Western Psychological Association Convention
April 29, 2023 @ 8:00 am – 9:15 am PDT
The research presented is an applied study using a multitude of perspectives to develop a family mindfulness application [app] that supports families in learning stronger relational skills. The app development is based on a synthesis of research from the fields of mindfulness, parenting, and family systems psychology melded together to develop a scientific model which encourages the improvement of emotion regulation in children and their parents. From a family systems perspective, it is imperative to consider that children may learn tools to downregulate their emotionality yet, if their family system is commonly upregulated the children will have little success in remaining consistent with the regulation tools they have learned. However, if the parents also learn to understand their own inner states and practice mindfulness the entire family system may function more effectively, giving children within that system a greater opportunity to consistently practice emotionally mature tools and improve safety as stronger relationships are forged within the family system.
This presentation will teach clinicians the novel and valuable perspective of teaching mindfulness from a systems perspective. The hypothesis is that a systems approach to mindfulness will offer the same benefits understood from the extensive research on mindfulness and expand the depth of experience as each family creates its own sangha, or community, and develops a sense of accountability within the family structure for shared goals of improvement and cooperation. This novel development of mindfulness, taught from a systems perspective, has the potential to change the family interaction. It is the system that must change for child to learn to consistently self-regulate.