Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Movement and Mindfulness Empowerment Workshop for Adults with Serious Mental Illness


  • Michael L. Clarkson-Hendrix State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Paula J. Peters State University of New York at Fredonia




serious mental illness, adults, empowerment, dance, mindfulness


For seriously mentally ill adults, empowerment is critical to maximizing participation in major life activities. Although studies have identified interventions that have positively impacted empowerment, these interventions may not be applicable or amenable to all adults with serious mental illness. More interventions with other approaches are needed. Therefore, this study evaluated the initial implementation of a movement- and mindfulness-based workshop intervention. Quantitative data were used to examine differences in empowerment before and after the workshop, and qualitative data were used to explore participants’ perceptions of the reasons for empowerment differences. Ten participants completed the intervention, and nine of the ten participants also completed follow-up interviews. Quantitative data were collected via pre- and post-intervention surveys. Qualitative data were collected through follow-up interviews with the participants. Surveys revealed perceptions of optimism and control over the future increased between pre- and post-intervention. Interviews uncovered that increases in optimism and control over the future may have been related to workshop accomplishments and reduced helplessness outside of workshop sessions. Future research would benefit from the creation of a training manual along with a validated system to monitor intervention fidelity.

Author Biographies

Michael L. Clarkson-Hendrix, State University of New York at Fredonia

Michael Clarkson-Hendrix is assistant professor of social work at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Paula J. Peters, State University of New York at Fredonia

Paula Peters is assistant professor of dance at the State University of New York at Fredonia.


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