Trails Carolina Mindfulness Programming

    Adopting an evidence-based and holistic approach to treatment, Trails Carolina incorporates the practice of mindfulness and yoga into the clinical work and daily routine with students.

    Students at Trails Carolina partake in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum to expand their capacity to manage stress in a nourishing and non-judgmental way.  Originally developed at UMASS Medical School by John Kabat-Zinn, a medical doctor interested in teaching mindfulness to individuals with chronic pain, MBSR has evolved into a globally recognized curriculum for teaching mindfulness techniques to improve overall mental health.  Core components of the MBSR groups at Trails include grounding techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, mindful movement, and thought-stopping techniques to help students develop a deeper sense of their body and regain control of their actions and internal processes.

    Throughout their time at Trails, students are regularly encouraged to tune into their senses, pause, and strengthen their mental capacity to be still and content without constant distractions.  Mindfulness techniques are also shared with all parents of Trails Carolina students as a valuable resource that can be incorporated into parenting and can also be applied as a coping strategy.  By educating both parents and students in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Trails Carolina provides families with a common experience that contributes to positive parent-child relationships and improves treatment outcomes.

    Mindfulness and Yoga are embedded into the daily routine of all Trails Carolina students.  Mornings begin with a guided breathing exercise, and the day closes with a yoga flow and meditation preparing them for a night of restful sleep.  This routine encourages students to develop a true practice that they can take with them after their time at Trails.

    Yoga provides both physical and mental benefits to students.  Progressive research on trauma has shown that the impact of traumatic experiences are stored throughout one’s entire body (not just the mind).  Yoga invites students to release this buried distress through flowing movement and focusing on the breath.   Therapeutic yoga sessions serve as a vehicle for students to stand up taller, feel comfortable in their bodies, and empower them to access tools that they have had within themselves all along.  This mind-body connection provides integral support to the traditional clinical modalities used at Trails.

    For more information on MBSR, please go here:
    http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulness-based-programs/mbsr-courses/about-mbsr/history-of-mbsr/
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/crisis-knocks/201003/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-what-it-is-how-it-helps

    For more information on yoga and mental health:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201305/take-stand-yoga-today

    Read Kaitlin’s blog about yoga and mindfulness at Trails here: 

    https://trailscarolina.com/blog/yoga-mindfulness-can-reduce-stress-teens-trails-carolina-family-therapist-explains/

    Kaitlin Kertesz, MSW, LCSWA
    “RYT” Registered Yoga Teacher – Asheville Yoga Center
    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction “MBSR” – Mindful Academy, Spain
    Yoga as Therapy 100-hour Training – Soulful Yoga, Boston, MA.

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