Regrets: Conference Cancelled

Banff 52 – Mindfulness for Families, Schools, and Communities

From Promotion to Intervention

March 15 to 18, 2020

Workshop registration will be restricted to ensure a reasonable size.  If there is insufficient room in a workshop, you will be asked to enroll in another.

A: David Vago, Vanderbilt University

Long-term 25-year Retrospective Follow-up of a Mindful Classroom: Cognitive, Psychosocial, and Qualitative Changes

There has yet to be any long-term evaluation of the effectiveness of mindfulness skill training in children. This workshop will describe a naturalistic retrospective mixed methods study that takes advantage of the implementation of mindfulness skills training based on Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), introduced to 4th and 5th graders (9-11 years old) in a public elementary school in South Jordan, Utah, during the years 1993-1996 by a teacher named Cherry Hamrick. The workshop will report on potential long-term effects of exposure to mindfulness training during elementary school, on subsequent health attitudes, and well-being as adults, and provide pilot data for contemporary curriculum development aimed at integrating contemplative practices and skills development into K-12 education. Other students from the same school district and same time period, but not exposed to the training, served as a comparison control. Participants were assessed using: 1) self-report questionnaires targeting various aspects of mental and physical health, 2) performance-based measures assessing sustained attention and inhibitory control (e.g., Attention Network Test, Sustained Attention Response tasks), and 3) semi-structured interviews of a highly selective group of ex-students in an in-depth qualitative study. Implications and suggestions for curriculum development around the culture of the classroom will be discussed.


B: Zindel Segal, University of Toronto-Scarsborough

The Three Minute Breathing Space: Promise and Paradox 

Programs that teach mindfulness meditation for greater physical or mental health contain a number of intriguing dialectics. Are participants learning skills or a way of being, how can we promise relief when much of what is being trained is not-striving? The Three Minute Breathing Space (3MBS) is an informal mindfulness practice that, although conceived and developed within MBCT, has found considerable traction outside this framework as a brief and portable way to practice mindfulness throughout the day. For many of our participants, it is the most enduring practice engaged with well after the program has ended. The Three Minute Breathing Space also encapsulates many of the aforementioned paradoxes and serves as a wonderful point of entry for understanding how they can be addressed. This workshop will employ didactics, experiential practice and simulated teaching to explore the 3MBS through the lens of attentional deployment, intentionality, and what is meant by the informal or casual practice of mindfulness.


C: Robert W. Roeser, Pennsylvania State University

Art and Science of Human Flourishing: Teaching Contemplative Practices in Education

In this workshop, I will describe the Student Flourishing Initiative, a constellation of universities interested in renewal in higher education through curricular innovation. Specifically, I will describe the evolution and evaluation of a college-course called the Art and Science of Human Flourishing. This contemplative practices-based course is aimed at (a) preventing or reducing mental health challenges among first-year college students (e.g., anxiety), and (b) cultivating their wellbeing and flourishing. I will describe the theory behind the course, the curriculum, and a research study we have been conducting on the course. I will also introduce participants to the main concepts and practices of the course, and discuss these practices within the wider context of the emerging field of Contemplative Education. The workshop will be highly dialogic and experiential.


D: Douglas Coatsworth, Colorado State University

Mindful Parenting and Mindful Families: Practices, Programs and Evidence

Busy schedules, distracting digital devices and long commutes are common demands of modern society. The depth of these demands strain the well-being of families and parents. Authors, clinicians and scientists have begun to explore how bringing mindfulness practices to parents and families can reduce strains and struggles, increase the intimate, emotional connections within families, and reduce individual and family problems. This interactive workshop will explore some of the common practices that are applied in mindful approaches to working with parents and families and what the scientific evidence shows about the efficacy of these approaches. In this workshop, we describe the theoretical foundations of mindfulness applied to parenting and families. We introduce participants to several rigorously tested Mindful Parenting programs and illustrate activities that are used in the programs to build mindful parenting skills. These approaches are used with a range of populations and we will explore the evidence for mindful parenting/family approaches in both clinical and non-clinical settings.  


