NJ Department of Children and Families Series on Trauma Informed Care

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Mindfulness and Vicarious Trauma

Course Code: IT0101IC15

Date & Time

Last Held: Thursday, June 11, 2015
9:30am - 3:30pm (Check-in time: 8:30am)

Next offering TBD.


Over the past 30 years a growing body of theory and research has placed mindfulness-based interventions on the cutting edge of strength based efforts to promote health, balance, and well-being in the midst of the challenges we face as human beings in a modern age. Most simply defined as present moment awareness with acceptance, mindfulness invites us to attend to and hold our inner and outer experiences with curiosity and compassion and thereby facilitates our ability to respond instead of react to the personal, interpersonal and professional stressors that arise from one moment to the next. Participants in this workshop will gain a first-hand experiential introduction to actual mindfulness practices and methods for incorporating mindfulness into their everyday life. The role mindfulness practice can play in cultivating resilience and limiting the occurrence of vicarious trauma in providers of behavioral health services will also be explored.

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Victor Frankl, M.D.

The goal of this training is to provide an experiential and conceptual framework from which to explore the use of mindfulness practice in both professional and personal contexts. Please note this is a highly participatory training that will involve experiential exercises in breath awareness, intentional silence, and gentle focused movement as a means to give participants first-hand experience with present centered awareness.


  1. Understand mindfulness both conceptually and experientially.
  2. Learn how mindfulness practice can facilitate responding vs. reacting to internal & external stressors.
  3. Cultivate a working knowledge of at least two formal and two informal mindfulness practices to use daily.


8:30am Coffee, Registration
9:30am Welcoming Remarks
Turning Towards the Present Moment
12:00pm Remarks, Lunch
Holding Our Experience with Compassion
Closing Remarks & Conclusion


Ken A. Verni, PsyD
Director, NJ Center for Mindful Awareness

Ken Verni, Trauma Informed Care Speaker Dr. Verni is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of the NJ Center for Mindful Awareness. He has focused his professional and personal training over the past 20 years on his interest in helping individuals access and use their inner wisdom as a means to experience greater balance and fulfillment in their lives. A long time student and practitioner of mindfulness meditation, Dr. Verni originally trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn from the Center for Mindfulness at Umass in 2006 and he continues to participate in the advanced trainings and supervision offered at Umass for experienced MBSR teachers. He facilitates time-limited courses in MBSR in private, corporate and clinical settings. He has taught MBSR programs for Google employees at their NYC office and he was the lead mindfulness instructor in a research project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Verni received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. His doctoral dissertation entitled "Sitting Still in the Midst of Change" focused on the positive impact mindfulness practice can have on adolescent identity formation and psychological stability. He is also affiliated with Rutgers University as a training and consultation specialist providing trainings throughout the state of NJ on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). He currently maintains a private practice in Highland Park providing psychotherapy services to adolescents and adults, as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction programs.


4 Clinical CEs for Social Workers


There is no charge for this program; however, pre-registration is required. You must add your selected program to your cart at check-out in order to confirm your registration. Walk-ins will not be permitted.

Substitutions are permitted.


Morning coffee and a deli lunch are included. Breakfast will not be provided.

NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


The Professional Center at DCF
30 Van Dyke Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Directions and Parking Information

Note: Pre-registration is required. We're sorry, but we cannot guarantee a seat, materials or meals for walk-in registrants. Location is subject to change; registrants will be notified in the event of a change.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Mindfulness and Vicarious Trauma" or Course Code IT0101) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Senior Program Coordinator: Dalynn Knigge, 848-932-7315
Administrative Assistant: Bianca Scardina, 848-932-7316

Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

If you require special assistance, please notify our office when you register for a course and no less than one week in advance of the course start date. Every effort will be made to accommodate reasonable requests to meet your needs. For more information, please visit the Rutgers Office of Disability Services.