PD SELF (Self-Efficacy Learning Forum)

PD SELF (Self-Efficacy Learning Forum) is a national initiative that offers an innovative approach to Parkinson’s disease management. It is based on Albert Bandura’s 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. 

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 is a national program of the Movement Disorders Foundation. 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 four consecutive months in a virtual setting. Sessions meet twice a month for two hours each and deliver a pre-determined module. Attendees will be provided with the curriculum content for each of the modules.

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 four months, they learn how to use the four modes of self-efficacy development to master their own relationship to Parkinson’s and assist others.

PD SELF is for individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the past three years and their care partners. The four-month program, meets twice a month by Zoom from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. 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. Participants must have access to a computer, laptop, or tablet with audio and video capabilities and internet connection. 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.

Registration for the 2023 session is now open.  If you are interested in participating in this program beginning in January, please contact us.

For additional information, please contact your local PD SELF facilitators: Kathleen Crist, LMSW at 713.313.1704 or Fred Kunzinger, 832.859.8972 or reach out by email at  texas-us@pdself.org.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Review of PD
  • Goal Setting
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Exercise
  • Re-framing
  • Tenacity
  • Realistic Optimism
  • Handling Stress
  • Resilience
  • Language of Parkinson’s
  • Creating a Health Care Team
  • Participating in Research


Skills & Behaviors Learned:

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