Meditation: Dr. Michel Mennesson, Psychiatrist for Newport Academy

Dr. Michel Mennesson, Psychiatrist for Newport Academy, utilizes practices of meditation in his treatment and therapy sessions with teens.

Accessing spiritual connection is indeed an integral part of Newport Academy’s holistic treatment philosophy. Meditation and mindfulness practices can create a foundation of calm. They also aid in self-reflection. These modalities sustain our teens’ commitment to healing and recovery. Beginning a therapy session with meditation can also help adolescents participate with greater intent, comfort, and ease.

There are many different forms of therapeutic meditation that Newport Academy utilizes. Dr. Mennesson encourages patients to think of places in which they feel safe and relaxed, and hold onto those images so they can be retrieved and replayed when fear or irritation arises. One approach is to encourage patients to focus on a single word while practicing deep breathing exercises. Another method used is to practice tightening and then loosening the muscles, starting at the head and moving down to the toes, to relax the body and establish connection between the mind and body.

Dr. Mennesson has found many benefits to using meditation in teen mental health and substance abuse treatment. Meditation slows the racing mind and allows negative thoughts to dissolve.

It has also been shown to:

•Improve immune response

•Reduce blood pressure and cortisol (“the stress hormone”)

•Decrease rumination and boost attention

•Reduce emotional reactivity

•Strengthen emotional resilience.

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