The Evolution of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training Programs for People Who Serve Historically Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups

Author: Abraham Dejene1, Zoie Carter1, Erin Woo1, Shufang Sun1, Eric B Loucks1, Jeffrey Proulx1
1 Department of Behavioral and Social Science, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Conference/Journal: Glob Adv Integr Med Health
Date published: 2024 Apr 13
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Pages: 27536130241244744 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/27536130241244744. , Word Count: 256

There is a lack of mindfulness instructors from underserved/underrepresented communities who have completed systematic mindfulness teacher-training programs to meet the growing demand for culturally responsive mindfulness training in those communities.

To investigate strategies for increasing the representation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers who serve historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Conducted through 4 one-hour Zoom focus groups (n = 54; women = 74%), this study queried individuals with experience serving underrepresented racial and ethnic communities, and had mindfulness experience, on how to increase participation from underrepresented communities in mindfulness. Thematic analysis of transcripts of participant responses involved double-coding by three team members, supporting rigorous evaluation of the data. All respondents who expressed interest in participating enrolled (no dropout from study enrollment to participation in focus groups).

The study identified four key themes that illuminate challenges and essential adaptations for MBSR teacher training aimed at individuals serving historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. These themes include: (1) Cost and time commitment; (2) Trauma sensitivity; (3) Cultural Awareness; and (4) Diversity in teachers.

Participants provided actionable recommendations poised to facilitate the expansion of MBSR into more diverse communities, emphasizing optimal benefits and effective communication of inherent healing strengths within these communities. The findings underscore the compelling interest among leaders in marginalized communities to extend the reach of MBSR through culturally responsive approaches. This involves guiding pertinent adjustments and encouraging greater involvement of underserved communities in MBSR teacher training programs.

Keywords: culturally responsive mindfulness; diversity in mindfulness training; mindfulness instructor representation; mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR); underrepresented communities.

PMID: 38623412 PMCID: PMC11017240 DOI: 10.1177/27536130241244744