with Sam Himmelstein
As the field of mindfulness and youth continues to expand, there is a need for specialized training for clinicians, researchers, and other mindfulness professionals. One type of specialized training needed is the application of mindfulness as an intervention for youth suffering from the adverse effects of trauma. Mindfulness publications have targeted many youth who suffer from trauma: incarcerated youth, HIV positive youth, youth in urban environments, substance abusing youth, etc. with little or no explanation of the interaction between mindfulness and trauma. Trauma itself manifests in a diverse array of symptoms, and mindfulness practitioners should be aware of how to engage such symptology in from a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed philosophy (i.e., which mindfulness techniques may be indicated, contraindicated, etc., in certain situations).
This breakout session overviews what trauma is, the conceptual framework for why mindfulness can be an effective intervention for trauma, how relational mindfulness builds safety and trust, and mindfulness techniques modified specifically for youth suffering from trauma. Strategies for promoting authentic engagement in relationship will be presented along with innovative trauma-informed mindfulness exercises in a language relatable to youth. Attendees can expect to walk away from this breakout session with both a sound philosophical framework of how mindfulness can be an intervention for trauma and concrete trauma-informed mindfulness strategies to engage traumatized youth.
Sam Himelstein, Ph.D., works as a Licensed Psychologist (PSY25229) in the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (ACJJC) and in private practice in Oakland, CA, researches the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions with incarcerated and underserved adolescent populations, is an author of multiple scholarly journal articles and two books, travels the country speaking at conferences and conducting professional trainings, and is the founder and president 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)