Presence of MIND
Valley launches stress management program for teens
In response to the growing need to provide teens with resources to manage their stress, Valley Medical Group’s Center for Integrative Medicine now offers a six-week Mindfulness Tools for Teens course designed to enhance areas of the brain that are important for regulating emotions, paying attention and relating more effectively to stressful situations.
“A lot of physical illness has its origins in stress,” says Dr. Jodie Katz, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine, which was founded in 2015 with the purpose of combining conventional Western medicine with complementary therapies to promote balance in mind, body and spirit. “Additionally, what we’re hearing anecdotally and seeing in the literature is showing us the prevalence of anxiety and depression in the adolescent population in very high.”
Katz, a board-certified family medicine physician, specializes in functional integrative medicine – a patient-centered approach that addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. She earned her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher certification from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness and began teaching a course for adults in 2006. When the Center for Integrative Medicine opened last year, she eyed a mindfulness course designed specifically for teens. Requests from the community, as well as disturbing trends among teens she noticed while practicing as a family physician, provided the impetus.