Unique mindfulness program focuses on emotional intelligence

December 07, 2017

Mindfulness programIn the fall term, Western Law Professor Thomas Telfer (pictured left) led 23 first-year law students through the Mindfulness Ambassador Program. Western is the first Canadian Law School to offer this unique program, which was developed by Mindfulness Without Borders, a leading provider of evidence based mindfulness programs for youth, educators, health and corporate professionals in communities around the world.

The course was readily embraced by students and spots for the class filled within 24 hours of registration.

“The Mindfulness Ambassador Program offers secular mindfulness and guided meditation techniques for students,” said Telfer. “But it does much more; each class focuses on particular themes that allows students to also develop social and emotional intelligence.”

The objectives of the course are to build focus, manage stress and anxiety, strengthen empathy and develop emotional resilience.

“These are all skills which can have a direct and positive impact on the success of our students,” Telfer said.

And, according to Telfer, the student feedback on the program has been extremely positive.

“I went into the course with the hopes of gaining a tool to help me stay calm and focused,” said 1L Alejandro Gonzalez. “What I came out with was the realization that I wasn’t present in my everyday life, and that kind of knowledge is powerful and has stayed with me.”

“The mindfulness course improved my ability to deal more skillfully with stress and anxiety,” said law student Madison Derraugh. “It provided a structured way to open up to feelings of negativity so they can be addressed properly and with a deeper understanding.”

“In my more than twenty years as a legal academic I’ve never witnessed such a unique learning environment,” Telfer noted.

Given the overwhelming support for the mindfulness course, Western Law will offer it again in the 2018 Winter Term.

View a video about the program https://youtu.be/Kj53Hb_QGyI