The Spirited School Counselor

Mindfulness in Action

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Untitled design (2)My last 3 posts have focused on what mindfulness is, what research is saying, and different resources and curriculum available.

Just as I finished the last post, I thought maybe you would like to see how I used mindfulness as an intern.

I completed my 2nd semester internship at a local middle school. While there a great opportunity presented itself. The school psychology practicum student needed to co-lead a 4-5 session group and the counselors and school psychologist thought I might like to co-lead it with her. They were right! We worked in a special education classroom with 4-8 students each week for 4 sessions (attendance varied due to time with the speech therapist, behavioral consequences (suspension/office), and just day to day absences. These students were in mainstream classes for the majority of the day but were placed in a skills lab class for extra academic support. After consulting with their teacher, we realized that social skills is where our main focus needed to be; however, we also wanted to included a mindfulness piece to the group lessons.

As I mentioned in an earlier post – a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way! We spent about 5 minutes on mindfulness each class period but the results were exciting. Students reported being able to often or almost always keep their bodies from getting
tight and tense when they were feeling angry and upset. When we initially asked this question the range of answers was across the scale (never-seldom-sometimes-often-almost always). I wonder what would have happened if we had increased the number of session as well as our focus on this topic. It makes me excited to include this practice in the future.

So what did I do?

On my weebly I posted my 4 session lesson plans (5 lessons total – we combined 2) titled: Mindful Breaths, Social Skills, & Teamwork: Group Lesson Plans. The lessons crosswalk ASCA standards, Virginia counseling standards, and Virginia standards of learning. In the lessons you will notice that we used the same short clip each session. This was to help students get into a calm mindset during our time together, as well as time to practice what we were teaching them. I cannot share the exact mindful schools clip that I used during our group time since its part of their course Mindfulness Fundamentals; however, I found one that is very similar on their website called Mindfulness of the Breath. They also have several other free options on their site, as well.

How are you incorporating mindfulness into your counseling program?

Thanks for stopping by!

-Elizabeth

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Author: thespiritedschoolcounselor

Hey there! I started blogging about my experiences through graduate school and now have continued as a working school counselor. I am currently working in an elementary school but try hard to keep up-to-date on all things school counselor, as well as topics in education. I hope to share ideas, document what I am doing, network, be inspired, inspire, and collaborate with others through this blog. My professional portfolio can be found here: http://elizabethcranford.weebly.com/ Thanks for stopping by!

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