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Mindful : February 2014
42of 50 500+ People can receive MBSR training in more than 500 locations in 42 of the 50 United States, with more being added monthly. Source: Center for Mindfulness MBSR sites in states 40 mindful February 2014 health School, with his colleagues Mick Krasner and Tim Quill, have been training primar y care physicians in mindful communication. This has resulted in decreases in emotional exhaustion, depersonaliza- tion of patients, a nd burnout among doctors. I can’t say enough about how the role of mindful- ness-based cognitive therapy is spurring interest in mindfulness among psychologists a nd psychothera- pists, and it has led to some very intriguing research. On another front in psychology, David Creswell has been doing work with loneliness in the elderly. All sorts of conventional interventions have been tried to reduce loneliness in the elderly, and they just never work. Have them do things in groups, form friendships, roast hot dogs—they’re still lonely. He trains them in MBSR, and their loneliness dis- appea rs. What’s that about? And outside of health care? An area where mindfulness is spreading in a truly impressive way is education. What could be more vital for our future than teachers and students sha ring a mindful classroom? There’s the work of Mindful Schools and Inner Kids, to name just t wo of the more prominent groups. There are also federally funded test sites in severa l locations, where teachers are lea rning mindfulness along with their students. I’m really impressed by a manual called Mind- fulness in Public Schools that just came out from the South Burlington Public School District in Vermont. It’s unprecedented that a whole public school system would support mindfulness to the point of develop- ing a teaching ma nual modeled on its own progra m for students and teachers. Another excellent project is the pilot happening in the Madison, Wisconsin, public schools, led by Lisa Flook of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. I was just reading the impressive results reported in the article in Mind, Brain, and Education. They adapted a form of MBSR specifically for teach- ers, a nd among other results, it decreased burnout and increased self-compassion. In higher education, something very promising is a mindfulness-based intervention to help college students deal with anxiety and a challenging envi- ronment that has caused them in many cases to go on medication. It was developed by two psychia- trists at Duke University, Holly Rogers and Marga- ret Maytan, who present it in a book called Mind- fulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives. When mindfulness reaches into our institutions of higher learning, it can have broad societal effects. Where else do you see mindfulness leading to bigger changes? Ma ny well-known businesses a nd business leaders have been bringing mindfulness into their work and What developments outside the laboratory are you following? It’s exciting to see how more people in the medical world are appreciating the mind-body relationship and fostering pa rticipatory medicine, where the patient is not a passive recipient of treatment but a real partner in healing. It marks a sea change in medical education and practice. For example, Dr. Ron Epstein of the University of Rochester Medical “Everything that is taught has to be lived. Life is the curriculum.” ILLUSTRATIONBYBOHDANBURMICH,FROMTHENOUNPROJECT