Mindfulness for students

SCIE Social Care Online
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Publication date:
01 January 2012


Students often suffer from performance anxiety and exam stress. This article describes how mindfulness training has been used to help young people cope with competitive pressures at a high-ranking music college. The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) is a prestigious music and drama college with approximately 700 students. The courses all work towards a performance in some shape or form, and performance anxiety is one of the challenges the students face. An 8-week course for performance anxiety and stress adapted from mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been developed and taught at RWCMD. The programme focuses specifically on anxiety and stress in performance and test situations. The experiential skills-based sessions last 1.5 hours and teach mindfulness practices such as focusing on the breath, mindful movement, and use of 3-minute breathing pauses, as well as informal mindfulness exercises such as practising mindful awareness of regular daily activities. Student responses to the course have been very positive.