About Your Instructors
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 training and intensive ten-week online training; 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.
Ana and Kerri
We are both works in progress, each moms of three and partners to one. We are both oldest daughters and sisters to brothers. We are recovering perfectionists and former people pleasers. We are lovers of food, family and conversation, seekers of knowledge, and researchers of life. We both strive for balance, crave adventure, run on love, and share a passion for helping others and making the world a better place by giving back.
We’ve each taken a different path: One of us married while in college, the other after work experience and graduate school. Our friendship was born out of shared interests, passions and ways of being in the world.
In 2016, Ana’s 16-year-old son took his life. Kerri was there when she found her son and she knew at that devastating, life-altering, and most tragic moment, that she would not let Ana go through this alone. Kerri has stood by Ana as a friend, parent, woman and human, knowing that Ana being alone was not a possibility.
Great loss and grief have given us an opportunity to reflect, learn, and connect with others. We have chosen to learn from heartache and to face it head-on with compassion, realizing there are so many others suffering and trying to do the same thing. We are grateful to have each other as we travel this road. In our healing, we’ve been seeking knowledge- researching all over the world, talking with people, and gaining understanding, resources and tools. We have identified needs and gaps and are working to figure out how we can fill them in with new found understanding- bringing information to others and beginning important conversations. It’s amazing what happens when we come together.
Everyone has a story. We all struggle and experience hardship and loss, but many do so alone. Sometimes we choose to be private about our struggles and other times we reach out to others- it’s a choice we make. It is always validating to realize that we are not alone in our challenges.
On our shared journey, we’ve been learning to navigate the waves of life and tides of parenthood with transparency and vulnerability. While healing, we are learning to be mindful. We’ve realized that the best we can do is accept and love our imperfect selves and support each other in the process. We are choosing to celebrate being perfectly imperfect and to encourage that in others.
As part of a larger community, we’ve learned that the stresses many of us feel are universal and come with the times. We want to offer resources and tools that all can use and are dedicated to providing guidance, hope and inspiration for when you need it. Connect, Be well, and Know that you are not in this alone.