Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Core Mindfulness:

Increasing present moment awareness of one’s self, others and the environment.

Parents often wonder if their teenager that is impulsive and does not think logically will ever be able to begin thinking through their decisions and be more reasonable in the choices that they make.
Sorenson’s Ranch School facilitates a skills group entitled Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) developed by Marsha Linehan. The DBT group focuses on teaching skills to assist with developing Core Mindfulness, Interpersonal Relationships, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance. The majority of students at Sorenson’s Ranch School have difficulty in at least one of these areas; therefore learning the DBT skills can be an important piece of their therapy.
In addition to teaching self awareness the Core Mindfulness skills teach about three states of mind, which include: reasonable mind, emotional mind, and wise mind. Students are taught to combine the reasonable mind, which is thinking rationally and logically based only on facts and emotional mind, which occurs when thoughts and behavior are controlled by emotions in order to be in the wise mind state. The wise mind state allows students to incorporate logic including the concept of what is right versus what is wrong with the emotional mind, which teenagers typically use most frequently. Students are taught with this skill to stop and think before acting and to learn to make decisions that are well thought out and based on truth as well as to look at how they are feeling and what the surroundings are telling them about the situation.
Using the DBT skills along with behavior modification ensures that students learn to change and manage their behavior including making decisions that are less impulsive and more thought out.

Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderlines Personality Disorder. N.Y.: The Guilford Press.

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