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Mindfulness and Youth

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Jen Merrick

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Mindfulness and Youth

Being Mindful

The purpose of this proposal is to put forward a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy group for adolescents’


Two masters trained social workers
Six week program for one hour every week
Ten to twelve adolescents ages fifteen to eighteen
Daily half hour practice expected

Class Six
Class Four/Five

Practical Considerations
1. Provide quality, effective MBSR programming
2. Assist individuals in their ability to regulate emotion
3. Increase stress management and coping skills
4. Teach techniques that are appropriate for everyday situations
5. Provide proper follow up
6. Contribute to research on MBSR

Class One
Definition of MBSR, overview of practices
Discussion on regulation of attention
Meditation techniques and brief Hatha yoga program introduced

Class Two/Three
Discussions will include:
Mindless actions in the present moment
Rumination of difficult thoughts and emotions
Mindful breathing meditation
Non-judgemental bodily awareness and body scan techniques
Discussion will include:
Life stressors and mindful non-judgemental actions and behaviors
Introduction of mindful eating practices
Progress in real life situations and mindful action and behaviors

Alberta has the highest provincial rate of suicide
Youth are the age group most likely to have mental health and addiction issues
70% of mental illness start at during adolescence or beforehand
Mindfulness is an ‘awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment’ (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, p.4)

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created a program which was based upon mindfulness techniques he learned from various Buddhist teachers
• Review of techniques and topics learned
• Discussion on real life practice and future mindfulness practice

Poster campaigns
Voluntary, psycho-educational group
Participants assessed by Social Workers
Further considerations

Open to all cultures

Research shows us that MBSR based programs:
help adolescents cope with life stressors
reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatic distress, and increased self-esteem and sleep quality
encourages structural changes in the brain
Survey response:
Upon completion
Three months
Nine months

Additional Practical Considerations
Alberta Health Services. (n.d.) Statistics and quick facts [Data file]. Retrieved from
Biegel, G. M., Brown, K. W., Shapiro, S. L., Schubert, C. M. (2009). Mindfulness-Based stress
reduction for the treatment of adolescent psychiatric outpatients: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 77, pp.855-866. doi:1037/a0016241
Corey, M., Corey, G. & Corey C. (2014). Groups, process and practice (9th ed).
Belmont:Brookes Cole Publishing.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2012). Mental illness and addiction statistics. [Data
file]. Retrieved from http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/for_reporters/Pages/addictionmentalhealthstatistics.aspx
Gazella, K. (2005). Jon Kabat-Zinn, Phd bringing mindfulness to medicine. Alternative
Therapies, 11, 56-64. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, L. M., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., Frank, J., Burke,
C., Pinger, L., Soloway, G., Isberg, R., Sibinga, E., Grossman, L., Saltzman A. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Mindfulness. 4, pp. 291-307. Retrieved from http://www.mindfulnessinstitute.ca/Portals/15/pdf/Integrating_Mindfulness_Training_Into_K-12_Education.pdf
Phillips, C., (n.d.). Welcome to the mindfulness institute.ca. Retrieved from
Tan, L., Martin, G. (2013). Taming the adolescent mind: preliminary report of a mindfulness-
based psychological intervention for adolescents with clinical heterogeneous mental health diagnoses. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 18, pp. 300-312. doi:10.1177/1359104512455182
Thompson, M., Gauntlett-Gilbert, J. (2008). Mindfulness with children and adolescents:
effective clinical application. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13, pp. 395–407. DOI: 10.1177/135910450809060

Group expectations:
Daily homework
Full transcript