Group Yoga Therapy Impacts Mood States of Adolescents in a Psychiatric Hospital Setting

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Group Yoga TherapyWith decreased funding for staff, and increased regulatory requirements to prevent seclusions and restraints, psychiatric inpatient units for youth have struggled to maintain a safe and therapeutic environment. With the goal of offering youth alternative strategies for processing or modulating their emotional states, as well as to expose them to normative coping skills that they may choose to continue following an inpatient hospitalization, the psychiatric inpatient units at a large children’s hospital approached this dilemma by integrating a number of complementary and alternative medicine approaches into their milieu therapy, including yoga therapy. In this hospital, a registered children’s yoga teacher, who also had Licensed Professional Counselor status through the State of Colorado, offered 60-90 min group yoga therapy sessions weekly to all patients in the adolescent inpatient unit, the adolescent day treatment program, and the eating disorders program beginning in 2005. Milieu staff could choose to continue to offer videotaped yoga sessions to youth during other less structured times on the units as well.

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