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Mindful Parenting

Despite its inherent joys, the challenges of parenting can produce considerable stress. These challenges multiply and the quality of parenting suffers when a parent or child has mental health issues, or when parents are in conflict. Even under optimal circumstances, the constant changes as children develop can tax parents' inner resources, often undoing the best intentions and parenting courses. Mindful Parenting: A Guide for Mental Health Practitioners offers an evidence-based, eight week structured mindfulness training program for parents with lasting benefits for parents and their children. Designed for use in mental health contexts, its methods are effective whether parents or children have behavioral or emotional issues. The program's eight sessions focus on mindfulness-oriented skills for parents, such as responding to (as opposed to reacting to) parenting stress, handling conflict with children or partners, fostering empathy, and setting limits. The book dovetails with other clinical mindfulness approaches, and is written clearly and accessibly so that professionals can learn the material easily and impart it to clients. Featured in the text: Detailed theoretical, clinical, and empirical foundations of the program. The complete Mindful Parenting manual with guidelines for eight sessions and a follow-up. Handouts and assignments for each session. Findings from clinical trials of the Mindful Parenting program. Perspectives from parents who have finished the course. Its clinical focus and empirical support make Mindful Parenting an invaluable tool for practitioners and clinicians in child, school, and family psychology, psychotherapy/counseling, psychiatry, social work, and developmental psychology.
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About the Author

Susan Boegels, PhD,is a professor in Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology, through parent-child and family interactions, with a specific focus on the father; on the role of attentional processes in psychopathology; and on child and family interventions, including mindfulness. She is also the director of the academic center for the treatment of parents and children, UvA minds, in which evidence-based cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness interventions are offered to families. She was a member of the workgroup on Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Posttraumatic, and Dissociative Disorders of the DSM-5. Kathleen Restifo, PhD,is a clinical and developmental psychologist specializing in family interventions for children and parents with emotional disorders. She is a practicing family therapist and a mindfulness trainer. Her clinical interests include integrating mindfulness and compassion practices with psychotherapeutic approaches for children, couples, and families. Her research interests include evolutionary perspectives on parenting stress, effects of mindfulness-based interventions on children, and family processes in development of psychopathology. She is the founder of Mindful Families, a center which provides mindfulness and psychotherapy for children, parents, and families, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.


"Parenting is often the greatest challenge in the 'full catastrophe' of daily life. In this elegant training manual, parents learn to strengthen their capacity for mindfulness and compassion regardless of the conditions of their lives, past or present. Essential mindfulness skills are gently woven into group exercises and psychoeducation about parenting and stress. This 'how to' program will surely be an important resource for couples and family therapists, and a refuge distressed parents, for many years to come." -- Christopher Germer, Clinical Instructor, Harvard M "This book and the program it offers are a pioneering effort to bring mindfulness into the domain of parenting and the mental health care of stressed families, for the benefit of both the children and their parents... The authors and their colleagues have done research in the field of stress and parenting and have conducted a number of studies to validate their clinical program in mindful parenting... Their articulation of this way of being called mindful parenting will be an inspiration to those seeking to adapt this curriculum in their own settings and in their own lives." -- Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn, from the Foreword "Compelling, grounded and utterly human. Susan and Kathleen present the mindful parenting program that has emerged out of their sustained engagement with their mindfulness practice, with their daily lives as parents, and with the lives of the parents who have participated in their classes. The result is a personal, practical and informative description of the program and its background. A parent training program that focuses on enabling participants to parent their children from the place they and their children are in moment-by-moment, rather than striving towards some idea of how things could or should be. What a relief!" -- Rebecca Crane, Director, Centre for Mindfulness Re "A brilliant book with enormous practical implications for all parents. Written with great skill and clarity, Susan Bogels and Kathleen Restifo bring together insights from the evolution of parenting with the latest psychological science on compassion, attachment, and schemas. But then they go further, giving us a step-by-step guide through their unique and evidence-based mindful parenting program. This book is a must-read for child and family practitioners but it will also be on the shelves of all mindfulness teachers who wish to understand how to recollect and explore their own experience as a parent or a child, and in doing so, to understand more deeply the entanglements of those who come to them for help." -- Mark Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology, U "Grounded in evidence-based mindful parenting practices, this book will enable therapists to help parents bring full awareness to raising their children with joy, selfless love, compassion and wisdom. It presents a program on mindful parenting in an engaging and elegant style that incorporates personal reflections by the authors and parents who have gone through this course, mindfulness practices, and gentle encouragement to adhere to these practices. Those of us who are parents or grandparents intuitively know that children are little Buddhas who come to teach us patience. This book is a fine preparation for this adventure." -- Nirbhay N. Singh, Editor-in-Chief, Mindfu

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