Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens

Adolescence is a time of change and growth. It is the period of life reserved for rebellion and self-discovery, but as the demands in life increase for teens, this time is often fraught with confusion, anxiety or depression. For many teens these challenges lead to disconnection and isolation. This course, Making Friends with Yourself, is designed to facilitate awareness, self-kindness and an understanding of our common humanity in response to these growing challenges. Through developmentally appropriate activities and carefully crafted practices and meditations, teens have an opportunity to learn how to navigate the emotional ups and downs of life with greater ease. This course creates an opportunity for adolescents to construct a healthier world-view and gives rise to greater compassion and empathy toward self and others. In a preliminary research study, this program demonstrated a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, perceived stress and negative mood. This curriculum was adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion created by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and has been endorsed by Neff and Germer.

The overarching goal of Making Friends With Yourself is to help teens turn toward the emotional ups and downs of this life stage with greater ease, to offer them specific tools for recognizing and managing their struggles, and to help them learn how to meet these struggles with kindness and compassion. This understanding was clearly expressed by another teen in a statement she made after the compassionate friend meditation: “You know … I’m thinking that it’s ok if other kids don’t like me… because I like me!”

Key Features :Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults:

  • Each course is taught with two instructors; one is a Clinical Counsellor
  • This course is not therapy, but therapeutic in nature.
  • Participants focus on skill development & brain training; Not group therapy
  • Participants will learn to calm their minds using science based approach to self compassion and mindfulness
  • Fee includes a family orientation session and a two hour workshop in Mindful & Compassionate Parenting
  • Graduates of this course may re-enroll for a reduced rate upon completion of the course
  • Ages 12-20

The Process:

  1. Apply to MFY program
  2. Family and Teen orientation to determine if MFY course is the best fit
  3. Teen Sessions 1H 45mins for 8 weeks
  4. Parents Night – 2.5 hours- 4 weeks into the program

A preliminary research study on the effectiveness of MFY 8 week teen program,  showed a decrease in depression, anxiety by 32% and reduction in perceived stress and negative mood.

 

 

About the Instructors for MFY:

Dominique Sullivan BBA, BEd ,MEd , MFY Teacher Trainee , is a teacher-librarian in Nanaimo BC and yoga instructor. She has experience with teaching students meditation and mindfulness in an educational setting and is a facilitator with with Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Dominique has presented around the province regarding dyslexia, Adhd, mindfulness, self regulation, executive functioning, teacher burn-out, and bringing mindfulness to the classroom.

Ben Geselbracht B.Sc., MA. is a Registered Clinical Counsellor.  He was worked extensively with teens and youth as a counsellor and program facilitor addressing all aspects of mental health.  Ben has supported/treated many individuals in the corrections system and is very adept in working with mental health challenges arising from trauma and grief and loss. Ben has presented and participated in mindful education for teens and young adults  for many years in a variety of settings including: clinical work to lunch and learns.