with Karen Bluth, Sam Himelstein, Lorraine Hobbs, Tawanna Kane, J.G. Larochette, Amy Saltzman and Dzung Vo
Dealing with resistance from youth in learning mindfulness can often be a challenge for well-meaning mindfulness instructors. Whether it’s the fifth grade girl who giggles in the back of the classroom, the 6th grade boy who can’t sit still, or the openly defiant 19 year old who thinks it’s all a bunch of “crap” and is happy to say so to anyone who is within earshot, knowing how to work with these students is an art. The art comes from years of experience in both practicing and teaching, knowing students’ motivations as well as understanding their life experiences and demands of their developmental stage.
In this breakout session, a panel of experienced mindfulness teachers will share their expertise and “tools of the trade.” They will share what they have found that works in teaching mindfulness in the classroom, in clinical settings, in prisons, and in various other settings. The panel has been purposely designed to include teachers that have taught a range of ages and diversity of groups.
There are three parts to this session:
- Panelists answer questions about challenging situations in which youth were resistant to learning mindfulness.
- Session participants will break into groups by grade level interest and be given scenarios to role play. One person in the group will role-play the mindfulness teacher while the others role-play the students in the class. The group will then discuss how the “teacher” handled the situation.
- After engaging in the role-play, participants will have questions about best ways to handle challenging situations, and the remainder of the time is allotted for Q & A.
Dr. Karen Bluth received her PhD in Child and Family Studies in 2012 from The University of Tennessee, and holds a faculty position in the Program on Integrative Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. As a self-compassion and mindfulness researcher and teacher, Dr. Bluth’s research focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting well-being in youth. She was awarded a Francisco J. Varela grant from the Mind and Life Foundation in 2012, which allowed her to explore the effects of a mindfulness intervention on adolescents’ well-being through examining stress biomarkers, as well as the relationship of self-compassion on the physiologic stress response. Further, she is co-creator of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens, which is an adaptation of the Neff and Germer Mindful Self-Compassion Program for adults. She has recently received a grant from NIH to explore the impact of this intervention with teens who have depressive symptoms. Through support from the John Rex Endowment, Dr. Bluth collaborated with a local community organization in to train community leaders to teach mindfulness to adolescents, and mindfulness and self-compassion to their adult caregivers. As a mindfulness practitioner for almost 40 years and a lifelong educator with 18 years of classroom experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks and conducts workshops in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational settings and in the community. Dr. Bluth is an Associate Editor of the academic journal Mindfulness and Associate Director of the UNC Mindfulness Program on Stress and Pain Management.
Sam Himelstein, Ph.D. works as a Licensed Psychologist in the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (ACJJC) and in private practice in Oakland, CA. Dr. Himelstein researches the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions with incarcerated and underserved adolescent populations, and is an author of multiple scholarly journal articles and two books. Further, he travels the country speaking at conferences and conducting professional trainings, and is the founder of the Center for Adolescent Studies. Dr. Himelstein is passionate about training professionals from multiple disciplines in creating authentic, healing relationships with adolescents that contribute to positive outcomes. A formerly incarcerated youth himself, Dr. Himelstein was privileged to change his life from a path of drugs, violence, crime, and self-destruction to that of healing and transformation. His mission is to help young people become aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train professionals with similar interests. Learn more about his philosophy and approach in his books: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013), and Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015).
Lorraine Hobbs is the Director of the Youth and Family Programs at the University of California San Diego Center for Mindfulness. As a family therapist and former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs, Lorraine is committed to helping teens and families achieve greater emotional health and stronger connections through Mindfulness-Based Interventions. She is co-author of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults, adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion Program and endorsed by Kristen Neff, Ph.D. & Chris Germer, Ph.D. Lorraine is certified in MBSR (Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction), MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion), and CCARE (Compassion Cultivation, Altruism, Research & Education), a year-long training program created by clinical psychologists and contemplative scholars at Stanford University. As co-director of the Mindfulness for Adolescents Certification Program, Lorraine provides consultation and supervision in mindfulness-based approaches and core skills training to professionals working with teens. She also consults with educators on integrating mindfulness and compassion-based programs in schools and offers workshops & public talks in the community. Lorraine draws inspiration for her life and work from her yoga and meditation practices. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and has practiced for over 20 years.
