The mind-body group for teacher stress : a trauma-informed intervention program

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2022-06-24

Authors

Eyal, Maytal Yakira

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Abstract

The stressful nature of the teaching profession leaves many of today’s educators feeling overworked, burned out, and dissatisfied with their jobs. Teachers appear to face an ever growing list of demands, with scarce resources for support. This study sought to deliver a group intervention program to support teachers’ abilities to engage in self-care and stress management. Called the Mind-Body Group for Teacher Stress (MBGTS), the group was built upon two theoretical frameworks: trauma-informed care and mind-body practices. Halfway through the implementation of the group, the COVID-19 global pandemic emerged. While the original purpose of the study was to qualitatively explore teachers’ experiences participating in MBGTS, it evolved to include teachers’ experiences with COVID-19. A total of twenty-eight teachers participated in the study. A qualitative research design was employed; data was gathered from teacher interviews and focus groups and analyzed through an inductive thematic analysis approach. Overall, results showed that teachers benefitted from participating in MBGTS. Teachers reported garnering a sense of connection and community and developing increased mind-body awareness and self-regulation as a result of participating in MBGTS. In regards to navigating the breakout of the COVID-19 global pandemic, teachers reported experiencing overwhelming feelings of isolation, groundlessness, and uncertainty. Most difficult of all for teachers, however, was the adverse impact the pandemic had on their relationships with students. Future clinical and research implications are discussed.

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