Mindfulness in a Professional Setting
Being a volunteer in an addiction center presents certain challenges due to interaction with many troubled clients, including victims of abuse and human trafficking. From the very beginning, the situation is challenging since clients and residents are reluctant to open up during group sessions and presentations freely. The focus of the analysis is to give invaluable insights on what mindfulness in a professional setting entails in regards to how it is used to help drug abuse addicts, victims of human trafficking and abuse. This paper is going to give insights on how mindfulness techniques will be useful to help drug addicts, domestic violence victims, and victims of human trafficking within a 6-week program
Normally, 15-35 clients and singer-songwriter volunteers constitute the dynamics of every group. They conduct presentations at addiction treatment centers and provide abuse counseling, Many participants are newly admitted addicts or victims of abuse or human trafficking. With some clients and residents feeling somewhat hesitant to talk openly during our group sessions and presentations, it becomes challenging for the volunteers to talk to them. The groups combined work is to enthusiastically listen to, contribute to individual experiences and stories, and take part in journal or letter writing workshops. By means of a mixture of music and journaling, the final goal is to inspire each other, make communicative inscriptions, and educate others on challenges that are faced due to cravings for drugs or mistreatment.. For every group, a volunteer is supposed to talk to 5-7 participants that are placed under his or her care.
The volunteers comprise of singer-songwriters, whose role in the addiction center is to offer the patients comfort and care, and to reshape their attitude towards their lives. The same situation applies to the drug and substance addicts who need to be encouraged and shown that there is more to life than the temporary satisfaction from drugs. The exact responsibility of the volunteers is to give presentations and lead discussion groups in a secure and private environment, and to actively pay attention, interrelate and present created works to the members of each group, through music, as well as to assist in facilitating the writing workshops.
Clients and residents of addiction abuse facilities represent the group of participants for the purpose of this study. The interactions involve patients opening up to the volunteer singer-songwriters in the issues that they are facing and later, on a larger scale, open forums are organized where the singer-songwriters educate clients of addiction centers on the drug use and resulting implications. Most of the clients, as it has been discovered, come from residential areas where drug abuse is prevalent. Thus, the volunteer singer-songwriters have the obligation to bring about improvements by finding ways of making things better for the clients and the addiction center at large. Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, though demoralized, are advised regarding the value of life and urged to refrain from any manner of despair or suicidal thoughts. The roles of clients and residents of the addiction and abuse counseling treatment centers are to listen actively, share personal experiences and participate in journal or letter writing workshops.
Roles of the Participants
The volunteer singer-songwriters, under the leadership of the addiction center, make sure that they actively listen to all the clients challenges. The officials assure the patients/residents that any information shared remains confidential and their names remain anonymous in the course of their stay in the center. Another role of the volunteers is to ensure that every client keeps a journal where he or she records progress on how they manage to keep off drugs, get rid of their bitterness, forgive themselves and forgive anyone who wronged them from the beginning to the end of the program. Having the clients write letters to themselves plays a significant role in helping them deal with their personal issues.
It is quite difficult to identify particular challenges that the participants have in the group settings since the clients are not eager to open up on issues that distress them. Primary concerns of the participants include the realization of a drug-free and abuse-free community where people focus on good behavior and practices as opposed to harming themselves and others. It is worth mentioning that the most challenging situation is the unwillingness of some of the clients to share their problems. It takes a while for patients to start talking about their addiction and abuse problems in both individual and group settings. Furthermore, at the very beginning of the program, the clients do not feel comfortable talking about their problems to their facilitators. The challenge of getting them to talk about their problems is prioritized by assuring them that any information given to the volunteer singer-songwriters will be treated with confidentiality. On the fact that the forum will last for six weeks and that all the clients/residents will share their challenges by the third week is an implication that the whole program will be a success.
Another challenge that will manifest in the process is that many of admitted clients come from neighborhoods where the use of drugs, domestic violence, and human trafficking is quite rampant. With such a disposition, there is a need for the volunteer singer-songwriters to involve the family members of the clients in their therapy. The idea is to make sure that family members are aware of what the clients are facing on a daily basis and extend financial help in the course of their therapy and even after its completion. It is important to note that family should be the first to help the clients/residents join the society and support them in overcoming their troubles.
