Psychotherapist - Leadership Mentor - Author
My name is Iseult White and I wrote The Mindfulness Workout.
I had fun writing it and I hope you have fun reading it.
At one stage during the writing process I had a crisis of confidence and I noticed myself having the thought
Who am I to write a book on mindfulness for teenagers?
And then I reminded myself of all the life experiences that contributed to the writing of this book:
- Parenting teenagers
- Practicing and teaching mindfulness
- Working as a psychotherapist
- Working in technology
One of the reasons I wrote the book is to help teenagers deal with their own crises of confidence, and all the other challenges they face on the path to adulthood ... mindfulness helps!
First up, I parent teenagers
And if you want to be particularly precise about terminology I also step-parent.
I got thrown in at the deep end when I was gifted two almost teenagers along with my baby daddy. And as baby number two followed along pretty quickly I went from zero to four children under the age of 13 in the space of 18 months.
Out of my depth would be a gross understatement!
I was not great at being a parent to teenagers for quite some time, but thankfully my step-children and I finally worked it out. So second time around with the next set of teenagers things have gone much better (Thanks B & K for the trial run!).
As a parent mindfulness helps me every time I verge into mindless rant territory with my teenagers, and it keeps me from getting stuck on the teenage emotional rollercoaster.
Somebody has to be centred and grounded some of the time! Thankyou mindfulness.
I practice mindfulness
I am a child of the seventies and my mother was into meditation and yoga. I first learned to meditate when I was 14 and yoga and meditation have been a part of my life since that time.
As a teenager I was at best an intermittent meditator but as an adult I always found my way back to mindfulness until it became woven into my daily life.
I practice as an integrative psychotherapist
And what exactly does that mean?
Integrative psychotherapy is based on the idea that there are many ways to understand people and what ails them just as there there are many approaches to helping people sort things out for themselves.
Mindfulness is one of the core ways that I understand the interconnection between feelings, thoughts, behaviours and actions, and it is one of the approaches I integrate into how I work with my psychotherapy clients, both adults and young people.
Of course I also have other ways of understanding and working with people, and those too contribute to the approach I take in teaching mindfulness and in writing The Mindfulness Workout.
I work with teenagers and young adults
As a psychotherapist I work with people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Many of my clients are young people who have reached a place of serious distress. I work with third level students in a university setting and in my private practice I see many teenagers. Many of my adult clients are people who didn’t get the right help when they were teenagers.
20% of teenagers experience a mental health problem in any given year, yet 70% do not get appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
No matter what packaging a teenagers distress comes in (depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidality), at the heart of what is troubling them, I find the same core issue again and again. They cannot regulate their emotions and lack constructive ways of managing their distress.
Mindfulness supports emotion regulation and distress tolerance. That is why mindfulness is integrated into a number of evidence based therapies including MBCT, DBT and ACT.
When introduced sensitively and sensibly I find that many young people benefit from learning the basics of mindfulness.
I moonlight as a computer scientist
No really I do and even though you might think of it as non sequitur my technology background contributes to the genesis of The Mindfulness Workout.
My work in technology focussed on processes - the software development process, the process of architecting large systems, the business processes involved in introducing new technologies, and kaizen or continuous process improvement. I wrote a couple of books that were used extensively as university texts!
I am a process geek. I just love processes, and I love improving them.
So what does that have to do with The Mindfulness Workout?
Learning mindfulness is a process, made up of small building blocks, that can develop into a life long and life time practice.
But it is important to make that process easy to understand and easy to learn. That is what I try to do in The Mindfulness Workout.
Find out for yourself if I have succeeded, or if you are not ready, see what other people are saying in the testimonials.