Class Discussion: Mindfulness-Based Occupational Therapy

New certificate program provides training in compassionate care

Photo: David Schmitz

“We are currently experiencing a chronic disease crisis in the United States,” says SJSU Lecturer Rochelle McLaughlin, ’00 MS Occupational Therapy. “Our healthcare practitioners have to manage over-full patient care loads, and the healthcare environment is incredibly intense.”

“Be more in tune with what’s needed in the moment.”

To help practitioners learn to be more balanced, McLaughlin developed SJSU’s new Mindfulness-Based Occupational Therapy (MBOT) Advanced Certificate Program. The five-part, 11-unit sequential program includes four online courses and a five-day, mid-program retreat. It teaches students to appropriately integrate the skills of mindfulness into both their personal lives and professional careers in a variety of healthcare settings. Open to licensed healthcare professionals, McLaughlin says that the pilot program will prepare students to take better care of themselves and their patients. Students will be able to respond more skillfully to the intensities that are inherent in today’s healthcare environment.

“Practitioners tend to over-give of themselves, which can lead to burnout, anxiety and depression. The skills practiced in MBOT are an antidote for these imbalances,” she says. “It helps them be more in tune with what’s needed in the moment and how to meet the needs of others in an empathetic, compassionate way.”

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Each one is an opportunity to choose how to respond, says McLaughlin. “The recognition that we have a choice can be profoundly healing, empowering and liberating.”


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