Mindfulness Programs at Iowa: A Letter from Bev Klug

Suddenly, sun. Over my shoulder
in the middle of gray November
what I hoped to do comes back,
asking.

Across the street the fiery trees
hold onto their leaves,
red and gold in the final months
of this unfinished year,
they offer blazing riddles.

In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring,
but stories of great birds in migration
carrying small ones on their backs,
predators flying next to warblers
they would, in a different season, eat.

Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
that plunges in a single day from despair
to hope and back again, I commend my life
to Ruskin’s difficult duty of delight,
and to that most beautiful form of courage,
to be happy.

“What the Day Gives,” by Jeanne Lohmann, from The Light of Invisible Bodies: Poems. © Daniel and Daniel Publishing, 2003.

It’s that time of year again–another reminder about Mindfulness programs at Iowa from my teacher, Bev Klug. I’m still sticking to my practice since graduating from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course this past June. I make time for it. “There are no shortcuts to spring.” I was mainly on autopilot for years before the MBSR class, but less so now.

While mindfulness may not be for everybody, developing a practice of mindfulness meditation could produce what some would call a “mindfulness disposition,” which might protect your health.

So, along with the poem above by Lohmann, Bev sends her gentle message.

“Good Morning,

I hope you’ve been awake to this lovely fall season and the gradual transitions towards winter.  It’s such a reminder of the impermanence and change that is always a part of life.  Sometimes we take pleasure in the changes, other times we fear them and often we’re not aware of them at all.  And yet, here they are!  How are you engaging with them?

Below are the upcoming mindfulness program offerings that will begin in January, 2015.  Registration details are with each entry.  More info is on our website www.uihealthcare.org/mindfulness  (always good to check it in case there are corrections or updates).  There is still one more graduate group offering this fall on cultivating gratitude (see website for details).

 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

This 8-week program assists people who want to learn to use their own internal resources to respond more skillfully to stress, medical and psychological conditions and to promote healthy living.  Please share the information with people whom you think might benefit. Everyone is welcome whether or not they are a UI employee. UI employees may be eligible for full fee support through UI Wellness. They need to meet employment criteria, fill out the Personal Health Assessment at http://hr.uiowa.edu/livewell and schedule an appointment with a health coach.  Currently registered UI students receive a 50% discount on the fee.  Non-UI employees who are highly motivated to participate, but have severely limited financial resources, may request a scholarship application.  Options for the required informational sessions are listed on the attached flyer, MBSR Winter 2015. See www.uihealthcare.org/mindfulness for more details.

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

MBCT is a program that integrates mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy.  Scientific research supports that it is effective, when practiced consistently, for prevention of depression relapse and, for some, reduced use or elimination of anti-depressant medication.  It can also be helpful in relating skillfully to anxiety.  People who have had episodes of depression must be currently in at least partial remission in order to participate. The group is similar in structure and format to the MBSR program, with more focus on being aware of cognitive, emotional and behavioral patterns that contribute to depression relapse and/or escalation of anxiety and using the practice of mindfulness to respond more skillfully.  MBCT and the required intake session are paid for by most insurance plans with mental health and group therapy coverage. Participants must have a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. You can participate in this program even if you have completed MBSR and, in fact, many people find it useful to do so if they experience chronic depression and/or anxiety. Contact Tess or Keely at mindfulness@uiowa.edu or 319-384-5089 to schedule an intake session. See attached flyer, MBCT Winter 2015 for details also.  Instructor is Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT.

 

Graduate Groups

The groups below are open to people who have completed one of our 8-week programs at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Carver College of Medicine or University of Iowa (academic courses).  UI employees with flex spending accounts may be reimbursed for the fees. Many people find that the graduate groups help them return to more consistent practice, deepen what they are already doing, and/or benefit from practicing and discussing mindfulness with others.

 

“The body says what words cannot.” –Martha Graham, dancer & choreographer

 

  1. Befriending the body

The body is our concrete, constant connection to the present moment, providing a barometer for the physical, cognitive and emotional “weather patterns” that swirl through our inner and outer landscapes and often, unbeknownst to us, dictate our behaviors.  These behaviors that get hijacked may include how we nourish and care for ourselves.  Awareness of and friendly attention to the body opens us to possibilities of truly inhabiting our lives with a more accurate “read” on the current “weather” coupled with wise discernment on what’s called for.

