Health: Mindfulness in Health Care

HLTH 296 Z1 (CRN: 14753)

3 Credit Hours

About HLTH 296 Z1

Advanced courses on health topics beyond the scope of department or college offerings. See Schedule of Courses for specific titles.


Open to both CE and Degree students

Section Description

The psychotherapeutic value of mindfulness as a cognitive skill and mindfulness meditation derived from Theravada Buddhism are gaining increasing recognition and incorporation into psychotherapeutic interventions. This course will be a practical, experiential, and academic exploration of mindfulness in the therapeutic setting. It will survey the field of mindfulness-based literature, explore the neuroscientific underpinnings and benefits of mindfulness meditation practice, teach self-applied mindfulness training, and help you to incorporate mindfulness into clinical practice (and interpersonal relationships broadly) for example, treating chronic pain. The first half of the course will be organized around a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction intervention. You will be expected to maintain a daily mindfulness meditation practice and journal. In addition, the course will explore mindfulness in its original context of Theravada Buddhism (Vipassana). We will explore Buddhist psychology and mindfulness as a cognitive skill. From this vantage point and in conjunction with the themes described above, mindfulness meditation can be recast as a cognitive behavioral intervention. The course will explore the different clinical settings in which mindfulness has been applied. As well, mindfulness will be investigated as a personal and professional development tool. Each of the first eight sessions of the course will incorporate an actual experiential therapeutic intervention. The balance of the term will focus on other issues pertinent to mindfulness in the clinical setting.

Section Expectation

You are expected to participate fully in this course. This requires attendance, doing the readings on time, engaging with the material, and being willing to discuss it both in small and large group dialogues. In addition to completing all assignments according to the instructions detailed in the syllabus, you are expected and required to maintain a daily meditation practice. This is a high expectation, high demand course, and you?ll get out of this course what you put into it. Grading Policy: Attendance is integral to this course and will be taken at every class. Each student gets one unexcused absence. Additional unexcused absences will result in point reductions from your final grade. Excused absences include documented serious medical illness, family emergencies, and any other situation that is approved by me. Keep the communication channels open. See the University policies below: Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes. The instructor has the final authority to excuse absences. It is the responsibility of the instructor to inform students of his or her policy for handling absences and tardiness, and the penalties that may be imposed. Notification should be done both verbally and in writing at the beginning of each semester. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor regarding the reason for absence or tardiness from class, and to discuss these with the instructor in advance whenever possible. The instructor has the right to require documentation in support of the student's request for an excuse from class. If an out-of-class exam is scheduled which conflicts with a regularly scheduled class, the regularly scheduled class has priority. Religious Holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.


For each week of class, formulate three questions that arise from the readings and your personal practice that you are ready to discuss in class. Do not submit questions that you could answer by doing a Google search. The answers are not the issue, as the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke suggested in his Letters to a Young Poet: You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. In addition to these questions, identify one situation where you were able to apply mindfulness principles to eating or another situation in your life and then identify another situation where you got stuck, forgot, or were not able to provide mindfulness. Submit the three questions and the two situations via Blackboard each week before class by Sunday 8 PM. I will read these each week, but will not necessarily provide written comments. Again, the intention of this assignment is to promote classroom engagement. Reading Reflections: Write a one page, double-spaced (approximately 250-word) reflection on the week?s readings. Submit via Blackboard before the beginning of class. You are encouraged to keep a daily mindfulness practice journal. Take notes on your practice sessions and mindfulness experiments?these will become the basis of your Weekly Questions. Pay attention to obstacles and facilitators of your practice. Describe your insights, experiences, and challenges. This journal, itself, will not be collected or graded. Questions will come naturally out of the journaling process. Journaling will also facilitate your classroom participation. Term Paper Write a ten-page (typed and double-spaced) research review of a mindfulness and health care related issue. You may review a modality (e.g., MBSR, MBCT, MBRP, DBT, ACT, MB-EAT), a specific population (e.g., children, substance abuse, cancer), neuroscience, or other topic. For guidance on writing a research paper consult the Owl: Due Date: April 30, last day of class. Mindful Arts As you will see from the class, poetry is included to highlight and inspire mindfulness themes and practice. Many practitioners use poetry and other art forms for this purpose. Your assignment is to locate a poem, passage, quotation, song, painting, sculpture, or other art form that reflects or inspires mindfulness. In addition to finding one, create one yourself. Write a one-page (250 word) explanation for each of your submissions. You must use material other than the poems presented in class. Have your submissions by the last class and be prepared to present them to the rest of the class. Take Home Final Exam There will be a 20-25 question take home final exam. This will be distributed by the last class and will be due by the end of our assigned final time. While this is a take-home exam, you are expected to do your own work. Working together on an exam is a violation of academic integrity. Grading Policy Summary: Participation :: 20% Mindfulness Questions and Situations :: 20% Term Paper :: 30% Mindful Arts :: 10% Take Home Final Exam :: 20%


Course runs from to



Rowell N/A Hlth 104 (View Campus Map)


to on Monday