Integrating contemplative practices with SEL to build resilience in New York schools: The Inner Resilience Program (IRP)

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The Inner Resilience Program (IRP) was founded by Linda Lantieri in 2002 in response to the effects of the September 11 attacks on New York City. Acknowledging  the trauma and stress present in the school communities, the program was designed to provide school staff and parents with the skills and support needed to rebuild their inner strength and resilience, and in doing so be better able to support the children in their care. IRP integrates contemplative (mindfulness) practice with social and emotional learning.

IRP includes weekend residential retreats for school staff, professional development workshops (on topics such as anger management, conflict resolution, self-care, stress reduction etc.), individual sessions and parent workshops at school sites. IRP has also developed a curriculum for students in grades K-8, titled Building Resilience from the Inside Out.

Results of a randomized control research study of 57 New York teachers and 855 students showed decreased stress and increased mindfulness in teachers, and decreased frustration and increased autonomy in students as a result of the IRP program.