pd self logo

PD SELF (Self-Efficacy Learning Forum) is a national initiative that offers an innovative approach to Parkinson’s disease management. It is based on the psychosocial theory of self-efficacy which is the confidence a person has in his or her ability to influence an outcome or be successful in achieving a result. Click here for the current flyer.

A central focus of PD SELF is to help newly diagnosed individuals and their care partners strengthen self-efficacy beliefs, thereby positively influencing the management of their disease and improve quality of life.

PD SELF was developed as part of a clinical trial by Diane Cook in 2013 and was sponsored by the Colorado Neurological Institute. In 2016, HAPS was chosen as one of ten sites to offer this program to the newly diagnosed Parkinson’s community. The PD SELF program was designed to be delivered by a team that includes a health care professional and a person with Parkinson’s who have been trained in the application of self-efficacy for Parkinson’s. The Houston team is represented by Kathleen Crist, LMSW and Fred Kunzinger.

The program is conducted over eight consecutive months. Each monthly session presents a pre- determined module. Attendees will be provided with a PD SELF Curriculum Field Guide containing the curriculum content for each of the nine modules. Topics covered will include:

  • Diagnosis/Adjustment/Moving Forward
  • Assembling Your Health Care Team
  • Medications and Treatments
  • PT and Exercise
  • Nonmotor Symptoms
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Relationships/Intimacy/Care Partners
  • Research/Clinical Trials/Getting Involved

Self-Efficacy: PD SELF is designed so that as a person with PD advances through the modules, they are gradually introduced to self-efficacy. Over the eight modules, they learn how to use the four modes of self-efficacy development to master their own relationship to Parkinson’s and assist others. The skills and behaviors learned include:

  • Setting goals
  • Self-monitoring
  • Keeping health care records
  • Communicating with your doctor
  • Establishing new routines
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Problem solving
  • Reframing
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Realistic optimism
  • Resilience and tenacity
  • Interpreting medical news
  • Self-Advocacy

PD SELF is for individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the past three years and their care partners. The eight-month program, meets once a month in central Houston from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm with refreshments provided. Participants must be able to commit to attending at least seven of the eight sessions. There is no fee to attend. Space is limited to 35 participants and registration is required. Entry into this program is a multi-step process which includes an interest questionnaire, participating in an in-person or phone conversation, and is finalized by completing an online national PD SELF registration form.

Here's what people have said about the program...

"My husband & I have really enjoyed the PD Self course; it has been a different experience from any other HAPS seminars we have taken. Specifically, we have learned ways to better cope with the overall physical & emotional aspects of a degenerative disease. Each lesson deals in depth with a separate topic that helps people with PD, plus their care partners, take better positive control of their lives. Besides having a much better understanding of PD now, the course provides an opportunity to meet & become friends with other people in the same situation." - Sandy W.

“The last session had a big impact on me.  I’m encouraged that I can do something that can have a positive effect on my PD.  As a result, I’ve been working on expanding my exercise routine to 6 days a week.   After a couple of weeks at it, I have noticed I have more energy and stamina. I even worked in the yard a little -- which gave me a very clear perception of how bad my balance is.   I am taking that reality on as an additional workout challenge with realistic optimism in mind.  I’m even thinking of dragging out my “Learn French in Your Car” CDs.   Come on new pathways!” - Leslie D.


Registration for the Fall 2019 session is now closed. For additional information, please contact your local PD SELF facilitators: Kathleen Crist, LMSW at 713-313-1704, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Fred Kunzinger, 832-859-8972.