About Your Instructors


Gina Biegel


Gina M. Biegel, LMFT, is a psychotherapist, researcher, speaker, and author in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in mindfulness-based work with adolescents. She is founder of Stressed Teens, which has been offering mindfulness-based stress reduction for teens (MBSR-T) to adolescents, families, schools, professionals, and the community for over a decade. She created MBSR-T to help teens in a large HMO’s outpatient department of child and adolescent psychiatry whose physical and psychological symptoms were not responding satisfactorily to a multitude of other evidence-based practices. An expert and pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based approaches to youth, she is the author of Be Mindful & Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life, The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens (first and second edition), the Be Mindful Card Deck for Teens and the forthcoming book Mindfulness for Student Athletes: A Workbook to Help Teens Reduce Stress and Enhance Performance. She also has a mindfulness practice audio CD, Mindfulness for Teens Practices to Reduce Stress and Enhance Well-Being, to complement the MBSR-T program; provides worldwide multi-day trainings and intensive ten-week online trainings; and works with teens and families individually and in groups. Her work has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, Reuters, the New York Times, and in Tricycle.

Patti Plaza

Patti Plaza is the Director of Health Education and Physical Activity Programs in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at The George Washington University.   The programs Patti manages include 13 different academic courses in Health and Wellness, as well 34 different lifestyle and physical activity courses.  Patti also organizes free group exercise classes to the Faculty and Staff of GWU, and to Senior Adults living in the University’s neighborhood.

Having had a passion for all things health and well-being for more than 30 years, Patti has earned her Master’s degree in Exercise, Fitness and Health Promotion, and is a health educator specializing in Stress Management and Mindfulness. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist, a Zumba Instructor, and a McLean Meditation Institute Certified Meditation Teacher.  In addition to teaching university level courses on Stress Management and Mindfulness, she delivers experiential workshops on mindfulness and self-care to high school seniors and to participants in the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership’s Program for Excellence in Municipal Management.