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Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Arts-Based Mindfulness-Based Practices with Young People in Need: Aiming to Improve Aspects of Self-Awareness and Resilience

Abstract

Research in mindfulness-based methods with young people is just emerging in the practice/research literature. While much of this literature describes promising approaches that combine mindfulness with cognitive-behavioral therapy, this paper describes an innovative research-based group program that teaches young people in need mindfulness-based methods using arts-based methods. The paper presents qualitative research findings that illustrate how young people in need (children and youth involved with child protection and/or mental health systems) can benefit from a creative approach to mindfulness that can teach them emotional regulation, social and coping skills, and that can improve aspects of their self-awareness, self-esteem, and resilience.

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Acknowledgments

The research was supported in part by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Sick Kids Foundation. Also, the two organizations that cooperated with this research project were The Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin, and the Child and Family Centre.

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Correspondence to Diana A. Coholic.

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Coholic, D.A. Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Arts-Based Mindfulness-Based Practices with Young People in Need: Aiming to Improve Aspects of Self-Awareness and Resilience. Child Youth Care Forum 40, 303–317 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-010-9139-x

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Group work
  • Creative
  • Arts-based
  • Young people in need
  • Mental health
  • Child protection
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-awareness
  • At-risk youth
  • Resilience