New Mindfulness Programs at Iowa 2016: A Letter from Bev

Hey, we have a new letter from Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT, Director of Mindfulness-Based Programs at Iowa, about new Mindfulness programs for 2016 and they sound great. And I thought I’d share an abstract of a new pilot study on mindfulness intervention used with depressed healthcare professionals:

Johnson, J. R., et al. “Resilience Training: A Pilot Study of a Mindfulness-Based Program With Depressed Healthcare Professionals.” EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing.

Context

Mindfulness-based programs have been primarily used to target anxiety or the prevention of relapse in recurrent depression; however, limited research has been conducted on the use of mindfulness programs for relief of current depressive symptoms.

Objective

To investigate the potential effect of resilience training (RT) on symptom relief for current or recurrent depression, and other psychological/behavioral outcomes.

Design

Wait-list comparison pilot study.

Setting

Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN.

Participants

A total of 40 actively working healthcare professionals age 18–65 years.

Intervention

RT is an eight-week mindfulness-based program that synergizes elements of mindfulness meditation with nutrition and exercise. The first 20 consecutive individuals meeting all eligibility criteria were assigned to the RT group. The next 20 consecutive eligible individuals were placed into the wait-list control group and had an eight-week waiting period before starting the RT program.

Outcome Measures

Psychological/behavioral outcomes were measured before and after completion of the RT program and two months after completion. Wait-list participants also had measures taken just before starting on the wait-list.

Results

The RT group exhibited a 63–70% (P ≤ .01) reduction in depression, a 48% (P ≤ .01) reduction in stress, a 23% (P ≤ .01) reduction in trait anxiety, and a 52% (P ≤ .01) reduction in presenteeism (a per-employee savings of $1846 over the eight-week program). All outcomes were statistically significantly different from the wait-list group. Most improvements persisted up to two months after completion of the RT program.

Conclusions

Further replication with a larger sample size, and enhanced control group is warranted.

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark go dark. Go without sight
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
~Wendell Berry

Good Afternoon,
I hope you are enjoying these beautiful Fall days even (perhaps especially) if the season includes busy schedules and increased responsibilities. Remember it’s possible to feel the air on the skin, to see the colors in the trees and sky, to experience this breath right now in the body any time at any pace. Easy to do, challenging to remember, essential to inhabiting our lives. Below are the new Mindfulness Program offerings for Winter and Spring 2016. We’re trying a new format in the “Living with Chronic Medical Conditions” graduate group that will include a book on the topic that will be central to the practices and discussions. Registration details are with each entry and/or attached flyers. More info is on our website http://www.uihealthcare.org/mindfulness (always good to check it in case there are corrections or updates). Please join us for a graduate group or retreat and share the 8-week program information with people you think may benefit.
Also, be sure to read to the end of this email to discover one of the lovely and exciting “ripple effects” generated from our Mindfulness Foundations undergraduate academic course!

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. See http://www.uihealthcare.org/mindfulness for more details.

MBSR Jan May 2016

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 for details also. Instructor is Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT.

MBCT Winter 2016

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.

1) Living Intentionally
“Setting a long-term intention is like setting the compass of our heart. No matter how rough the storms, how difficult the terrain, even if we have to backtrack around obstacles, our direction is clear.” Jack Kornfield, mindfulness teacher and author

Sometimes we can become so focused on our goals and what we want to accomplish, that we lose sight of how we want to live. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We can have the goal of getting the child to bed by a certain time and become harsh and dictatorial in that process, or still have the goal while setting “the compass of the heart” with the intention of relating to this precious time of ending the day with this precious person while negotiating the “one more story or glass of water” and do our best to ensure sufficient sleep for the child. Or, we can have goals about teaching a student, meeting a deadline, getting dinner on the table, helping a patient or meditating consistently while holding steady to how we want to be in relationship to whatever we are doing and the people we are doing it with.

This group will explore what intention means in the context of mindfulness and experiment with living intentionally in daily life. Class time will include sitting meditation and discussions of practices. Suggestions, readings and email support will be given for daily formal and informal practices.

Schedule: Tuesday, January 12 through February 9, 2016 Deadline: January 5
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: UI Hospitals and Clinics
Instructor: Chris Klug, M.A., C.T.
Fee: $90 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)
Registration: Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and we will send you specific directions and confirmation of your registration

2) Living Mindfully with Chronic Medical Conditions
Being present with and accepting of current-moment experiences can be challenging, even in times of ease. Living with a chronic medical condition/s can add layers of challenge to this intention through physical discomfort; worries about the future and possible progression of the illness; fear of the unknown; past and current losses; the inevitable, unpredictably appearing, not new but somehow still unexpected (!) symptoms associated – or new symptoms unassociated – with progressive diseases; and dealing with days of essentially feeling “undone” for some time. Because these conditions aren’t always visible to others and the person experiencing them may be going about their life working, parenting, etc., even while hurting or feeling sick, it’s common for the suffering they experience to go unacknowledged or misunderstood by others, thus contributing to them feeling or becoming isolated. When the condition flares periodically, the ensuing limitations may impact their ability to work, maintain social and familial relationships, while also creating uncertainty and possible losses. The practice of mindfulness – opening to what is here with compassion, kindness and wise discernment, can serve as a trusted guide in living as fully as possible, even with this. Let’s explore together and see what your experience is.

