Mindfulness Applications in the Field
As the research on mindfulness and attention proliferates, clinicians and educators are seeking ways to apply it in practice. In her private practice in west Los Angeles, Zylowska is involved in teaching adults with ADHD as well as other clinicians working with this population how to use mindfulness for ADHD. Her website, listed below, has an overview of the MAPs for ADHD program as well as a compact disc, “Mindful Solutions for Adult ADD/ADHD,” which provides ADHD education and mindfulness practices similar to those used in the MAPs for ADHD study.
In addition, mindful awareness training often is conducted in education centers and yoga studios. Though they do not always gdirectly address ADHD, they help people who have learning and emotional challenges as well as trouble with focus or concentration. For example, Susan Kaiser Greenland, founder of InnerKids in Los Angeles, is a former corporate lawyer who has worked with children ages 4 to 12 since 2000. She is actively writing and speaking about mindfulness training for children. Greenland says on the InnerKids website that mindfulness helps children deal with stress and intellectual challenges. Jennifer Cohen at Little Flower Yoga in New York City has used yoga and mindfulness (through guided imagery) to help children with physical and learning challenges. She has been a presenter at the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Mindfulness in Education conference (Omega Institute, New York, August, 2010).
Mindfulness can help everyone in today’s hectic world, Zylowska said. “There are a lot of ways to be distracted, and we can all apply mindfulness. The key is to use mindfulness in daily life by checking where your attention is as you are doing routine activities. If you notice yourself distracted or lost in thinking, gently bring the attention to the present moment. The returning to the present moment is what trains attention. This technique is also very helpful for dealing with stress and emotional overwhelm.”
For more information, see these websites:
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Mindful Awareness Research Center
Lidia Zylowska, MD (author site)
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society
The Inner Kids Foundation
Susan Kaiser Greenland (author site)
Yoga Service Council
Jha, A.P., Stanley, Elizabeth A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., Gelfand, L (2010). Examining the Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity and Affective Experience of Emotion. Emotion, Vol. 10, No. 1, 54–64
Flook L., Smalley S.L., Kitil, M.J., Galla, B., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J., Kretzmann M., Ishijima, E., Kasari, C (2010). Mindful Awareness Practices Improve Executive Function in Elementary School Children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, Vol. 26, No. 1, 70-95.
Singh, N. N., Singh, A. N., Lancioni, G. E., et al. (2010). Mindfulness training for parents and their children with ADHD increases the children’s compliance. Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, 15.
Zylowska, L., Ackerman, D. L., Yang, M. H., Futrell, J. L., Horton, N. I., Hale, S., et al. (2008). Mindfulness meditation training in adults and adolescents with ADHD: A feasibility study. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11(6), 737-746.
Zylowska L, Smalley SL: Mindful Awareness for ADHD. In Mindfulness and its Clinical Applications Didonna F (ed). Springer, 2008.