In the 2013 and 2014 school year, Healing and Discovery, Inc. executed a successful mindfulness study with kindergarten eligible children at a Montessori School in the New York City metro area. Children in the study were taught Paradox Process’ techniques using age appropriate theater games and visual arts activities. The results determined a 10-15% increase in the participants’ cognitive abilities, along with an increase in attention span and focus. Teachers observed that children participating in this study became more articulate about their feelings and engaged in more successful interpersonal interactions. In addition, the Principal of the school expressed her surprise and appreciation for a noticeable difference in behavior on the playground. She noticed less tattling amongst the participating children. She was intrigued by the children’s use of feeling-language to resolve conflicts and noted that the children were listening to one another, while possibly empathizing.
During the Spring semester of 2015, the Healing and Discovery team was invited by the teachers and the school psychologist at the Professional Performing Arts High School (PPAS) in New York City to work with them and their students. We implemented a ten-week mindfulness curriculum tailored to high school students, ages 15 to 18. Emotional surveys were administered at the beginning and end of the course in order to measure the effects of the curriculum on participating students. Each facilitator worked with five students each, teaching the students the mindfulness tools of The Paradox Process (TM). Observations from PPAS teachers and the school psychologist admitted The Paradox Process had a positive effect. The tests revealed that the students who had the opportunity to work with our facilitators showed a change in three specific areas. The participant's Sense of Inadequacy decreased, and the participant's Self-Esteem and Healthy Risk-Taking increased.
Due to the success of the Spring 2015 study at PPAS, Healing and Discovery Foundation, Inc. was asked to conduct two additional studies at PPAS in the Fall 2015 and the Spring of 2016. The results of the Fall 2015 study revealed that the students in the experimental group who received mindfulness training had significantly higher levels of self-esteem compared to the control group after the completion of the study. Low self-esteem has been correlated with many negative outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, even increased risk of teenage pregnancy. Children with low self-esteem display increased maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as bullying and cheating. Teenagers, especially female, have been found to have higher rates of body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and poor body image. The results from the Fall study give hope to finding new ways to tackle prominent issues facing youth in Western society, and self-esteem is only the beginning.
While the results of our Spring 2016 case study at PPAS are being calibrated, Healing and Discovery Foundation, Inc is preparing to implement additional studies at PPAS in the Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters.