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The Mindfulness Matters Program for Children and Adolescents: Strategies, Activities, and Techniques for Therapists and Teachers
Randye J.Semple and Christopher WIllard
Guilford Press / Softcover / 2019-08-01 / 1462539300
Infant, Child & Adolescent / Mindfulness & Psychotherapy
reg price: $49.95 our price: $ 47.45
262 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

This indispensable resource provides a flexible framework and a wealth of engaging tools for teaching mindfulness to children and adolescents with varying needs in school or clinical settings. Numerous kid-friendly mindfulness practices are presented, complete with step-by-step instructions, sample scripts, suggested variations, and discussion questions. The benefits of mindfulness for enhancing children's social–emotional competencies are clearly explained. Clinicians and teachers are guided to select and sequence activities for groups struggling with specific challenges: stress and anxiety, depression, attention problems, behavioral and emotion regulation issues, and trauma. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes 16 reproducible handouts. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.


"Clinicians and teachers are on the lookout for time-tested approaches to introducing mindful awareness practices to children and teens. Drawing on their many years of experience, Semple and Willard address this critical need magnificently. This is the first book to provide a research-based, developmentally appropriate mindfulness program to support recovery, build resilience, and cultivate flourishing in a range of clinical and educational settings. The pathways apply aspects of mindfulness to specific issues, and include instructions for adapting the activities for various contexts and ages."--Patricia A. Jennings, PhD, Curry School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia

“I love this book and will recommend it to every one of the 3,200 schools we work with! This is the definitive guide for every teacher and mental health professional who works with kids. If you are already bringing mindfulness practices to your school or clinic, this book will help you build momentum, engage parents and caregivers, and sustain the positive impact over time. If you are new to mindfulness, this book provides a step-by-step approach for how to introduce the concept to administrators and families and inspire students to join in the practices. Teaching mindfulness is a clear countermeasure to the increasing rates of mental health disorders, stress, and trauma among children and adolescents. This book provides a compelling rationale for educators, mental health professionals, parents, and students to embed mindfulness practices into their daily routines.”
—Laura S. Bakosh, PhD, cofounder, Inner Explorer mindfulness program for PreK–12 classrooms

"Instead of a cookie-cutter approach, Semple and Willard give users a tremendous amount of flexibility to design programs for particular groups of children and teens. The authors smartly provide pathways that address different clinical problems (for example, ADHD, depression) with targeted mindfulness practices. Teachers and therapists alike will find the 'Challenges and Tips,' 'Cautions and Contraindications,' and 'Suggested Practice Activities' extremely helpful. This outstanding book is a valuable tool."--Jason Thomas, MS, licensed educational psychologist and mindfulness facilitator, Los Angeles, California

“The format of this book is very practical and easy to navigate. I especially like how the authors make the concepts relatable for children and teens. This book is a powerful tool in helping children of all ages develop the confidence to utilize mindfulness skills. I can see myself incorporating these ideas in my sessions with children who struggle with tolerating the distressing and uncomfortable feelings that accompany anxiety. This book will be a benefit for my practice!”
—Donna DeFazio, LCSW, PsyD, private practice, Pasadena, California

“A 'must-have' resource for any professional who wants to share the adventure of mindfulness with children. Semple and Willard have developed a comprehensive, step-by-step manual. They provide detailed descriptions of engaging mindfulness exercises and activities, starting with the most basic attending skills and culminating in ways to integrate mindfulness into daily life. With an emphasis on safety, Semple and Willard describe adaptations for diverse populations, complete with recommendations regarding possible contraindications and complications.”
—Roger S. Nolan, MA, LMFT, mindfulness-based psychotherapist, South Pasadena, California

“Comprehensive but accessible, this is the book that clinicians and educators interested in sharing mindfulness strategies with youth will reach for again and again. Whether you are looking to create a curriculum from scratch or just want to supplement the practices you already use, there is something in this book for everyone. The foundational information is here, as are thoughtfully designed pathways for addressing specific issues that students may face. The suggested scripts for introducing activities feel natural and easy to implement. This book is now my first choice for giving educators the tools to teach mindfulness to their students.”
—Kristin McKeown, MEd, mindfulness educator and founder, Teaching Balance

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction to the Mindfulness Matters Program for Children and Adolescents <-- sample (pdf)

II. Mindfulness Activities

Group 1. Introductory and Core Activities

Group 2. Mindfulness of the Breath Activities

Group 3. Mindfulness of the Body Activities

Group 4. Mindful Awareness Activities

Group5. Sensory-Based Mindfulness Activities

Group 6. Mindfulness of Thoughts

Group 7. Mindfulness of Emotions

Group 8. Concluding Activities

III. Pathways to Mindfulness

Pathway through Stress and Anxiety

Pathway through Depression

Pathway through Attention Problems

Pathway through Problems of Emotion Regulation and Impulse Control

Pathway through Trauma, Abuse, and Neglect

IV. Research Support for Mindfulness with Kids



About the Authors:

Randye J. Semple, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC). She has authored over 30 scientific journal articles, book chapters, and other professional publications. Dr. Semple is Consulting Editor for Spirituality in Clinical Practice and serves on the steering committee for Mindful USC, the University's mindfulness initiative, and on the research committee of the American Mindfulness Research Association. Dr. Semple is the lead developer of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children (MBCT-C), an evidence-based group psychotherapy that is being researched and implemented worldwide. She presents and publishes widely and provides workshops, consulting, invited lectures, and other training opportunities.

Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and educational consultant with a specialty in mindfulness. Based in Boston, he speaks on the topic of mindfulness and meditation with young people nationally and internationally, and teaches at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Willard is on the board of directors of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and is President of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has been practicing sitting meditation since 1999. He is coauthor of The Mindfulness Matters Program for Children and Adolescents: Strategies, Activities, and Techniques for Therapists and Teachers and coeditor of Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens, among other books. His website is

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Semple, Randye J
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Educational Psychology
Fall 2019 Catalogue Titles
Guilford Press
Infant, Child & Adolescent
Mindfulness & Psychotherapy