Mindfulness mending the gap!
A meeting of minds
BY ANTHONY KERR · JUNE 2, 2015
A joint training course was set up and run in partnership between the University and Sunderland Carers Centre. Six second year Social Work students and six adult carers took part, the students attended as part of their practice placement, focused on the concepts of “Mindfulness” and “Meditation”.
The course was facilitated by independent trainer Yvonne Bruce and ran for six consecutive weeks, and focused on embedding a wide variety of skills which will enable learners to benefit from the daily practice of meditation and mindfulness.
Key to the course was the hope that both students and carers would learn from each other, share experiences and develop their understanding of each other’s roles and challenges. Often barriers develop between professionals and carers with communication potentially becoming very challenging. This training explored those barriers so that all participants could work more effectively with each other and build respectful and collaborative relationships.
“We hope that the students will be able to take their learning into their placements and share their experiences,” says Jane Tunmore, Team Leader in Applied Studies, “This has been a fantastic opportunity for students and carers to develop their understanding of each other’s lives and roles.”
After the course, both students and carers commented on how helpful the course had been. Students said the techniques they learned helped them with university work, their practice placements and in getting to know carers and their real life situations. Students commented that ” it has had a great impact” and “helps you look at things from a different point of view – a real eye opener”. Carers also commented positively saying “it has helped me deal with my caring responsibilities in a calmer manner” and “helps you see the human side of professionals”.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness teaches us how to stay in the moment, and not to allow ourselves to dwell on the past or worry about the future.
• It can reduce stress and anxiety
• It can change the way you think and feel
With practice, you will find yourself more able to recognise your thoughts as just thoughts and not get carried away by them.
• It can improve your sleep patterns
• It will help you concentrate and see things clearly and calmly
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