Mindfulness in Therapy

Dr. O'Keefe uses mindfulness strategies in therapy with children and adults on Long Island.  Mindfulness strategies can be done via traditional therapy in the office, as well as, during online therapy.   Mindfulness strategies can include breathing exercises, stretching, positive affirmations, visualization, and/or guided meditation.


Dr. O'Keefe's first professional experience with mindfulness was utilizing this strategy to help parents of children with autism in 2010.  The parents were participating in an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy support group.  Mindfulness was used to help parents stay calm and in control during instances where their children were exhibiting challenging behavior, or they felt judged/ misunderstood by other people.  The participants reported that mindfulness helped them be more aware of their responses during stressful moments, and increased their ability to cope effectively in these situations.

The Power of Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

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—“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” –Jon Kabat-Zinn



Why Does Mindfulness Matter?

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Paying attention to what is happening in the PRESENT MOMENT allows us to take the focus away of what is happening in OUR MINDS (e.g. stress, worry etc.)


Being MENTALLY PRESENT also helps people ENJOY and PARTICIPATE in their LIVES more.






How Can Mindfulness Help Children?

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  • Increase attention span
  • Promote calmness 
  • Decrease stress 
  • We know that a stressed brain does not learn as well. Calm brains are ready to take in new information
  • Learn calming strategies and use them to self-regulate during times of stress 
  • Takes mind off social concerns, peer pressure, academic stress

  

             

How Can Mindfulness Help Adults?

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  • Increase attention span
  • Promote calmness 
  • Decrease stress 
  • Learn calming strategies and use them to self-regulate during times of stress 
  • Takes mind off social, family, work concerns
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Learn a new way to relate to the pain or distress you experience
  • Take some of the "power" away from troubling or upsetting thoughts you may have about yourself or your life 

Is Mindfulness Backed by Research?

Yes, absolutely.


Here are a few resources on mindfulness:


Research:


  • Harvard University Lazar Lab - Neuroscience of Yoga & Meditation

https://scholar.harvard.edu/sara_lazar


  • Mindfulness May Ease Menopausal Symptoms 

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190117090449.htm>.


  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Improves Cognitive Functioning and Flexibility Among Individuals  with Elevated Depressive Symptoms

https://scholar.harvard.edu/sara_lazar/publications/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy-improves-cognitive-functioning-and


  • Reduced Interference in Working Memory Following Mindfulness Training is Associated with Increases in  Hippocampal Volume

 https://scholar.harvard.edu/sara_lazar/publications/reduced-interference-working-memory-following-mindfulness-training



Books on Mindfulness for Students:

  

  • Beal, D. (2016). The brain power classroom: 10 essentials for focus, mindfulness, and emotional wellness. Gilbert, AZ: Best Life Media. 

  

  • Scholastic. (2011). The MindUp Curriculum: Brain-Focused Strategies for Learning- and Living. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.


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Here To Help

This practice offers traditional therapy for children and adults, as well as, online therapy offered via secure video conference.

Be Well Psychological Services

2174 Hewlett Avenue, Suite 200, Merrick, New York 11566, United States

Telephone Number: 516-277-6121

Additional Location:

213 Hempstead Avenue, Unit A, Lynbrook, New York 11563, United States

Telephone Number: 516-277-6121