Roles of the Volunteers
In the course of the drug awareness program, the role of the volunteer singer-songwriters entails carrying out discussions and presentations in group settings. Also, there is a need to provide a safe and confidential environment so that the victims open up on their situations. The main reason why it is important to keep the names of the clients confidential is to abide by ethical principles in the course of the program as expected in any interaction regarding treatment or rehabilitation. The absence of ethical standards will result into problems, especially when it comes to obtaining trust from the clients. To gain the trust of the victims of human trafficking, abuse, and addiction, sometimes the singer-songwriters will admit to having gone through a number of similar problems. The idea is to show the participants that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Therefore, having the singer-songwriter volunteers engaging people in music and writing workshops will be helpful in making all the clients disposed to open talks.
Roles of the Clients
For the clients involved in the drug, abuse, and human trafficking awareness campaign and treatment program, it is expected that they should stay actively engaged, contribute and listen to every presentation within group and workshop settings. To stay actively engaged means that the clients take part in a meaningful conversation with the singer-songwriters and their fellow victims. Respective of the advice and word of encouragement that the clients get from the volunteers on dealing with stress, there is a need for them to work hard and align with the system. It is also worth mentioning that clients are supposed to understand the manner in which their past situations have affected their lives, especially in the view of the fact that too much stress and dwelling on occurrences of the past is harmful to their health, while acceptance and forgiveness should improve their state. To get rid of the trauma and stress that comes with past occurrences, clients are advised to indulge in physical activity, get more sleep, talk to family members, manage time properly, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and keep a stress diary. In group and workshop settings, it is advisable that the volunteers not only make the speeches and presentations, but the clients also take part in the open forums and discussions.
Strategy to Decrease Stress and to Increase Mindfulness in Group Activities
Before starting any presentation to the clients, the following steps are incorporated:
The presentations begin with a moment of silence.
Volunteers introduce mindful breathing techniques.
Volunteers assure clients/residents of a safe environment through insisting that discretion is to be upheld in every setting and that the client has the chance to express what they have gone through in a non-judgmental and open way.
The volunteers ask all clients to co-create a list of activities or factors that will help them feel safe in individual and group settings for the purpose of collaboration.
The volunteers also ask the client groups to take part in a 5-minute mindful visualization exercise.
Relevance of the Course
The course has been of help when it comes to the full awareness of what the essence of mindfulness is. I have been able to understand that meditation and visualization is an important part of mindfulness. In addition to that, it is now evident that the course has been helpful to teach me people skills necessary for dealing with victims of abuse and drug addiction. The skills come in handy when there is a need to converse with clients and assure them that everything will be okay.The courses assigned readings and activities inform my analysis of the situations I go through at my place of work on a daily basis. In fact, the activities provided and the assignments gave me a hands-on experience in what would transpire in my career life on a daily basis.
Combined Roles of Participants
There is a need for mindfulness on the part of all the participants so that the rehabilitation program is a success. Mindfulness involves the provision of a safe space where the clients feel like home, active listening to all the participants, confidentiality, open communication, facilitation, and a no judgment policy. Positive affirmations, moments of silence, meditation, and yoga also help significantly in the realization of individual and group goals in the program.
The aspect of enabling clients to open up about their personal issues is placed as a priority because, without their cooperation, the therapy and workshop will be meaningless. It is important to note that for counseling and transformation to be successful, there is a need to have full participation of those that are affected by a given issue. It is crucial to engage all the clients in collaborative discussions and to monitor the progress. Meditation and moments of silence are also a priority at the start of every session. At a personal level, I am fully aware of what the clients are experiencing since the processes of withdrawal, guilt, and self-forgiveness are quite challenging for anyone. After six weeks of intervention, there will be a notable change in the addiction center. Clients will work hard to stop the denial, forgive themselves, and anyone that had may have wronged them. Also, those who need to talk to someone often find a volunteer singer-songwriter to confide in every single time.
As aforementioned, the challenges in the group that I prioritize are those of making the clients open up about their situations to the volunteers; this challenge is best addressed by assuring clients of confidentiality and telling them that their personal information would never be disclosed either by word of mouth or through the careless storage of their biodata files and diagnosis records. The reason I prioritize this challenge is because if nothing is done, the victims do not speak out and it becomes hard to find solutions.
Role of Mindfulness in Every Group Dynamic
Mindfulness entails the body being in synchronization with the mind. For this to happen, the individual involved has to be in a peaceful environment where nothing stressful occurs. Within the addiction center group dynamic, as described above, mindfulness is proving to be beneficial because it brings resolution to many of the problems that the clients experience. As aforementioned, visible results are witnessed after the clients/residents are taken through mindfulness programs that help ease their stress. The result of the program will hopefully be an increase in the productivity of clients, motivation, and positive attitudes towards themselves.
