Mindfulness at Jaywalker Lodge – A Bridge to the 12 Steps
Mindfulness based CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) interventions are now widely accepted, evidence based practices are used in many of the country’s best treatment centers. These practices are often offered as a replacement to more traditional addiction therapies and placed in opposition to 12-step facilitated treatment. Mindfulness need not be an alternative to 12-step treatment; we believe it is an effective and viable bridge to a sophisticated 12-step treatment protocol that meets the needs of diverse client populations. At Jaywalker Lodge, the mindfulness curriculum is designed to support each client’s 12-step program and focuses on teaching clients skills in the following sections: meditation, loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, wisdom, skillful action, attention, and values. In practical application, our program mirrors the wisdom of the 12-step traditions. We start each day with a reading/lesson, reflection, prayer, meditation and intention setting session that lasts about 20 minutes. Throughout the day, clients are asked to conduct three check-ins (called spot check inventories in the 12-step world) on the “skillful and unskillful” actions they’ve engaged in; when we end each day, clients conduct an effective and insightful evening review. At Jaywalker, we understand that the fundamental concepts of mindfulness are aligned with those of 12-step approaches and can, in fact, be a bridge for clients who struggle with understanding and accepting 12-step recovery. The formal mindfulness program has been running for about 6 months and has been received positively by the clients and staff.