Mindfulness Instructor
February 13, 2017

Mindfulness Instructor to Visit Andover

Join Alison Cohen for Two Days of Mindfulness Opportunities
by Jenny Corke

Alison Cohen, a mindfulness teacher, will be at Phillips Academy on Tuesday, February 21, and Wednesday, February 22, 2017. She will lead mindfulness practice groups and will present workshops to the PA community about the connections between mindfulness, implicit bias, and brain science. Part of the ongoing Mindfulness@Andover series, Cohen’s visit is hosted by the Tang Institute and Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center. Her presentations will also build upon the current Tang Institute project, Mindful Community, led by Andy Housiaux, which is exploring the role of mindfulness on campus and providing weekly sits and other activities.

Trained as a mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher, Cohen is currently on the faculty at Columbia Teachers’ College Summer Principals Academy and works as an Institute for Student Achievement Instructional coach in public schools in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the author of the article “Building a Community of Self-Compassion.” Her mindfulness workshops integrate training in growth mindset, restorative practices, mindful communication, and bias awareness, with a specific emphasis on unconscious (also known as implicit or unexamined) bias.

Alison Cohen: Upcoming Opportunities

On Tuesday, February 21, Cohen will lead an interactive workshop, “Mindfulness and Implicit Bias,” at 6:30 p.m. in the Freeman Room. Desserts will be provided. This event is cohosted by Out of The Blue (OOTB), Andover’s student club dedicated to capturing and sharing the true stories of PA students with the broader community. On Wednesday, February 22, she will host a number of additional activities, including:

  • Community sit, noon, Pearson C
  • Tang Lunch & Discussion, led by Cohen, 1 to 2 p.m., Pearson C
  • Discussion with Cohen on “What is Mindfulness?” at 5:30 p.m., Pearson C. Dinner will be provided. This evening event is cohosted by OOTB.


Research has found that mindfulness training has significant effects on students’ and school staff members’ focus, stress management, impulse control, and relationships. For school staff members, the benefits also include improved classroom management, more skillful interaction with students, and burnout reduction.

What is Mindfulness?

  • Purposefully paying nonjudgmental, compassionate attention to whatever arises in one’s moment-to-moment experience, such as thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and sounds.

  • Becoming more aware of what you are experiencing, strengthening your ability to replace autopilot or impulsive reactions with more thoughtful responses.

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