Implementation of Mindfulness Training for Adolescent Residential Clients

Published in: Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, v. 34, no. 2/3, 2013, p. 96-103

Posted on on January 01, 2013

by Maria Orlando Edelen, Jennifer L. Cerully, Ken A. Verni, Joan S. Tucker, Eriach Fox

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PURPOSE: Interest in using mindfulness as a clinical intervention technique has increased, with evidence suggesting that it can be successfully integrated both into treatment for adolescents and for people with substance use disorders. The purpose of this paper is to explore the degree to which mindfulness training can be implemented among adolescents undergoing residential substance abuse treatment. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Nine adolescent males in a residential therapeutic community (TC) substance use treatment center enrolled in a voluntary mindfulness training program consisting of eight 90 minute sessions, each led by a clinical psychologist trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction. After the training program concluded, a brief participant survey and participant and staff focus groups were conducted. FINDINGS: Both survey and focus group discussions indicate that the mindfulness training program was perceived as helpful, acceptable, and feasible. Suggestions for integrating mindfulness training into residential treatment facilities for adolescents are discussed. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This study highlights the potential of mindfulness training to augment traditional TC treatment for adolescents, and provides enough information for practitioners to implement mindfulness training in their treatment settings.

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