Introduction to Mindfulness: Day Workshop

Holistic Education offers an “Introduction to Mindfulness” workshop.  This is a 6-hour training session for professionals wanting to learn more about mindfulness and understand how it may be used both for personal well-being and in work.

The workshop provides an experiential and theoretical introduction to mindfulness.  It includes opportunities to practice mindfulness and outlines the evidence base, including that from neuroscience research.  It explains the benefits of regularly practicing mindfulness – such as enhanced cognitive functioning and well-being.  It covers how mindfulness practices ‘work’ and from this, how mindfulness can be adapted for personal well-being and professional use.

The workshop can also include components related to specific professions where possible, including Educational psychologists and other professionals working in schools, those working in health or social care and families.

Here is an example of the workshop designed for professionals working in schools, including Educational Psychologists.  It includes information about mindfulness in schools and work with children and young people.

Aims of the workshop: Overall, the workshop aims to:

  • Provide participants with the experience of practicing mindfulness
  • Present the evidence base for using mindfulness with adults and children.
  • Explain how mindfulness works and implications for practicing and teaching it.
  • Introduce different approaches to using mindfulness in EP practice, including the use of tailored interventions, such as Mindfulness-based Awareness Training (MBAT).
  • Inspire participants to develop a regular practice of mindfulness and explore further training to develop skills to teach mindfulness to others.

Learning objectives: By the end of the workshop, the participants will be able to:

Practicing mindfulness regularly helps enhance neural pathways in the brain, developing a deeper sense of peacefulness, clam and focus.

The workshop includes aspects of the neuroscience underlying mindfulness, explaining how regular practice enhances specific neural networks that lead to developing a deeper sense of peacefulness, calm and focus.

  1. Understand the evidence for the benefits using mindfulness-based approaches with adults and children.
  2. Understand the skills or components involved in cultivating mindful awareness.
  3. Begin or continue developing personal skills and experience in practicing mindfulness – this includes information on and access to additional resources.
  4. Begin or continue exploring the use of mindfulness-based approaches in EP practice.

Outline of the day: This introductory workshop covers a broad area and prepares for further training.  Here is an example of what the timings of the day workshop might be:

  • 9:30am: Introduction, Overview.  Intentions for the day.  Mindfulness practice (1).
  • 10:15am: Research background on mindfulness with adults, children and those with SEN, Theories on how mindfulness ‘works’, Components of mindfulness.
  • 11:30am: Implementing mindfulness in schools, the MBAT Intervention.  Practice (2).
  • 12:30: Lunch.
  • 1:30pm: Practice (3).  Competency, authenticity and the “UK Network of Mindfulness Teachers Good Practice Guidelines”.  The essence and value of personal practice.
  • 2:30pm: Adapting mindfulness for those needing additional support for attentional and emotional regulation, including those with a diagnosis of Autism or ADHD.  Practice (4).
  • 3:45pm: Group discussion on ways forward and future intentions.  Opportunities for further training. Evaluation.
  • 4:30pm: Close

Feedback: This introductory workshop has been run for EPs in Hackney, Lewisham, Kent, Southark, Herefordshire and to trainee EPs at the University of East London.  Here is some of the feedback about what worked well and what was gained/ learnt from the session:

“Practical linked well with theoretical – led by the participants’ level of understanding” (EP in Lewisham).

“I’d like to apply to work with the children but need more training.” (EP in Herefordshire).

“I’d like to learn more and try it out with children/ students.” (EP in Hackney).

“Having time to process and integrate this this into what I already do and feel and believe in”  (EP in Lewisham).

“Informative, well-paced, lots of chances to ask questions”. (EP in Herefordshire).

“I  would like to explore mindfulness with a group of interested staff, maybe linking to CDs, trying out exericises.  Also I may try the 3-minute Breathing Space with the children.” (Head Teacher, Kent).

“Range of studies, including systematic reviews.” (EP in Lewisham).

“Opportunities for discussion and practice of the exercises”. (EP in Lewisham).

[I gained] “A much clearer understanding of when it is/ isn’t appropriate to sue mindfulness with children.  Realised the importance of self-preservation”.  (Trainee EP).

[I gained] “a better understanding of the context in which mindfulness approaches are developing in the UK.” (Trainee EP).

For further information, please contact Dr Bernadette Carelse.

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