Expert on Mindfulness, Veterans’ Resilience to Lecture at UM Oct. 7

October 01, 2014

MISSOULA – Dan Libby, a University of Montana alumnus and executive director of the national Veterans Yoga Project, will present a lecture on mindfulness titled “Recovery & Resilience of our Military Veterans” on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at UM. The lecture is free and open to the public. It begins at 7:10 p.m. in the University Center Theater.

Libby conducted his postdoctoral research at Yale University and developed the Mindful Resilience Training program. MRT is an evidence-informed, clinically tested program developed specifically for veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress and other psychological difficulties. 

“It was developed based on feedback and data from hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members receiving treatment at residential and outpatient treatment programs,” Libby said. “Mindful Resilience has been successfully integrated into mental health and addiction treatment programs for veterans and active-duty military.

 “I will review some of the issues facing our military veterans, the limitations of traditional evidence-based treatments,” Libby said, “and how mindfulness and yoga are being used to build resilience, aid recovery and promote reintegration among veterans, their families and their communities.”

Last spring, Libby worked with UM Professor Laura Dybdal and Shawn Grove, director of UM’s VETS Office, to design a 12-week MRT pilot project for UM student veterans. The UM program was piloted in the Department of Health and Human Performance’s Mind/Body Lab. It was sponsored by the Veterans Yoga Project, UM’s Mind-Body Lab, the Student Veteran Association, UM VETS and The Bookstore at UM.

The success of the pilot program prompted Dybdal and Grove to pursue expanded funding and foster a partnership with Missoula’s Red Willow Learning Center. The objective of the partnership is to provide an ongoing MRT program for student veterans and to conduct research on student veterans’ mindfulness, stress and pain levels, academic retention and other factors.

Libby’s visit to Missoula will also include a MRT session for health care professionals and yoga teachers and a session for student veterans.

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Contact: Laura Dybdal, professor, UM Department of Health and Human Performance, 406-546-1220, laura.dybdal@mso.umt.edu.