E: Molly Stewart Lawlor, University of British Columbia

Mindfulness Goes to School: Promoting the Whole Child with Mindful Awareness Practice

A fundamental mission of schooling is to educate the “whole child,” which includes promoting the social and emotional side of learning in addition to academic skills. Both Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and the field of contemplative education emphasize the development of positive self-, moral, social, and emotional understanding. Increasingly, school-based primary prevention efforts are incorporating mindful awareness practices (MAPs) to foster student attention, resiliency, and well-being. This workshop will review current theoretical and empirical understanding in regards to the application of mindful awareness practices in educational contexts, and how MAPs may facilitate SEL within K-7 educational contexts. Several research and evidence-based programs and resources will be shared, including: 1) An overview of the evidence-based MindUP Program (; 2) Committee for Children’s mindfulness app Mind Yeti (; and 3) The WE Well-Being program (, a newly developed program that integrates MAPs with experiential service learning and SEL. The workshop will offer participants opportunities for experiential practice, reflection, and shared discussion about the application of MAPs in school settings. 


F: Sona Dimidjian, University of Colorado-Boulder

Nourishing Wellness: Skillful Action in Mindfulness-based and Contemplative Approaches to Mental Health

In this workshop, we will explore the ways in which developing the foundational skills of mindfulness can allow us to use action with intention and awareness to improve mental health and wellness. We will explore specific components of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and other contemplative practices that strengthen the capacity to make wise choices in challenging moments and engage routine daily activities in beneficial ways. We will explore theoretical and empirical understandings of the ways in which one’s relationship with time can create barriers to wellness through a sense of time pressure or scarcity. In an interactive and experiential format, we will explore sources of nourishment and support in our daily lives and contemplative practices designed to help us draw more intentionally from these sources of nourishment and support.


G: Katie Witkiewitz, University of New Mexico

Mindfulness-Based Interventions in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

This workshop provides an introduction to mindfulness-based interventions to increase awareness of triggers and automatic reactions in the service of reducing heavy drinking, reactive behaviors, behavioral addictions, and drug use, as well as the risk of relapse to substance use following treatment. This workshop will include a review of outcomes from four randomized clinical trials of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, which have found mindfulness-based relapse prevention to be more effective than community treatment as usual and relapse prevention in reducing relapse to drug use and heavy drinking. The workshop will also describe our ongoing adaptations of mindfulness-based relapse prevention in an outpatient alcohol clinic and a residential treatment facility for individuals with substance use disorder. The workshop will discuss the mechanisms by which mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to be effective in the treatment of alcohol, nicotine, and substance use disorders. The workshop will be experiential, providing the opportunity to learn about the intentions and principles of mindfulness-based interventions through mindfulness practices. Learning objectives include:

  • Explain the theoretical and empirical foundations underlying a mindfulness-based approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Describe the key practices, adaptations, and challenges of mindfulness practices for use with alcohol and drug users.
  • Evaluate how to incorporate mindfulness-based practices into the clinical treatment of alcohol and substance use disorders and basic principles for conducting mindfulness-based intervention research.


H: Christa Turksma, CREATE

CARE: Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education

Teaching is a very stressful profession and there has been increased awareness of the stresses faced by educators, including support staff and administrators. This workshop will review the theory and practices of the CARE Program. CARE ( is an evidence-based program for teachers and others in caring professions. This workshop will include experiential activities that demonstrate key aspects of the CARE Program, including short mindfulness practices and practices regarding emotional awareness and regulation. The learning goals of the workshop are to:

  • Understand the concept of mindfulness and how this supports the resilience of teachers/administrators
  • Demonstrate how mindfulness practices improve the social and emotional competence of teachers and the climate of the classroom
  • Experience and reflect on the effect of mindfulness practices as a participant.