The Institute’s training programs enable health professionals to gain career-enhancing skills and knowledge that advance an integrated approach to wellness and healing. By engaging today’s medical faculty, students, scholars, and providers in training and dialogue, the Institute is impacting the future of conventional health care and research.
Educating for Enhanced Self-Awareness and Self-Care: An Experiential Faculty Training in Mind-Body Medicine
October 10-13, 2013
The purpose of this program is to provide faculty at health professional schools with the necessary training, tools, materials and strategic thinking to enable them to implement mind-body medicine skills groups at their institutions. Specifically, the 3-day training program is an immersion experience that will introduce faculty to a variety of mind-body techniques so that they can experience them for themselves, see first-hand the power of this approach, and gain insight into how to lead mind-body groups for students.
Mind-body approaches—including meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and breathing techniques to name a few, are skills that can alleviate stress and foster self-awareness and self-care. The training program will be conducted as a retreat, and includes 7 sessions involving group experiences, a number of individual activities, several didactic presentations, as well as daily yoga or tai chi. Participants will be provided with all the course materials as well as ongoing coaching and mentorship after the training program.
Led by Institute Director of Academic Programs Adi Haramati, PhD, and Course Director Nancy Harazduk, MEd, MSW, the training is modeled on the format they have used successfully to train more than 50 faculty at Georgetown University School of Medicine. The intent is to develop mentorship relationships with each of the faculty members who takes part in the training program, so that participants may become change agents in their own institutions.
The next training session will be held on April 4-7, 2013 at the Aspen Wye River Marriott Conference Center in Queenstown, MD. For program registration and details, please visit our Faculty Training in Mind Body Medicine page. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project aims to advance the education of medical students and other healthcare providers by incorporating mind-body medicine skills, an important component of integrative health, into professional curricula as a way to foster elements of emotional intelligence. Detection of patients’ emotional cues, the skilled use of empathic communication, and other relationship-centered interviewing techniques have shown promise in improving patient-provider interactions. To that end, many medical schools list the competency of self-awareness as a desired outcome for their students. Few well designed studies have evaluated emotion skills curricula, however.
Since 2003, Institute director of academic programs Aviad Haramati, PhD, and colleague Nancy Harazduk, MEd, MSW, have conducted mind-body medicine skills groups for medical students and faculty at Georgetown University School of Medicine. The intent is to expose participants to these powerful techniques to provide them with stress management skills, but more importantly to foster self-awareness, self-care and personal growth. Mind-body practices, key components of integrative health, may foster the development of emotional intelligence, especially with regard to interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, by enhancing the awareness an individual has of his/her internal state and consequently the ability to manage emotions more effectively.
The goal of this current project is to consider aspects of emotional intelligence and use scientifically validated tests to rigorously assess whether components of mind-body medicine skills can be used to foster elements of emotional intelligence. Over 120 students at Georgetown University experience the mind-body medicine program annually and will be invited to take part in this study. Other interested schools may participate as well, including those represented in the Institute’s new program, Educating for Enhanced Self-Awareness and Self-Care: An Experiential Faculty Training in Mind-Body Medicine. described at the top of this page. Based on outcomes, the intent is to develop this research into a long-term educational initiative of the Institute.
With the current state of upheaval in healthcare, leaders of medical institutions face significant challenges but also unique opportunities for positive change. Recognizing that transformation can begin to emerge when we have time to step back and reconnect with our own inner lives and goals, the Institute brought together a small group of health care executives for a mutually supportive and reflective experience. Between May 21st and May 23rd, 2011 eight nurse leaders from Maryland and Virginia gathered for an Institute-sponsored three day retreat designed to create a trustworthy space for individual and collective reflection, exploration, and renewal. Creative movement, yoga, meditation and group activities provided opportunities for individuals to step back from the daily distraction and challenges of their leadership positions and reflect on what is possible, realign values and actions, passion and purpose, and rediscover the strength to better hold the paradoxes of future possibility and current reality.
The Middle East Cancer Consortium: Bringing Integrative Medicine to Improve the Well-Being of Cancer Caregivers
One of the missions of The Institute is to improve the lives of patients and professionals alike through the incorporation of integrative health practices. To that end, The Institute has been supporting the work of the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) over the past several years, facilitating mind-body medicine skills training as an integral part of the annual MECC conferences. Click here for a description of the 2010 program.
Each year approximately 60 oncology nurses, physicians and social workers attend from Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Not only do these professionals work daily with challenging illness in their patients, but they also come together from countries with long histories of tension and strife. MECC executive director Michael Silbermann, MD, has observed that the mind-body skills training has proven to be “the most efficient and successful glue“ to bring together people from these disparate and strained backgrounds, facilitating safety and collaboration. The Institute is proud to support such an important and meaningful project, serving to remind us of why we do what we do.