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Cultivating Mindfulness & Compassion

Understanding how mindfulness strengthens well-being for youth, families, and professionals

We believe that compassion and mindfulness are foundational to well-being. Mindfulness, the practice of being present, open and curious, is a skill that we can all learn. When we regularly practice mindfulness, we have the awareness and perspective to respond thoughtfully in situations instead of falling into old patterns or automatic reactions.

Our research shows that mindfulness and compassion skills strengthen parent and provider relationships with children and youth. These skills promote warm, responsive, and consistent interactions, which are paramount to ensuring that children feel safe and loved. We are conducting research to evaluate the role of mindfulness and self-compassion based programs in promoting the well-being of youth, caregivers and professionals working with families. These types of programs may offer skills for tuning into one’s experience, including emotions, as well as promoting self-regulation and resilience.

In collaboration with community partners, we are committed to ensuring our mindfulness and compassion-based programs are culturally inclusive and supportive to people who have and/or are experiencing adversity.

Research topics include

  • Enhancing parenting practices with mindfulness and self-compassion
  • Promoting the well-being of providers working with children and youth through mindfulness-emotion coping skills
  • Strengthening youth resilience with tools for navigating the challenges of school and beyond

Current Projects & Programs

NEW Moms Connect: Nurturing Emotional Well-being

We are exploring the benefits of different mindfulness and self-compassion based programs for mothers during the perinatal period. To our knowledge, this is the first large study on mindfulness with families living in a low-income context. Learn more >

Be REAL: Resilient Attitudes and Living

One of our recent studies found that a mindfulness and cognitive-skills based program significantly increased college students’ well-being across a number of measures, including perceived stress, coping skills, executive function, and resilience. Learn more >

Guided Audio Practices

We have created a suite of free mindfulness and compassion based recordings to support your practice. Listen >


We have been studying how mindfulness-based parenting can impact a child’s social and emotional well-being – especially for families experiencing adversity. Learn more >


Our program, Resilient Attitudes and Living for Professionals (REAL Pro) equips providers working with skills for their emotional well-being, stress, and relationships with children and youth. Learn more >

Related Resources


Mindfulness & Compassion Resources for the Early Years

A collection of books, free downloadable activities and more for the classroom and home.

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Let’s count our blessings, led by Shayla Collins.

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3-2-1 Gratitude for Yourself

This exercise focuses on gratitude for SELF, led by Shayla Collins.

Learn More »

Self-Compassion Break (8 mins)

This practice allows us to take time out and acknowledge how we can support ourselves in a difficult moment, led by Shayla Collins.

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Mindfulness of Sounds & Thoughts

This meditation gives us space to observe our thoughts and surroundings using our senses, led by Shayla Collins.

Learn More »

Academic Partners

We collaborate with partners in a variety of fields, both across the University of Washington and at other universities and research centers.
UW Center for Child & Family Well-Being
UW School of Nursing
UW School of Nursing
UW School of Public Health
UW School of Nursing
UW Psychology
UW Center for Child & Family Well-Being
UW Psychology

Learn More

Interested in learning more about our programs cultivating mindfulness & compassion? Email Robyn Long at rblong2@uw.edu.