We can’t be a service to anyone else if we can’t be a service to ourselves. As professionals, we have the ability to model for teens that caring for yourself is NOT being selfish. Not only is it important for professionals to each teens the importance of self-care, but it is equally important for professionals to actively engage in self-care practices.
Research demonstrates that the stress inherent in the helping profession may have deleterious consequences including:
- Interpersonal Difficulties
- Vicarious Traumatization
Shapiro, Brown, and Biegel (2007) recently studied the use of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), for therapists in training. The study found that the “participants in the MBSR program reported significant declines in stress, negative affect, rumination, state and trait anxiety, and significant increases in positive affect and self-compassion. Further, MBSR participation was associated with increases in mindfulness, and this enhancement was related to several of the beneficial effects of MBSR participation” (Shapiro, Brown, & Biegel, 2007). Biegel, et al. (2009) conducted a similar study applying MBSR with teens 14 to 18 years of age and found similar results, with the participants receiving MBSR self-reporting a reduced severity of anxiety, depression, and somatic distress, as well as increased self-esteem and sleep quality.
Biegel, G. M., et al. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for the treatment of adolescent psychiatric outpatients: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(5), 855-866.
Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology,1(2), 105-115.