Daylong Workshop or Keynote Presentation for Hospice & Palliative Care Organizations
The Mindful Hospice: Techniques to Support Staff, Patients & Bereaved Clients Session Description:
Mindfulness has gained more distinction and use within the hospice setting over the past several years, especially as research demonstrates its many benefits for physical and emotional health. Many think of mindfulness as a way to increase relaxation, but at its heart, the practice is about expanding our awareness of the present moment so that we can meet whatever arises with compassion. This is particularly useful in the hospice and palliative care setting, as existential questions and suffering can arise for the patient and practitioner alike.
Mindfulness has many applications throughout hospice care, from enhancing the well-being of patients and their family caregivers, to helping the staff that devotes a great deal of time and energy caring for them. Grieving families benefit from meditation’s ability to help reduce symptoms during acute grief in the early days, months and years while helping them regain their footing when they are ready to re-engage with life after loss, develop continuing bonds, and tap into their own meaning-making skills.
Additionally, mindfulness can help clinicians develop leadership skills while simultaneously coping with stress, preventing burnout and cultivating work/life optimization.
During this experiential workshop, attendees will learn and practice powerful techniques that can help hospice professionals, families and patients build resilience and equanimity in the face of adversity, and explore trauma-sensitive applications of mindfulness as well as alternative methods of relaxation.
- Define mindfulness and review mindfulness literature as it applies to hospice settings
- Experience mindfulness-based interventions that are suitable for hospice professionals, patients and families
- Discuss contraindications and trauma-sensitive applications of mindfulness as well as alternative methods of relaxation
Grief Speaker Heather Stang is a thanatologist and author of Mindfulness & Grief: With Guided Meditations To Calm Your Mind & Restore Your Spirit. Her focus on teaching others to use mindfulness-based techniques to reduce stress, cope with grief, and cultivate personal growth is inspired by her own journey of love, loss and posttraumatic growth.
A former crisis hotline call specialist for the Frederick County Mental Health Association, Heather provided information, referrals and supportive listening for callers of Maryland 211, the Frederick County Hotline and more. She relied on her mindfulness training to maintain a calm and compassionate attitude both on the job and at home after difficult shifts. Additionally, Heather volunteered as a trainer and call specialist on the New Orleans hotline just weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region, and was a research assistant for a NIMH funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Research Project.
Heather earned a Masters in Thanatology (Death, Dying & Bereavement) from Hood College in 2010, and founded the Frederick Meditation Center, where she is a yoga therapist and mindfulness meditation instructor. In addition to Mindfulness & Grief (2014), she is a contributor to the volume Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment & Intervention (Neimeyer, 2015).