Editor’s note: There are numerous factors to consider when leading a meditation practice. In this four-part series, physician turned mindfulness teacher Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, and clinical psychologist Greg Serpa, PhD, answer some of the most noteworthy logistical questions about teaching mindfulness. Keep your particular population in mind as you go through their tips; it’s possible that you may have valid reasons to adapt or change the guidelines to suit the needs and experiences of your participants.
While it’s certainly not a requirement, many who are drawn to become mindfulness facilitators are trained psychotherapists. And many of the skills of psychotherapy, such as managing the group dynamic and building rapport, are assuredly useful in facilitating a mindfulness group.
The therapeutic relationship has repeatedly shown to be a determining factor in positive outcomes in psychosis treatment. But how specifically do clinicians ensure that this alliance is the best it can be?
When working with people with psychosis, a compassionate approach is critical, given the high rates of trauma history and the trauma that can be experienced as a result of psychosis symptoms. In some cases, the treatment of psychosis itself can even be traumatizing (for example, being brought into treatment involuntarily by the police).
It’s not exactly news that mindfulness-based therapies are effective. A recent meta-analysis including 209 published empirical outcome studies indicated that mindfulness-based treatments in general were effective in treating a variety of psychological disorders, and as effective as cognitive behavior therapy and pharmacological treatments in the nine studies in which they were compared (Khoury et al., 2013).
Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A with Karen Bluth, PhD, a mindfulness teacher, researcher, and one of the lead authors of a paper published this January in the journal Mindfulness, which examined the efficacy of Learning to BREATHE or L2B, a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents in an alternative school for ethnically diverse, at-risk teens.