Engage in intensive training to change mindsets to create a more positive school climate and better motivated students.

Cost: $1,795

Join Us This Summer in Boston

From July 15-19, 2019 Learning & the Brain is offering a Summer Institute in the heart of Boston.

Join author, psychologist, and consultant Dr. Christopher Willard in this five-day intensive for educators looking for practical strategies to bringing mindfulness to kids and teens in schools and beyond. We will be exploring proven practices that can be used by teachers, therapists, coaches and more looking for creative ways to share mindfulness with students. Mindfulness is more than just breathing, and so is this workshop. Participants should be prepared for a week learning and practicing mindfulness through awareness, movement, games, play, and creative activities for all ages.

This practical workshop will focus on adapting mindfulness kids of all ages in a range of settings from the classroom to the stage, the clinic to the playing fields and beyond. Special emphasis will be placed on getting young people to buy in, as well as exploring mindfulness in their daily lives. We will also explore the importance of our own practice, starting or deepening our own mindful self-care as educators. Discussions will include strategies for building mindfulness programs school and district-wide. Special attention will also be given to harnessing the power of technology and social media.

Learning differences, cultural differences, developmental differences, not to mention different settings all impact how children learn, and this workshop explores ways to adapt mindfulness to the child in the moment, rather than taking a one-size-fits all approach We will discuss tailoring techniques to a range of learning, mental health and behavioral challenges, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, executive function challenges, impulse control difficulties, trauma and stress.  Different practices will engage different learning styles through arts, sports, games, music, technology and more, for attention spans ranging from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Participants will create an outline for their own curriculum, adapted for their school or setting. To ensure that our work remains hands-on and personal, the workshop is limited to 40 participants.

The Summer Institute Is for:

  • Classroom teachers, Special Educators
  • Specials Teachers (arts, health, PE, etc)
  • Social Workers, Psychologists, Learning and Support Specialists
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Administrators
  • Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists

You Will Learn to:

  • Discover practical ways to integrate mindfulness into the school day
  • Learn multiple methods of adapting mindfulness to a range of ages, backgrounds and learning styles
  • Understand the basic physiology and neuroscience of mindfulness
  • Bring mindfulness into academics, athletics, and more
  • Consider adaptations for specific mental health and learning issues
  • Create your own customized mindfulness scripts
  • Best practices to build a schoolwide mindfulness programs
  • Manage student and staff resistance


About the Institute

This Learning & the Brain Summer Institute will be led by Christopher Willard and assisted by Mitch Abblett. Active participation is expected throughout this Institute through group discussion. Participants will be expected to bring in material and questions from their own experiences to share with the group.

The sessions will take place on the campus of Boston University where participants will also be housed.

About Christopher Willard

Christopher Willard, PsyD is a psychologist, teacher at Harvard Medical School, and an educational consultant specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and leads workshops nationally and internationally. Dr. Willard currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He is the author of Raising Resilience (2017), Growing Up Mindful (2016), and Child's  Mind (2010).


About Mitch Abblett

Mitch Abblett, PhD is a clinical psychologist and consultant in private practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He recently served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a non-profit focusing on the education and training at the intersection of mindfulness and treatment. For over a decade prior, he was the Clinical Director of the Manville School, a Harvard-affiliated therapeutic day school program in Boston, serving children with emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties. Dr. Abblett publishes on the topics of mindfulness, professional development, and family mental health. His books include The Five Hurdles to Happiness - and the Mindful Path to Overcoming Them (2018) and The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients (2013) among others. He also co-authored the child/family-friendly practice aid Growing Mindful: A Deck of Practices for All Ages and additional mindfulness-related card decks. Three additional books are currently in process. Dr. Abblett conducts national and international trainings regarding mindfulness, communication, and clinical /professional effectiveness..

Professional Development Credit:

This program provides a total of up to 20 hours toward professional development credit for various professionals. For details on credit offered, visit our CE credit page or call our office at 781-449-4010 ext. 104. Note: credits are not provided by Boston University.

Accommodations and Meals:

Interaction between faculty and participants outside the classroom is an integral part of the Institute. To foster this total immersion learning environment, participants are housed in shared apartments with their own bedrooms in a dormitory on the campus of Boston University in Boston, MA. The apartments contain four bedrooms and two bathrooms and are located at 10 Buick Street. The Institute provides four nights lodging with an arrival date of July 15 and a departure date of July 19. Boston University is located in the city of Boston, close to Kenmore Square and Fenway Park and along the "T" with easy access to all the sites of Boston. The accommodations are ADA compliant. If you are interested in making your own accommodations or would like to plan an early arrival, please call us at 781-449-4010 x 101. Please check the online schedule for information on the meals provided.