TOWARDS COMPASSION BASED TEACHING  
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English
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Profile

Languages understood:

Norwegian, English,

With which level of education are you involved?

Other: High school students and psychiatric outpatients

What discipline do you teach (mainly)?

Other: mindfulness training and coping skills

Does your school, college or faculty teach for a specific discipline or is the education more general?

Other: I teach mindfulness and cognitive coping skills to anyone interested, either groups or individuals

Are you yourself working with pupils/students or are you otherwise involved in education, (e.g. educational policy)?

(mainly) research

What kind of organisational relation do you have with your educational work?

(mainly) professional / important source of income.

How many years is it since you first started your efforts to integrate mindfulness into your educational work?

5

On average, what age are the pupils/students with who you are working?

16 - 18 yrs..

Can you describe briefly what you are doing with your pupils/students to integrate mindfulness in your educational work?

I have created a mindfulness-based coping (MbC) skills training course for students at Norwegian high schools. The course is based upon the book "Mestringsteknikker for livsvansker" (Tharaldsen & Otten, 2008; only in Norwegian), which is a psychosocial skills training class developed for psychiatric outpatients. The course used in high schools teaches students mindfulness techniques, as well as important coping skills from cognitive psychology. There are strong similiarities with CBT and DBT. Mindfulness techniques are mainly used as an initial secondary appraisal in that I strongly believe that being mindful of distress may increase the youth's awareness of their experienced distress and hence indrease their use of constructive coping skills, in preference to inadequate coping..

What is it that would be most helpful to you to (further) improve your work with integrating mindfulness in your educational work, besides deepening your own practice?

It will be of great value to learn about other ways of integrating mindfulness in educational work, as well as learn more about research on awareness-training for high school students.

Have you noticed or heard of any changes in the behaviour of your pupils/students?

Yes

What is the nature of the changes you have noticed in the behaviour of your pupils/students?

I have unambigous findings so far. At this point quantitative findings (questionnaire) in my own research suggests that awareness-training increases youth's symptoms of mental ill-health in that they become more aware of difficult experiences in their lives. Despite this, qualitative findings (interviews) suggest that they learn more about what troubles them and what they need to learn to cope better with. However, among psychiatric patients the training seems to better symptoms of mental ill-health overall.

What is the base of the mindfulness practise you are using in your educational work?

Other: I am a trained mindfulness instructor of Andries Kroese, which has developed his instructor course in cooperation with Jon Kabat-Zinn.