Making Friends with Yourself Class Combats High Stress of Teen Life

| September 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Making Friends with Yourself course instructor is Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.A.

Making Friends with Yourself course instructor is Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.A.

“You’re not smart enough to get that job.”

“Could you look any worse in that dress?!”

“People think you’re an idiot – and they’re totally right!”

If someone were to talk to us this way, we’d avoid him or her like the plague. If a comment like this appeared on our social media, we’d unfriend the person with one click. And yet so many of us talk to ourselves this way – especially teens.

The Balanced Mind Meditation Center is looking to change that through its eight-week Making Friends with Yourself course for teens. “This course creates an opportunity for adolescents to construct a healthier world-view and gives rise to greater compassion and empathy toward self and others,” says course instructor and Mission Hills resident Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.A. “In a preliminary research study, this program demonstrated a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, perceived stress and negative mood.”

“Life for today’s teen is more stressful than ever before,” says Balanced Mind Meditation Center Founder Julie Potiker. “There’s pressure to perform at school, in sports, at their jobs, and in community service projects. With that comes the increased risk of problems like depression and anxiety, drug use, and in the worst cases, self-harm and suicide. As a parent, I know that we all want to protect our children from these things, which is why I knew I had to offer this important class that gives teens the resources they need to be their own best friend and advocate as they navigate the increasingly challenging years of young adulthood.”

The overarching goal of Making Friends with Yourself is to help young people manage the ups and downs of this life stage with greater ease, to offer specific tools for recognizing and managing their struggles, and to help them learn how to meet these struggles with kindness and compassion. Through developmentally appropriate activities and carefully crafted practices and meditations, teens have an opportunity to learn how to navigate the emotional turbulence of life with greater ease. This curriculum was adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion created by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and has been endorsed by Neff and Germer.

Making Friends with Yourself is for teens 13 to 19 years old, and is offered Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There are eight sessions that run from September 29 through November 17 at the Lawrence Family JCC. Cost is $300 for JCC members and $360 for non-members.

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