Mindfulness Tools: Helping Children and Teens Stress Less and Connect More

Mindfulness Tools: Helping Children and Teens Stress Less and Connect More

Presenter: Melissa J. Johnson, PhD

Date: Saturday, July 23, 2016

Location: Institute for Girls’ Development, 95 N. Marengo Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

Exciting current research in the fields of psychology, education, and neuroscience indicate that mindfulness practices can help children and teens improve attention and focus, manage stress, enjoy more positive relationships, and increase optimism! Whether you work in an educational or clinical setting or an after-school program, mindfulness tools can be an asset to the youth with whom you work. Come discover creative, fun and meaningful tools for incorporating mindfulness into everyday activities. This presentation will provide participants with current research, practical tools, and experiential exercises to support the effective use of mindfulness with children and teens.

Time: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm (sign-in and light breakfast from 9:00 to 9:30 am)

CE Units: 5.0

Cost: $175.00 (an additional $20 charge applies if you are getting CE units)


Attendees will be able to:

  • Identify one research-based psychological benefit of mindfulness for children and teens
  • Identify one research-based social/relational benefit for children and teens practicing mindfulness
  • Describe three mindfulness activities appropriate for children
  • Describe three mindfulness activities appropriate for teens
  • Identify two ways of involving parents and families when teaching children and teens mindfulness skills.
  • Identify one activity they (the participant) can do to develop their own mindfulness practice and skills

LEVEL: This training is offered at the intermediate level, although those new to the world of mindfulness can benefit. Participants will learn about research, theory and application. This course incorporates a number of experiential learning activities that can be used with children and teens.


Melissa J. Johnson, PhD, licensed psychologist (PSY 13102), is the founder & CEO of the Institute for Girls’ Development in Pasadena, CA. An expert on child and teen development with a Masters in Education and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, Dr. Johnson has worked with children and teens for over 30 years. At the Institute, Dr. Johnson and her team deliver strength-based therapy, inspiring educational programs, and consultation with schools and districts to help create positive school climates. Dr. Johnson’s approach to raising and mentoring girls draws together contemporary research in neuroscience, mind/body health, and evidence based interventions in mindfulness and social & emotional intelligence. The book Stand Up! Speak Out!™ Empowering Skills for Girls’ Friendships: The Essential Guide for Educators and Others Who Work with Girls is now available to provide practical tools for those who mentor girls.

Dr. Johnson has been recognized with numerous awards for her work with children and teens. Dr. Johnson has been recognized by the state of California as an Outstanding Women in Business award winner in 2011. The Junior League of Pasadena named Dr. Johnson as their 2012 honoree for her contributions to the Pasadena community. And the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association awarded Dr. Johnson a lifetime achievement award in 2014. Dr. Johnson is former Interim Chair of the Masters Programs in Counseling at the University of La Verne and has served as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of La Verne and the University of Southern California. Dr. Johnson is a welcomed regional and national speaker. Her peer reviewed publications have appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Her numerous articles about raising strong girls have appeared in community online blogs and newsletters. Dr. Johnson’s book chapter, Girls In-Between: Social, Emotional, Physical and Sexual Development in Context was released in 2014 in the Springer publication, Maternal Mental Health Across the Life Span.


9:00 – 9:30 Registration and light breakfast

9:30–9:45 Welcome, Introduction and Overview of the training

9:45–10:00 Opening mindfulness and participant introductions

10:00–10:20 Why Mindfulness? Research on adults, teens, and children

10:20–10:30 Video about Mindful Breathing

10:30-10:45 Basic Breath Awareness techniques for children and teens

10:45-11:00 Break – and mindful snacking

11:00-12:00 Focused Attention and Spacious Attention: Using the 5 senses and movement

12:00-12:30 Lunch

12:30-1:00 Mindfulness with for difficult feelings

1:00-1:30 Compassion practices: Engaging children and teens in friendly thoughts practices

1:30-1:45 Introduction of Clinical and Classroom scenarios

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00-2:35 Applications to Clinical and Classroom situations

2:35-2:50 Developing a personal mindfulness practice

2:50-3:15 Break out sessions: How do I take this back to my practice, organization or school?

3:15-3:30 Discussion of applications and action plans. Closing Circle Mindfulness Activity.

3:30 Evaluations and Dismissal


Illuminated Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Illuminated Education maintains the responsibility for this program and its content.

The American Psychological Association is on the list of recognized approval agencies of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Refund requests and accommodations will be handled through the Institute for Girls’ Development. Please feel free to call (626.585.8075, ext. 151), fax (626.585.0440), or e-mail Susan Carrier, at SCarrier@IFGD.care with questions, requests and registration information.


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