Detailed Description of Program Offerings:
1. Mindfulness Based Social and Emotional Support Program: In our MBSESP, students gain awareness skills and learn techniques to empower them in recognizing, communicating, and regulating their emotions and impulses. Students gain social skills and experiences that promote healthy friendships and peer relations. Students learn mindfulness techniques to manage stress and anxiety and promote overall well being. Students learn grade appropriate neuroscience to encourage cognitive understanding of social and emotional health processes. MBSESP incorporates experiential learning into the curriculum, enabling students and teachers to witness and experience the lessons taught through diad and small group sharing, drama enactments, and conflict resolution, and appreciation circles. Art, music and games are also integrated into the curriculum.
MBESP curriculum is grounded in cutting edge research of neuroscience, the precepts of social and emotional learning, and numerous psychodynamic theories. Numerous research studies and countless anecdotal evidence the effectiveness of mindfulness in improving executive functioning, decreasing anxiety, and increasing overall wellbeing (http://marc.ucla.edu/).
2. Social Skills Groups: SEEDS offers in-school social skills groups to children who are in need of extra support, guidance, and love. Students who are having difficulty interacting in socially appropriate ways, who feel shy and isolated, who may have symptoms associated with AD/HD, Autism, Bi-Polar, and/or who are moving through challenging emotions and stresses in their lives, will benefit this social skills group offering. In a small, fun, and positive group environment, students will gain external and internal self-support through directed interactions with others and positive reinforcing instruction. By interacting through art, drama, movement, play, and storytelling and sharing, children will form healing friendships and build self-confidence.
3. One-on-one Counseling: Children struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges often benefit from individual therapy or Millieu-in class support. Issues stemming from divorce, trauma, low self-esteem, stressful living environments, unique temperaments, and general neurobiological differences, are often alleviated through the attention of individual counseling. Early intervention is crucial in preventing compounding challenges for these children and their families. At SEEDS we offer 45 minute individual therapy sessions for children and in class/ playground support. The therapy modalities used are Sandplay Therapy, Expressive Arts therapy, Movement therapy, and Non-Directive Play Therapy.
4. Teacher Trainings: SEEDS’ teacher training programs teach mindfulness, emotional regulation, and prosocial skills to teachers. These self-care skills are invaluable to us all, especially to teachers who must cope with stressful and challenging situations daily. We will also provide teachers with a mindfulness and conflict resolution curriculum to utilize in class with their students. These simple activities and exercises can be integrated into daily routines to make transitions smooth and calm. Teachers use this curriculum to start the day, during recess, before tests, when conflicts occur, or when they simply need to ground the energy of the class. The curriculum is taught to the teachers and given to them to use. The trainings can take place as a day long in-service trainings or as several shorter on-going trainings.
5. Parenting Support Groups: SEEDS offers a class for parents who are wanting to learn positive parenting strategies, receive support and skills for reducing stress, and effectively handle challenging situations in parenting. This group will include individual and group exercises on awareness, non-violent communication, and soul sharing, as well as lectures on various theories of child development. We teach parents how to care for themselves and their children through experiential exercises, group discussions and child development presentations. This is a supportive group, where it is safe to discuss issues around anger, anxiety, depression, divorce, and other challenges.