The format of this group will be a combination of practice, reading and discussion. There are some mindfulness-based books that people with chronic conditions have recommended and we will use one of them, for now, as a guide for discussion and practice. Weekly home practices will include 2-3 options from suggested pages or chapters in this book, written by a woman with a chronic medical condition and a meditation practice. In addition to sitting in meditation together, class time will consist of discussion about the practices that participants chose from the options each week and their experience of using them in relating mindfully to the chronic condition/s they live with. This focus on and experimentation with new practices may open up new or forgotten ways for everyone in caring for themselves.
The book we’ll use is How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard (2010) Wisdom Publications (see description at
http://www.amazon.com/How-Sick-Buddhist-Inspired-Chronically-Caregivers/dp/0861716264/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1441723266&sr=1-1
Participants will need to obtain this book as suggested readings and practices will be given a week prior to the first class and in each subsequent class. You might check the local libraries (copies very limited) and bookstores for availability, too.
This group is appropriate for people who want to address, through the lens of mindfulness, some of the challenges associated with chronic medical conditions that are not predicted to substantially improve, including, but not limited to: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); Multiple Sclerosis (MS); fibromyalgia; Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (formerly Chronic Fatigue Syndrome); chronic pain; cancer; autoimmune and other inflammatory illnesses and/or medical symptoms that are unexplainable.

Schedule: Mondays, January 25 through February 22, 2016 Deadline: Tuesday, January 19
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: UI Hospitals and Clinics
Instructor: Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT
Fee: $90 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)
Registration: Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and we will send you specific directions, confirmation of your registration and suggested readings

3) Practicing Kindness and Compassion
Meditation requires patience and lovingkindness. If the process of clear seeing isn’t based on self-compassion it will become a process of self-aggression. We need self-compassion to stabilize our minds, to work with our emotions, to stay… ~Pema Chödrön

Mindfulness practice is one of paying attention intentionally with attitudes such as non-judging, patience, and compassion as we hold our experiences in awareness. Lovingkindness meditation is a practice of intentionally nurturing these attitudes toward ourselves and others while still acknowledging the truth of our experience. It can be useful in developing our ability to bring compassion and kindness to self-criticism as well as judgment of others. It’s also helpful in working with forgiveness of the self and others in a way that is appropriate for each individual at the present time. In this practice many people experience a sense of openness, freedom and satisfaction as well as the opportunity to work gently with feelings of anger and sadness. As is always true in the Mindfulness practice, we will work with responding to what arises in each moment rather than trying to make something in particular happen or to achieve some particular thing. Class time will include sitting meditation and suggestions for practice between sessions will be given.

Schedule: Thursdays, April 7 through May 5, 2016 from Noon-1:00 PM
Fee: $90 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)
Location: UI Hospitals and Clinics
Instructor: Kerri Eness-Potter, M.A.
Registration: Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and we will send you specific directions and confirmation of your registration.
Retreats
Anyone who has completed an 8-week MBSR, MBCT, UI Undergraduate, Psychiatry Residency 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 27
March 26
April 30

Mindful@Iowa – New UI Student Organization
One of the many pleasures of teaching mindfulness is seeing the ripple effects that occur beyond any class or program. A recent example…

Some UI students who completed the semester-long course, Mindfulness Foundations (PSQF:1027 College of Education), decided they didn’t want their own mindfulness practice to stop at the end of the semester, nor their connection to others who practice—so they’re founding a student org to help keep it all going! Their intention is to provide a weekly, on-campus, time and space for people who have completed the MF course or any of the Mindfulness programs offered at UIHC to come together for a brief sitting and discussion about mindfulness. They are in the final stages of being approved as an official student org. To get updates on Facebook via Mindful@Iowa or get on an email list for meeting times/locations, please email: astridlinn-montuclard@uiowa.edu. Kerri Eness-Potter, our Program Coordinator and instructor of the Mindfulness Foundations course, has done an excellent job of teaching, inspiring and mentoring these resourceful and committed students. We’re excited to see how they take it from here and move it forward. Contact Astrid for more information.

May you be present in this day and live it fully,
Bev

Bev Klug

Bev Klug

Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT
Director of Mindfulness-Based Programs
Department of Psychiatry, UIHC
200 Hawkins Dr. /1911 JPP
Iowa City, IA 52242
http://www.uihealthcare.org/mindfulness

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