OTD Capstone Projects


The New Beginnings Center is a nonprofit organization that serves as an empowerment program for women from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Nashville area. Current curriculum includes a 12-week program focused on nutrition, exercise, and positive lifestyle changes that provide a holistic approach to long-term behavior change and a lasting support system. The objective for this project was to provide updated programming based on current research and relevant topics for the population, utilizing the cognitive behavioral frame of reference to facilitate behavior change, reframing negative and distorted thinking into healthy and productive habits. The subjects of the two workshops focused on 1) stress management and 2) self-compassion, and how to improve health through each of these principles. Clients participated in a lecture portion, discussions, and guided activities to reinforce the topics. The “Stress Less” presentation took place within the 12-week program among 30 clients, focusing on developing a growth mindset, choosing how to respond to stress, and incorporating active stress management activities into your daily routine. The self-compassion workshop was an optional weekend workshop provided to current/previous clients and staff with exercises and resources provided for participants to incorporate on their own. Client and staff feedback from the presentations justified the need for implementing these topics into future programming to encourage both physical and mental well-being.

Publication Date

Spring 4-5-2022

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Elena Espiritu, OTR/L, BCPR


Occupational Therapy, School of


Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of

Document Type

Scholarly Project


Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University


Health; Stress; Self-compassion; Women; Occupational Therapy; Behavior Change; Empowerment