Brebeuf Jesuit’s Mindful Approach to Education

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, a Catholic Jesuit school on Indianapolis’ northwest side, prides itself on providing its students with a well-rounded high school education. 

Fostering a community of dialogue, compassion, and understanding, Brebeuf welcomes students from all religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Each and every day, these students are challenged academically, spiritually, and socially in an environment that encourages excellence. 

As a college preparatory school, Brebeuf Jesuit strives to set its students up for future success. To achieve this goal, it has integrated health and wellness into its curriculum. Brebeuf educators and administrators understand that students’ mental and physical health is directly linked to their overall wellbeing. To help usher students towards their bright futures, Brebeuf offers a unique set of health and wellness elective courses, including a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) program, yoga, and Tae Kwon Do.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy, otherwise known as DBT, is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that aims to teach people healthy coping skills for all of life’s stressors. DBT stems from a philosophical process called dialectics, which asserts that all things are interconnected and change is inevitable. With these beliefs at the center, those engaged in this form of therapy work to handle change in a positive way.

Brebeuf Jesuit offers a four-year elective DBT mindfulness training program, designed for students who are interested in learning and applying these coping skills to improve emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal skills. The curriculum, developed by Dr. Jim Mazza, Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza, and their colleagues, is designed specifically for middle and high schools. Through readings, videos, reflections, and guided mindfulness practices, adolescents learn how to deal with stress, change and difficult emotions in healthy ways.

At the high school age, these students experience change after change, challenge after challenge. Understanding how to better manage these challenges encourages a broader understanding of world interconnectedness among Brebeuf Jesuit students, molding them into thoughtful and intentional global citizens. 

Physical Education

Brebeuf knows that physical activity is one of the best outlets for stress and anxiety. Offering 38 organized sports teams, physical conditioning classes, and intramural sports opportunities, Brebeuf provides its students with many options to break a sweat. And for those looking to integrate a daily dose of mindfulness into their schedules, Brebeuf also offers yoga and Tae Kwon Do classes.

Brebeuf’s yoga courses expose students to the basic asanas of yoga, which emphasize proper form and breathing. Through daily practice in this class, students benefit from the relaxation, flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance techniques. Similarly, Brebeuf’s Tae Kwon Do classes function as “meditation in motion” in their improvement of students’ physical strength, balance, flexibility, and conditioning. Alongside every movement in these courses comes an opportunity for mindfulness through increased self-awareness, situational awareness, and self-confidence. Students are taught to replicate these mindful practices in their everyday lives in the classroom, at work, with friends, with family, or by themselves. 

The lessons in these mindfulness-driven courses reach well beyond the classroom. Brebeuf’s commitment to health and wellness demonstrates its desire to send not only well-read and well-educated students out into the world, but also thoughtful, introspective, self-aware, and kind ones−making the world a little better, one Brebeuf Jesuit graduate at a time.

Brought to you by Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

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