Title

Relieving Suffering – Applying Buddhist Principles to Build Hope in Despairing Youth

Presenters

Kurt L. KrausFollow

Location

Scarbrough 2

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

Heart and Health – The content of this presentation addresses ways of conceptualizing “despair” through a lens of several of Buddhism’s guiding principles. Here “heart” will look at how Buddhist principles can underpin building a sense of community in classrooms and schools – especially for students with emotional and behavioral challenges. Compassion, character education, and positive identity will be components of working with youth in despair. “Health” will look more specifically at the application of Buddhist principals in the counseling and psychotherapy realm. Although this presentation will not emphasize diagnosis-specific interventions, it will teach and demonstrate ways by which counselors and therapists can firmly ground strategies for working with youth in several Buddhist principles.

Brief Program Description

Looking beyond many Western conventions, Buddhist principles offer innovative means of conceptualizing and designing interventions in classrooms (mindfulness practice), in counseling and psychotherapy (suffering and relief from suffering), and with families (compassion). This presentation will ask participants to consider how Buddhist principles can become complementary if not alternative approaches to working effectively with troubled and troubling youth.

Summary

Time and content in this presentation will be divided into three aspects. First, instruction in Buddhist principles - including but not limited to: the notion of suffering, relief from suffering; practices of mindfulness, awareness, and “mind training”; and, conceptualization of despair and the remedies to despair (in this context: hope). Second, careful attention will be made (with substantial participant input) to challenges troubled and troubling youth can place on settings and systems (classrooms, schools, families, respite and foster families), individuals (teachers, parents and siblings, counselors and therapists), and others as they are generated by participants/audience. Less diagnostic language and more practical, everyday, ways in which challenging youth interact with others around them will be obvious and clear. And third, through case examples, in vivo practice, and question and answer opportunities, participants will leave with clear, implementable methods to utilize if they wish in whatever setting they practice. Careful distinction will be made regarding Buddhism as a socio-cultural approach to living as contrasted to Buddhism as a religion or as a spiritual practice.

The presentation will be designed to introduce several key Buddhist principles to participants in applicable ways – centered on youth as students and as clients/patients. Participants from a wide-array of backgrounds working with “youth in despair” will leave this presentation with a new set of tools. The complementary nature rather than “instead of” nature of these principles will be emphasized. No products or services will be marketed through this workshop.

Evidence

Although empirical support for conceptual strategies is thin, this presentation will be rich with anecdotal evidence, case examples, and qualitative “thick descriptions” of successful applications of Buddhist principles in classrooms and counseling settings. Empirical support for treatment of “despair” and for efficacious treatment with adolescents will be included. This, however, is not a research presentation – it is a methodological presentation. Several examples of “approaches that can be implemented on Monday morning” will be offered. Please note that Buddhism and Buddhist principles are presented as socio-cultural rather than religious frameworks; this presentation will be secular, although a reading list and reference list will be provided for participants wishing to learn more about the Buddhism and Buddhist Psychology specifically related to the “heart” and “”health” themes of this conference.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kurt L. Kraus, NCC, LPC is professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Kurt’s clinical focus for nearly 30 years has been counseling children and adolescents. His recent writing and research has focused on the interface of Buddhism and mental health. The U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Bhutan 2014-2015, Kurt is currently involved in a phenomenological study of Bhutan’s Buddhist meditation masters.

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

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Mar 8th, 2:45 PM Mar 8th, 4:00 PM

Relieving Suffering – Applying Buddhist Principles to Build Hope in Despairing Youth

Scarbrough 2

Looking beyond many Western conventions, Buddhist principles offer innovative means of conceptualizing and designing interventions in classrooms (mindfulness practice), in counseling and psychotherapy (suffering and relief from suffering), and with families (compassion). This presentation will ask participants to consider how Buddhist principles can become complementary if not alternative approaches to working effectively with troubled and troubling youth.