Title

Mindfulness, Flow, and Occupation

Start Time

6-10-2012 10:25 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 11:55 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a dynamic exchange of ideas about the concepts of mindfulness and flow and identify ways in which they relate to occupational science.
  2. Participants will be able to define the operational constructs of mindfulness and flow.
  3. Learners will become aware of the growing body of literature with occupational therapy/science regarding mindfulness.

There is a growing body of literature emerging in occupational therapy/science on mindfulness and its’ applications. While the concept of mindfulness is not new, its’ emergence within occupational therapy/science is. There are a number of related constructs that have been described in the occupational therapy/science literature – namely flow and presence. These need to be defined and differentiated by both practitioners and researchers if we are to understand how they influence occupational engagement. This is of particular relevance when researchers begin to examine outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions in terms of activity participation, restriction, and meaningfulness. One of the central questions that need to be addressed is whether it is enough to merely engage or participate in occupations, or is there a quality of that engagement that we want to support. The research into mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), just to name two, is currently increasing at an exponential rate. There are now a number of occupational therapy practitioners throughout the world trained in these interventions who are beginning to report on the effectiveness of these interventions. Typical measures being reported in the literature include psychological symptoms of distress, pain ratings, quality of life assessments, and biological markers, just to name a few. However, as occupational therapists and occupational scientists we have an opportunity to explore and report how these interventions change the frequency and degree of meaning in occupational engagement experienced by our clients, patients, and students. This requires us to first identify ways in which we can both quantify and qualify occupational engagement and occupational meaningfulness. In this forum, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences between the concepts of mindfulness and flow and engage in scholarly inquiry aimed at exploring how these constructs affect occupational engagement. This discourse could potentially lead to new areas of research in occupational science, and ultimately, a mechanism to assist individuals in “living life to the fullest”.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does mindfulness manifest in occupational engagement?
  2. How do you know that you are experiencing a state of flow when engaging in occupation?
  3. Are mindfulness and flow different constructs and if so, how are they different?
  4. Is there a difference in the quality of engagement when one is mindful?
  5. Can both mindfulness and flow be influenced by intention?

References

Gura, S. (2010). Mindfulness in occupational therapy education. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 24(3), 266-273. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07380571003770336

Reid, D. (2011). Mindfulness and flow in occupational engagement: Presence in doing. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78(1), 50-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.2182/cjot.2011.78.1.7

Stew, G. (2011). Mindfulness training for occupational therapy students. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(6), 269-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802211X13074383957869

Thompson, B. (2009). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for people with chronic conditions. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(9), 405-410.

Wright, J., Sadlo, G., & Stew, G. (2006). Challenge-skills and mindfulness: An exploration of the conundrum of flow process. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 26(1), 25-32.

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Oct 6th, 10:25 AM Oct 6th, 11:55 AM

Mindfulness, Flow, and Occupation

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a dynamic exchange of ideas about the concepts of mindfulness and flow and identify ways in which they relate to occupational science.
  2. Participants will be able to define the operational constructs of mindfulness and flow.
  3. Learners will become aware of the growing body of literature with occupational therapy/science regarding mindfulness.

There is a growing body of literature emerging in occupational therapy/science on mindfulness and its’ applications. While the concept of mindfulness is not new, its’ emergence within occupational therapy/science is. There are a number of related constructs that have been described in the occupational therapy/science literature – namely flow and presence. These need to be defined and differentiated by both practitioners and researchers if we are to understand how they influence occupational engagement. This is of particular relevance when researchers begin to examine outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions in terms of activity participation, restriction, and meaningfulness. One of the central questions that need to be addressed is whether it is enough to merely engage or participate in occupations, or is there a quality of that engagement that we want to support. The research into mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), just to name two, is currently increasing at an exponential rate. There are now a number of occupational therapy practitioners throughout the world trained in these interventions who are beginning to report on the effectiveness of these interventions. Typical measures being reported in the literature include psychological symptoms of distress, pain ratings, quality of life assessments, and biological markers, just to name a few. However, as occupational therapists and occupational scientists we have an opportunity to explore and report how these interventions change the frequency and degree of meaning in occupational engagement experienced by our clients, patients, and students. This requires us to first identify ways in which we can both quantify and qualify occupational engagement and occupational meaningfulness. In this forum, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences between the concepts of mindfulness and flow and engage in scholarly inquiry aimed at exploring how these constructs affect occupational engagement. This discourse could potentially lead to new areas of research in occupational science, and ultimately, a mechanism to assist individuals in “living life to the fullest”.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does mindfulness manifest in occupational engagement?
  2. How do you know that you are experiencing a state of flow when engaging in occupation?
  3. Are mindfulness and flow different constructs and if so, how are they different?
  4. Is there a difference in the quality of engagement when one is mindful?
  5. Can both mindfulness and flow be influenced by intention?