In March 2020, when the reality of COVID-19 was just beginning to sink in, the JCC and the Wholebeing Institute joined together in a groundbreaking effort to help us stay connected and to share skills for navigating life in a crisis. Little did we know then what it would mean. In 52 weeks of free, lunch-time “Positivity Hours”, Megan McDonough and Phoebe Atkinson of the Wholebeing Institute and Caroline Kohles of the JCC introduced faculty and alumni from the Wholebeing Institute who offered understanding, concrete help, and practical skills drawing from the field of applied positive psychology. One year later, what has this year meant to you and to your well-being? How have you changed? Join Megan, Phoebe, and Caroline as they explore these questions and dive into the opportunities and growth that the difficulties of this year have given us.
As the founder of Wholebeing Institute, Megan McDonough leads with divergent thinking and creative perspectives to build organizations and networks that harness the best in people for the greatest good. She has decades of leadership experience in diverse settings, in roles ranging from Alliance Manager at DuPont; to General Manager of RISE at Kripalu, the largest yoga retreat center in North America; to numerous online-learning startups. A yoga enthusiast, Megan has practiced for more than 20 years and taught for more than a decade, and brings that mindfulness practice to managing stress. Her degree in biology, natural science, and nuclear medicine, along with in-depth work in positive psychology, informs her evidence-based approach to thriving. She is the award-winning author of four books on living mindfully, and is the lead faculty for the Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology.
Phoebe Atkinson is a core faculty member of WBI’s Positive Psychology Coaching Certification program. She is a licensed clinical social worker, certified coach, and board-certified trainer, educator, and practitioner in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy. She serves on the faculty for WBI’s Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology, and is also a graduate of the program.
Along with Jennifer Hanawald, Phoebe teaches the online Positive Psychology: Skill-Building Intensive course and leads the Positive Psychology Coaching Mentorship.
Find out about Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology
Learn more about WBI’s Positive Psychology Coaching Certification.
A health and wellness professional for over 25 years, Caroline is co-founder of Nia New York™. Nia is a holistic lifestyle and fitness practice. As a somatic educator and Nia Trainer, she co-facilitates intensive trainings at the white, green, blue, brown and black belt level. She holds certifications in yoga, indoor cycling, personal training, life coaching, and 5 Rhythms—a dynamic movement meditation practice. A former professional dancer with a passion for anatomy and the brain, Caroline is drawn to using movement to help special populations. In her 16 years working at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Caroline has been instrumental in leading a progressive slate of fitness programming. She created and designed our 100+ group fitness class schedule and health and wellness programs for every population, from tweens/teens to prenatal/postnatal moms and seniors. Her signature work includes developing a range of cancer care programs in partnership first with Mount Sinai Hospital and now Breastlink NYC. She also designed the nationally and internationally recognized Edmond J. Safra Parkinson’s program, now in its twelfth year, in partnership first with The Fresco Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center and now with Northwell Health. In addition, Caroline developed the JCC’s popular “Doctor Is In” program, in conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, as well as many other nutrition and brain health programs. Caroline has been recognized as a teacher, programmer, a wellness mentor for staff, and a constant advocate for JCC members and the Upper West Side community. She was honored with the Award for Staff Excellence for her leadership, dedication, passion, and contribution to the JCC’s Center for Health and Wellness.