Mindfulness training for occupational therapy students

STEW Graham
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(6), June 2011, pp.269-276.

This article describes the experiences of 20 occupational therapy students over the course of three introductory mindfulness programmes spread over a period of 9 months. The programmes, run at a university in Southern England, were designed to support them in managing stress in their personal and professional lives. Being aware that in his position as a lecturer at the university and leader of the mindfulness programme he might influence the students’ responses, the author used hermeneutic phenomenology in an attempt to step back and reflect on the responses during the analysis. Data were collected through interviews, questionnaires and emails. Five themes emerged demonstrating the effects of mindfulness on students' personal lives, academic work and practice placements. Obstacles to mindfulness practice were found, alongside evidence of benefits in terms of enhanced self-awareness and insight into habitual thought patterns. The students successfully used techniques for managing stressful situations. The author concludes by discussing the potential for the inclusion of mindfulness training in the occupational therapy curriculum.

Subject terms:
mindfulness, occupational therapists, psychology, self-concept, self-help, stress, students, training, curriculum development;
Content type:
Journal home page
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