thought leaders, and from the power of the collective. There is not an overt spiritual or religious belief system embedded. We advocate that each facilitator assess the needs and values of their specific groups and tailor the program accordingly. Some might have a bias towards science, atheism, Native American, Buddhism, or other wisdom traditions. The sessions can be aligned with these truth systems, if desired. This is true of IONS perspective, in general, which holds multiple worldviews about spirituality, wisdom traditions, religions, and science... they are all different truth systems, and we don't advocate any one view but make room for them all.

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How do I progress through the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program?


Below is the suggested pathway for progressing through the self-paced training:

  • WORKBOOK: Before you begin to think about facilitating the workshop series you need to experience it as a participant. To accomplish this, you will read and complete all of the activities in the Participant Workbook on your own. This will give you time for your own inner reflections on aging before you begin to work with a group.
     
  • GUIDE: After you have completed the Participant Workbook you will read the Guide in full. You do not need to redo the exercises in the sessions, but do read the additional prompts provided for facilitators in the sessions so you become familiar with them.
     
  • ONLINE RESOURCES: Included with the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program are some attachments to help you market and deliver the workshop series. Read and become familiar with these assets (marketing flyer templates, articles on Conscious Aging, workshop evaluation forms, and more). Our intention is that these assets will make your job as a facilitator easier.
     
  • COACHING SESSIONS: On the second Tuesday of the month from 4:00 to 5:00 pm Pacific Time you can call into a Conscious Aging conference call. On these calls you will learn more about the program, be able to ask questions, receive tips and best practices for marketing or delivering the workshops, and connect with your peers who are also setting up Conscious Aging programs in their areas. You may feel the need for only one session, or several continuously, or periodically.
     
  • SELF STUDY COMPLETION TEST AND CEC: When you have studied and completed all of the activities in the Facilitator's Guide and Companion Workbook on your own, you can take an online test to obtain a certificate of completion for the program (this certificate is also used for CECs—please see our website to make sure IONS certification will work for your license if desired). Nine CECs are offered for completion of the Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program.

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What can I do as a Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program graduate?


Use the tools and resources provided in the Guide to set up a workshop series in your local area and start to improve the lives of seniors while making supplementary income. You can set up a private group on your own or collaborate with your local church, senior center, retirement community, or university.

List your name and contact information on the IONS website as a Conscious Aging Facilitator Training Program graduate. You will also be eligible to attend an advanced training program offered later if desired.

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How do I know what fees to charge for the workshop series?


We suggest that if you can, it is optimal to promote the eight sessions as a workshop series with one price. Facilitators have charged a range of pricing from $80 (for a nonprofit social service agency) to $500 (for similar workshop series).

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I am thinking of changing my career. Can I make a full time career out of teaching Conscious Aging workshops?


It is best to think of offering this workshop series as a supplemental income source. It seems to be a natural adjunct program for ministers, spiritual directors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, MFTs, counselors, coaches, trainers, community group leaders, teachers, and others who have practices that they wish to augment or branch out into new program areas. This can also be an excellent volunteer avocation for those in retirement who would like to give back to their community.

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How do I find a meeting room to conduct the workshop series?


You can inquire about meeting space (and program partnership opportunities) at your local senior centers, churches, social service agencies, assisted and active retirement living communities, hospitals, and university public program organizations. You might consider conducting a private group in your office or partner with a practitioner who has a suitable private office.

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What is the biggest challenge that facilitators encounter in starting up their new workshop series?


One of the challenges for new facilitators is working through all the material and keeping the group moving forward on time. The sessions are designed to be two hours in length, but if you are able, longer sessions (two and half or three hours each) can work better to allow for more of a feeling of spaciousness with the material.

Another challenge can be the eight session format. Some facilitators have offered four sessions at a time to make the time commitment easier for their group and then to offer two separate series spaced out over time. Some facilitators have considered offering the program over the course of two or three days. The workshops can be tailored in many different formats depending on the needs of the group. There is not one right way to work with the material. It can even be used in working with elders in a one-on-one mentoring basis.

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What the best way to reduce shipping costs on international orders of Conscious Aging workbooks?


It is true that international shipping is expensive. IONS suggests that orders of 30 units be placed if at all possible to achieve the best possible cost per unit benefit. For example if you order 30 workbooks the price comes to $13.73/each including the shipping cost. That cost is cheaper than buying 15 workbooks with NO shipping. Facilitators can then turn around and charge their workshop participants $15 or $20 for the workbook which would cover all of their direct costs.

Example of average international shipping costs for 15 vs 30 workbooks:

15 Workbooks:

  • $225 price
  • $80 shipping
  • $5.33 cost of shipping/unit
  • $20.33/unit

30 Workbooks:

  • $300 price
  • $112 shipping
  • $3.73 cost of shipping/unit
  • $13.73/unit

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