Class time will include formal mindfulness practice, suggestions for daily practice and discussion regarding your experiences of each.  Email support will be offered between sessions.

 

Schedule:  Mondays, January 26-February 23, 2015                         Deadline: January 20

Time:  5:30-6:30pm

Location: UI Hospitals and Clinics

Instructor: Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT

Fee: $75 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)

Registration: Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and Tess or Keely will send you directions to the location

 

2Mindfully Thinking or Lost in the Stories?

Our cognitive ability to plan, problem-solve, create, reason, organize, etc is a marvelous capacity.  Yet, our lives are limited if we are chronically trapped in the thinking mind, missing our other sensory and emotional experiences that are also essential aspects of being human.  What are the nature and patterns of thinking? How do we become lost in the stories of past and future and find our way back to now and the full range of human experiences? How do we relate to them skillfully, i.e., so that they contribute to our happiness and well-being and limit our suffering (and often the suffering of others)? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this graduate group as we “pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” to the ongoing process we call thinking.

Class time will include formal mindfulness practice, suggestions for daily practice and discussion regarding your experiences of each.  Email support will be offered between sessions.

 

Schedule: Wednesdays, February 11-March 11, 2015                        Deadline:  February 4

Time: 5:30-6:30pm

Location:  UI Hospitals and Clinics

Instructor:  Chris Klug, M.A, C.T.

Fee:  $75 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)

Registration:  Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and Tess or Keely will send you directions to the location

 

Retreats

Anyone who has completed an 8-week MBSR, MBCT, UI Undergraduate or teen group is welcome to attend an extended retreat.  There is no fee but donations to the scholarship program are encouraged. Directions are attached.  Check with us prior to attending to confirm date and location in case there are changes.  Directions are attached.  Upcoming retreats will be Saturday from 9:00 am-3:00 pm on the following dates

February 28

March 28

May 9

 

University of Iowa Courses for Academic Credit (Details available on ISIS)

Our courses for UI undergraduates have been very successful. If you know a student who is interested, tell them to check ISIS to register.

7P:027 (PSQF:1027:0001)  Mindfulness Foundations – 3 credit hours

A semester course for undergraduate students interested in learning about the personal, professional and academic aspects of mindfulness. Students will have the opportunity to apply their practical experience with mindfulness to individual interest areas including education, psychology/counseling, human relations, healthcare, etc.  Once they choose an interest area, they will read some of the research literature in that area and integrate their personal experience with what the research suggests and apply these in practical ways to their area of interest.

 

Mindfulness Research

Research studies continue to support the significant benefits of consistent mindfulness practice in health and well-being.  This is no small thing as the health care system attempts to embrace wellness and prevention as well as intervention.   If you’re interested in keeping up on the latest studies that support all three, this link will take you there http://www.mindfulexperience.org/ .  And, if you feel that you’ve personally benefitted from mindfulness practice, let your healthcare providers and administrators know.

 

Scholarship Fund: Tax-deductible donations to Mindfulness-Based Programs

If you would like to help make Mindfulness-Based Programs available to people who do not have the financial resources to participate, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the UI Foundation (write Mindfulness in the memo section on your check), and send it to me at UIHC/Department of Psychiatry, 1911 JPP, 200 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City 52242.  If you would like to donate specifically to scholarships for the teen mindfulness groups, please write “Teen Mindfulness” in the memo section of the check.

 

Spring 2015  MBSR dates:

Wednesdays, March 25 – May 13, 2015, 6:00-8:00pm

Thursdays, March 26- May 14, 9:30-11:30am

(see website for details soon)

 

Spring 2015 Graduate Groups

Mindfulness and Patient Care

Cultivating Equanimity

(see website for details soon)

 

Summer 2015 Mindful Teens

Teens will be invited to cultivate the practices of being present in their lives and developing the skills of attention, self-regulation of emotion, and responding to internal and external experiences with wisdom and kindness, one moment at a time. This will be a modified 8-week MBSR program for 14-18 year olds. UI employees may be reimbursed for the fee if they have a flex spending account and their teen is referred by a physician. Scholarship applications are available for those with significant financial need. Kerri Eness-Potter, M.A., will be the instructor.  See our website for details. Contact us to be on the waiting list.

 

bevklugThanks for your support!”

 

Thank you, Bev.

 

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