Mindfulness-based group therapy: Impact on psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 582 - 591
Source ID: shanti-sources-83851
Collection: Contemplative Practices and Breath Research
Abstract: The practice of mindfulness has long been incorporated into psychotherapy. Research on the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness exists within adult populations, and emerging empirical evidence demonstrates the benefit of such practices in the treatment of adolescents in both clinical and non-clinical settings. However, there are extremely limited data on the practice of mindfulness with adolescents in a psychiatric hospital. The iMatter ( Improve Mindful ATTention, Enhance Relaxation) group is a manualized program developed to provide adolescents on a short-term psychiatric inpatient unit with an opportunity to learn and practice relaxation strategies, mindfulness exercises, and simple yoga poses. Mindfulness skills are taught in the context of the group and include self-observation of thoughts and feelings, breathing exercises, self-validation of one's experience, loving-kindness toward self, non-judgmental stance toward self, and acceptance and observation of change within self. Participants included 65 adolescents aged 13-17 years ( M = 15.06, standard deviation ( SD) = 1.34) who took part in at least one session of the iMatter intervention. Improvements in self-reported mood were evident following participation in a mindfulness group. Also, participants' heart rate significantly decreased following participation in two groups. Future directions include improved integration of mindfulness into the milieu and other unit programming. Furthermore, comparing self-reported mood and physiological measures from this sample to findings obtained for other unit groups will further clarify the impact of the iMatter intervention.