Personal Experience and Mindfulness
I have been working with similar client populations for over a period of six years. My work has always revolved around teaching life skills, using visualization techniques and moments of silence paired with breathing techniques to show ways to limit stress and anxiety. The reasonable solutions to apply mindfulness techniques are to improve the dynamics of the scenario. For this reason, I use mindful breathing, mindful observation, mindful awareness, mindful listening, mindful immersion, and mindful appreciation. The advantages of these solutions employed in the group setting are that they help clients cope with stressful thoughts and feelings that cause them stress and anxiety. So far, there are no disadvantages to the solutions used save for the fact that they are time-consuming, i.e. clients take a considerable amount of time before aligning to them and opening up. In essence, these disadvantages revolve around the fact that most participants are just beginning rehabilitation and are going through withdrawal and are untrusting due to personal circumstances.
Summing up, mindfulness revolves around being aware of what the people around you are going through. In the case of the addiction center rehabilitation program, mindfulness revolves around helping clients to be conscious and aware of the positive and negative situations in their lives, and realize self-improvement. Whatever is taking place within the workshop resonates with the fact that mindfulness is a mantra, meaning that it is about concentrating on one’s awareness of present situations while calmly accepting and recognizing one’s thoughts, bodily gestures, and sensations.
Di Benedetto, Mirella, and Michael Swadling. “Burnout in Australian psychologists: Correlations with work-setting, mindfulness and self-care behaviors.” Psychology, health & medicine 19, no. 6 (2014): 705-715.
Gillmore, Marina V. “Standing at the Crossroads: Navigating Mindfulness, Teacher Self-Care, and Transformative Social Justice Pedagogy.” (2016).
Karlsson, Jan-Olof, and BirgittaJohanson. “Professional E-Therapy in a Low Budget Setting.” In IRIS39, Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, Ljungskile, August 7-10, 2016, pp. 1-11. 2016.
Nixon, Graeme, David McMurtry, Linda Craig, AnnickNevejan, and Heather Regan-Addis. “Studies in mindfulness: widening the field for all involved in pastoral care.” Pastoral Care in Education 34, no. 3 (2016): 167-183.
Di Benedetto, Mirella, and Michael Swadling. “Burnout in Australian psychologists: Correlations with work-setting, mindfulness and self-care behaviors.” Psychology, health & medicine 19, no. 6 (2014): 705-715.Di Benedetto, Mirella, and Michael Swadling. “Burnout in Australian psychologists: Correlations with work-setting, mindfulness and self-care behaviors.” Psychology, health & medicine 19, no. 6 (2014): 705-715.
3 Nixon, Graeme, David McMurtry, Linda Craig, AnnickNevejan, and Heather Regan-Addis. “Studies in mindfulness: widening the field for all involved in pastoral care.” Pastoral Care in Education 34, no. 3 (2016): 167-183.
Gillmore, Marina V. “Standing at the Crossroads: Navigating Mindfulness, Teacher Self-Care, and Transformative Social Justice Pedagogy.” (2016). Di Benedetto, Mirella, and Michael Swadling. “Burnout in Australian psychologists: Correlations with work-setting, mindfulness and self-care behaviors.” Psychology, health & medicine 19, no. 6 (2014): 705-715. Karlsson, Jan-Olof, and BirgittaJohanson. “Professional E-Therapy in a Low Budget Setting.” In IRIS39, Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, Ljungskile, August 7-10, 2016, pp. 1-11. 2016. Nixon, Graeme, David McMurtry, Linda Craig, AnnickNevejan, and Heather Regan-Addis. “Studies in mindfulness: widening the field for all involved in pastoral care.” Pastoral Care in Education 34, no. 3 (2016): 167-183. Nixon, Graeme, David McMurtry, Linda Craig, AnnickNevejan, and Heather Regan-Addis. “Studies in mindfulness: widening the field for all involved in pastoral care.” Pastoral Care in Education 34, no. 3 (2016): 167-183. Karlsson, Jan-Olof, and BirgittaJohanson. “Professional E-Therapy in a Low Budget Setting.” In IRIS39, Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, Ljungskile, August 7-10, 2016, pp. 1-11. 2016.