Mindfulness for Teens

Kim Armstrong

Based on the evidenced-based curriculum of Mindful Self Compassion, the Mindful Schools curriculum, and principles of positive psychology; this 8-week experiential program for teens provides practices and tools to manage stress, increase feelings of happiness and well-being, and promote emotional resilience. In each weekly session, we will discuss concepts related to well-being and do a variety of practices, including mindfulness practices, intentional movement, and creative projects. 

Utilizing Family Skills as a Protective Shield for Families Living Through War, Displacement and Other Challenging Contexts

Aala El Khani Featured

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times, let alone parenting children through war or refugee contexts. Global conflicts entail many changes for children and their families, with the potential for acute and longer-term impact on well-being and mental health. What can we do to help? Effective parenting can act as a protective shield against the difficulties that children face in challenging times. Providing interventions that focus on building strengths in parenting practices can be protective and predict more positive outcomes for children. In this talk, a wide range of open access family skills resources will be shared. As all families can experience highly stressful times, whether it is illness, relationship breakdown or living through a global pandemic, these resources have universal importance and applicability. This talk will reflect on the diverse public health implications of availing family skills resources for the prevention of drug use, mental health, violence and several adverse health and social consequences.

We Are the Medicine: Possibilities for Flourishing Through Difficult Times

Christina Bethell Featured

This session will present new research and approaches to promote child and family well-being using a positive approach to health that fosters self, family and community-led healing of the trauma and adversity concentrated in many of our families and communities today.  The opportunity is enormous to build on strengths, work together to identify priorities, and partner in flourishing. Mindsets that prioritize possibilities, foster a sense of mattering, and support mindfulness and relational skills-building are essential to shift the narrative from trauma and toxic stress to the possibilities for relational health and flourishing for all children and families.

The Promise of the Healing-Centered Paradigm in Education

Acosta Headshot Featured

Drawing on extensive doctoral research and professional practice, this lecture invites participants into an exploration of how practitioners and scholars have deliberately integrated the notion of healing into K-12 curricula and professional education. The evolution of restorative justice, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and trauma-informed teaching reveals a kind of momentum that situates the emergence of the restorative and healing-centered paradigm in educational discourse, practice and research. With the many challenges and crises unfolding before us–ecological disequilibrium, political polarization, socio-economic inequality and health disparities–people who are interested in educating others are challenged with how to take care of themselves, those who they teach and the communities within which they work. Also, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the preexisting conditions that communities, especially those who are most vulnerable, have to contend with. This lecture provides a foundation for thinking, researching and integrating healing-centered education into one’s professional teaching philosophy and practice.