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Mind-MSC-T Workshop

Mindfulness: Youth & Teens

“At first, I felt my heart pounding like a drum.  And as we counted 3 breaths in and 3 breaths out, my heart didn’t feel so loud.  It quieted, and I felt better at the end of the practice.  I felt calm.” — 5th-grade student


The practice of mindfulness provides youth and teens with opportunities to understand, experience, and relate to their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations through a curious and compassionate lens.  Thankfully, more and more schools are recognizing the value a consistent and integrated mindfulness curriculum can provide students:

  • Emotional regulation skills (i.e. fewer meltdowns; greater emotional capacity)

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

  • Improving concentration, focus, and memory

  • Reducing impulsivity (i.e. pause, breath, think/question oneself, and then act)

  • Better performance in school 

  • Improved sleep


In today’s world, the practice of mindfulness provides an opportunity for kids to simply unplug and just feel in the present moment —their heart beating like a drum, the sounds of birds and waves crashing, the taste of a crisp, sweet grape —all the while building a preventative tool of emotional and physical resilience for their future.

Mindfulness Self-Compassion for Teens 

Understanding Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T) through a short conversation with teens:
Q: What would you say to a friend who was suffering?"
A: I’m so sorry you’re hurting" -  How can I help you? - What do you need right now?"Do you want to hang out?"
Q: How would you express your words?"
A: With kindness” - With a soft tone in my voice" 
Q: What body gestures would you exhibit?"
A: A hand to my heart" - A hug” - An arm around their shoulder" - "My facial expression would show them that I feel their pain"
Q: Do you offer yourself the same kind, gentle words, gestures, and expressions when you have experienced suffering?"
A: Pause, silence — no" — "it’s not that easy" — "I don’t feel deserving of this kind of support" — 
What is a MSC-T Workshop?

The MSC-T 8-week workshop was developed by Karen Bluth, and based on the Mindful Self-Compassion research and courses created by Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer.  MSC and MSC-T are based on empirical evidence outlining the positive results of the program. Mindful Self-Compassion is based on three components that naturally go hand in hand:

  1. Mindfulness: developing awareness of thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and inner struggles with a variety of practices/tools to support oneself —alongside a willingness to be curious and open to whatever arises

  2. Self-Kindness: learning ways of treating oneself with kindness through gestures, words, and experiences that support oneself

  3. Common Humanity: understanding that we are never alone in whatever it is that we are experiencing

“These elements serve to open the hearts of teens to their own suffering, so they can learn to give themselves what they truly need, recognize that they are not alone in their suffering, and encourage an open-minded acceptance of the struggle they are facing.” — Karen Bluth

What this workshop is not:
  • A mindfulness meditation course

    • Mindfulness is one component of each session

  • A therapy session

    • I am not a therapist

    • There are no “Why” questions: “Why do you feel that?” etc.

  • A requirement to participate

    • Teens will never have to participate; they merely need to be present, listen, and be respectful of others


Components of the workshop:
  • Healthy Snacks : )

  • Art 

  • Movement 

  • Music

  • Activities

  • Mindfulness meditation

  • Journaling


Who would benefit from the workshop?
A teen who suffers from:
  • negative self-talk
  • self-doubt

  • feeling overwhelmed by an inner critic

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • self-harm


Hear what teen participants have to say about the workshop:  
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