Tawanna Kane is a certified yoga teacher and MBSR instructor, who seeks to help individuals and communities, identify and cultivate their internal support systems and resilience. She has created stress reduction and mindfulness curricula for juvenile halls, level III schools and other specialized populations throughout the United States. Her passion is conceptualizing and implementing mindfulness interventions with underserved and marginalized communities. With over 15 years of experience teaching mindfulness, MBSR and yoga, she has served as director of The Lineage Project, The Joy Wellness Center at Shepherd’s Clinic and supervised mindfulness-based clinical trials at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution. By placing attention on the heart, she hopes to give people tools to be more present in their lives and with each other. Her relationship and love for children is informed by working for over 20 years in the areas of conflict resolution, peer mediation, theatrical expressions and youth development. Her work is synthesized in The Inner Resources Project, an emerging organization, which sets as its mission to help individuals and communities connect with their own humanity and to learn to be in relation to their community. Tawanna’s work has been featured in American Legacy Woman, Yoga Journal, Ascent Magazine and in several films, including The Fire of Yoga and the documentary, Yoga Comes to Brooklyn.
J.G. Larochette is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, where he received his B.S. in Psychology and was a 4-year scholarship player on the baseball team. After graduating from SMC, he felt a deep desire to work with children. At age 22 he was hired to work as a Site Coordinator for Sports4Kids (now Playworks) at Laurel Elementary in Oakland and then Coronado Elementary in Richmond. In these early years he built a strong connection with the communities he served, and was focused on equity and creating a safe, fun, and engaging playground. After seeing immediate results on the playground and in seeing the affect it had on the school climate, he enrolled in the WCCUSD intern-credential program through Cal State University East Bay. He received his Bilingual Teaching Credential, and was highly motivated to bring the fun back into learning. His work in and out of the classroom was driven by the need to have high expectations for his students, and guide them into being leaders around the community. He built an invaluable relationship with the students, families and community. During this time he started to implement culturally relevant pedagogy, with an emphasis on the social-emotional aspect of the students. In the last few years he has created curriculum and programs that specifically reach students who need guidance into building resiliency, self-esteem, and empowerment. This built a strong passion to support students who have been caught in a negative cycle of behavior and discipline problems. He recently was trained by Mindful Schools and received his mindfulness teaching certification. As Founder and Executive Director of the Mind Life Project, JG brings a passion for equity, social justice, peace, and community unity. He is honored to have opportunities to work with schools, students and families. In creating Mindful Life Project he wants to help provide a space where all students feel valued, empowered and loved.
Dr. Amy Saltzman is a holistic physician, mindfulness coach, scientist, wife, mother, devoted student of transformation, long-time athlete, and occasional poet. Her passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their well-being and discovering the Still Quiet Place within. She is recognized by her peers as a visionary and pioneer in the fields of mindfulness for youth and holistic medicine. She has offered mindfulness to young people from pre-K to college undergrads in socioeconomically diverse school and community settings, and conducted two research studies evaluating the benefits of teaching mindfulness to child-parent pairs and to children in low-income elementary schools. These research projects were conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. To support others in discovering the joy and peace of the Still Quiet Place, Dr. Saltzman has written three books and created two CDs. She provides holistic medical care and individual mindfulness instruction to children, teens, and adults. She also offers presentations and courses for young children, teens, parents, educators, athletes, coaches, teams, and health care professionals.
Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada. His medical practice, teaching, and research emphasize promoting resilience in young people to help them thrive in the face of stress and adversity. He co-developed (with Dr. Jake Locke at BC Children’s Hospital) a mindfulness training program called MARS-A, or Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents. MARS-A is a developmentally appropriate adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), for youth with chronic stress, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Vo is the author of The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time (New Harbinger, 2015). Dr. Vo also serves on the Board of Directors for the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM) and the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN).