Mindfulness is about being in the moment, about truly focusing on the present. When we are mindful, we are aware of the sights and sounds around us, as well as the thoughts and feelings within us. While mindfulness practices have existed in various forms for thousands of years, it has only been in the last few decades that extensive research has been done, demonstrating that consistent mindfulness practices can provide benefit for people suffering from a variety of physical, as well as emotional, ailments. In addition, dedicated mindfulness practice by practitioners has been shown to increase compassion, improve clinical outcomes and reduce burnout.
Held in-class in Kitchener, this certificate program will introduce you to the four primary therapeutic models of mindfulness: mindfulness based stress reduction, mindfulness based cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy. You’ll explore how these models can be used when working with clients in a variety of settings and be introduced to other mindfulness applications, such as self-compassion and establishing a personal mindfulness practice.
Upon completion, participants will be able to incorporate a variety of mindfulness practices into their work, as well as use the principles of mindfulness for their own self-care and well-being.
You do not have to be working toward the Therapeutic Models of Mindfulness certificate to take any of these courses.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychotherapy model considered to be a more modern version of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and one of the “third wave” of behavioural therapies. ACT encourages us to let go of emotional struggles and live our lives according to our values, regardless of unwanted or uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, memories or physical sensations. Its goal is the development of psychological flexibility, achieved through the use of mindfulness, metaphors and experiential exercises. It is an interactive treatment approach that can be creative and inspiring!
This two-day workshop will be suitable for those who are new to the model, those who have only had some preliminary exposure to ACT as well as to those who are better versed in the model and are looking to expand their confidence in its clinical application. We will begin with a brief overview of the model, its six processes and its interventions to ensure we are all on the same page. We will then place a greater focus on practical application and honing of skills. To reflect the interactive spirit of ACT, this workshop will move beyond PowerPoint, to the demonstration, experience and rehearsal of ACT strategies with ample time for skill-building feedback. Come prepared to deepen your understanding, expand and polish your clinical repertoire and become enthused by a user-friendly, down to earth model that speaks to us all.
Positive psychology (dubbed "the science of happiness") is the scientific study of optimal human functioning and the conditions that lead to this. While traditional psychology has focused on discovering the causes and effective treatments of mental illness, and has made great advances to this end, positive psychology posits that we can do more. People come to us wanting to achieve more than simply "the absence of depression"; they want to be happy and fulfilled. Research in positive psychology has found that the interventions that lead to this latter state are distinct from interventions that treat mental illness. Positive interventions can be taught for different purposes: they can be a supplement to other therapy interventions, they can be taught in their own right, and/or they can be taught for the purpose of prevention of later psychological problems by building resilience.
Topics studied in positive psychology include factors and interventions that lead to optimism, resilience, well-being, fulfilment, success, and (of course) happiness. In this two-part interactive workshop, we will review the research findings and the evidence-based interventions of positive psychology that can be applied in counselling and education settings as well as in our own lives. The one week break in between day one and two of this workshop is intended to give an opportunity for participants to practice the positive interventions taught in class.
Participants will learn:
This two-day experiential course will provide participants with current research findings on the efficacy of mindfulness for the treatment of depression and anxiety. The learning goals of this workshop are:
Focus will be given to the required building blocks of a personal mindfulness meditation practice. Please bring a yoga mat or blanket and meditation cushion if you have them. Wear comfortable clothing.
This workshop is not a certification in MBCT, but offers the foundations of the MBCT program, as well as an introduction to the essential skills in mindfulness practices.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment approach for chronically suicidal clients. However, in the last decade DBT has received empirical support to treat other populations including eating disorders, addiction, anger problems and other mood disorders. Mindfulness is the cornerstone of DBT; it was the first psychotherapy to incorporate mindfulness as a core component and the mindfulness skills in DBT are the behavioural translation of Zen practice. It is commonly understood that you must master the skill of being fully aware in the present moment without judgment in order to maximize the treatment effectiveness of DBT. This course is intended to help orient the learner to mindfulness and its application within the framework of dialectical behaviour therapy.
At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat Zinn 45 years ago at the University of Massachusetts to provide an augmented treatment to those in the hospital who were not recovering well. The results were more than encouraging. A few decades later, tens of thousands of research studies have shown the efficacy of mindfulness. It has in fact been so popularized as to have become a household buzzword. Jon himself has expressed the fear that the program could be watered down to a McMindfulness of sorts and looked upon as a “quick fix”. This it is not.
In this two-day experiential course, we will look at the development of MBSR that has led to mindfulness becoming an evidence-based approach for mental and physical health. We will explore its continued popularity for participants and leaders and understand the difference between MBSR and other Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs).
The course will show how MBSR aims to help folks develop life habits and coping skills that can be effectively utilized across the life span. Methods include the learning and refining of a range of self-regulatory skills aimed at increasing happiness and proprioceptive awareness, as well as mind/body attention related to medical complaints, emotions and thoughts and their effects on symptoms, stress reactivity, coping and general well-being.
Our world, besieged as it is with stress and dysfunction, is craving more awareness. With amazing developments in technology, we have, if anything, become less connected both to ourselves and to each other. Such business leaders as Google and Price Waterhouse have incorporated the practice as an antidote to the relentless pressure and overload in workplaces; some governments such as the UK are already moving beyond its experimental use and making it part of elementary school curricula and graduate schools.
In this course we will experiment with ways MBSR teaches people to live with greater awareness and how this simple concept in the context of our experience can become deceptively complex.
Mindfulness is increasingly being shared with children in educational, medical, mental health, community and home settings. Research shows that mindfulness practice with children and adolescents can reduce stress, improve emotion regulation, foster academic learning, reduce anxiety, increase executive function and promote overall well-being. With all these known benefits, it is understandable why adults would want to start teaching children early on. But how can we engage children in practicing mindfulness, when it is associated with sitting still for long periods of time?
This experiential workshop will offer an introduction to sharing mindfulness with children and adolescents in engaging and age appropriate ways, informed by the intersection of mindfulness and neurobiology. Through story, art, music, movement and ‘formal’ mindfulness practice, participants will learn to share mindfulness and neuroscience information with children and families in age-appropriate, playful and creative ways. All practices will be infused with mindfulness attitudes, such as acceptance, beginner’s mind, letting go, patience, trust, non-judgment, non-striving, as well as self-kindness and compassion.
In addition to didactic teaching and small group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to lead mindfulness-based practices and inquiry intended for children and families. With step-by-step scaffolding, participants will further develop their skills and confidence in sharing mindfulness with children and adolescents.
Choose two of the following courses.
This one-day introductory, educational and experiential workshop will provide information on current research that supports the science and components of self-compassion. The physiology of self-compassion with the foundation of mindfulness will be presented that supports the benefits of this practice.
Through discussion, mindfulness meditation and experiential exercises, you will gain knowledge along with practical skills to help cultivate and integrate self-compassion into your daily life. The difference between empathy and compassion is explored to help with the development of self-compassion. You will learn how to motivate yourself and others with kindness rather than criticism by creating inner strength and reliance to meet everyday challenges.
Please wear comfortable clothing to support mindfulness and self-compassion practices presented throughout the day. If you have a meditation practice you are welcome to bring a yoga mat and/or meditation pillow or bench to use during these short practices.
CACCF: 6 core continuing education hours.
The ancient art of mindfulness has been practiced for over 2,500 years to address and/or alleviate human suffering. The basic skills of mindfulness focus on three areas, including focusing attention, open monitoring and compassionate acceptance. As practitioners, our clinical focus is to walk “with” our clients in order for them to experience a means of reducing their human suffering. Becoming a mindful therapist allows us the art of walking “with” our clients experientially, fully present and with enhanced awareness. This workshop will explore how one can move in the direction of becoming a mindful-based practitioner within himself or herself, creating a greater openness in how we sit and be with our clients. The art of mindfulness starts within us first before we can share it with others.
Combining mindfulness to strengthen emotional regulation with existing empirical supported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments can improve outcomes through:
Several psychotherapeutic interventions incorporating training in mindfulness are clinically relevant to traumatic stress. PTSD treatment could benefit from including mindfulness into the therapeutic process. This would include areas such as the neuroscience of mindfulness, assessment instruments for mindfulness, mechanism of mindfulness and the relation between mindfulness and other techniques. Evidence suggests that mindfulness can improve the therapeutic results and the outcome of PTSD clients.
Mindfulness can be used in two ways:
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