Me. Why Mindfulness?
Alison Keane has been teaching and guiding people in mindfulness and compassion practices for well-being since 2007. Her experience draws from her training and work as:
- A Brisbane clinical psychotherapist (registered with the Queensland Counsellors’ Association, a member organisation of PACFA)
- A mindfulness, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and meditation teacher (accredited with the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society)
- Mindful and yin yoga teacher (International Yoga Teachers’ Association & Level 2 teacher Yoga Australia)
- Mindfulness is an important part of Alison’s well-being and life. She meditates and practices yoga.
“Anyone can meditate and also be mindful. It’s more challenging to make these wellness practices a part of life…Not giving up! The mind loves checking out of ‘mindfulness school! But it’s really worthwhile if you stick with it”
Alison has worked in the field of mind body, participatory and preventive healthcare in Australia since 2001. She is one of a handful of Australian mindfulness teachers accredited with the CFM, an international agency involved in setting up global teaching standards. Her Queensland mindfulness course Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was featured in the award-winning SBS documentary, The Silent Epidemic first screened in 2010 and televised to international audiences.
Alison’s courses and presentations are warm, engaging and informative, and at times draw from her experiences as a former ABC television producer and journalist, senior government media advisor and company director and anxiety sufferer.
More about Alison’s experience in teaching mindfulness
Alison trained in the teaching of mindfulness under the direction of American educator, Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Jon Kabat-Zinn in California in 2007. Jon, a molecular biologist and long term meditation practitioner is widely credited with distilling the Buddhist model of mindfulness for western medicine and audiences. Alison attends Buddhist, Insight Yoga and secular meditation retreats for support and nourishment in her teaching, and in her life.
“…in my thirties I realised I had anxiety that was hitting fairly high. What a revelation! I thought everyone experienced the tension headaches, late night worrying. I joined a yoga class and on a family member’s recommendation began to meditate. My anxious thoughts started to drop away. Another epiphany! In 2007 I found out about mindfulness and how it can help stress. Even though I wasn’t quite sure how I would fund it and get myself there I decided to travel to the US in Spring to study under Drs Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Jet lag, an unexpected northern Californian snow blizzard (only Brissie t-shirts in the backpack!) and not quite knowing what was ahead made anxiety rise up again. Fortunately, I was in good hands!”
Moving on from jet lag and anxiety…
Alison spent seven days with other healthcare professionals in a training retreat and then returned to Brisbane to undergo further and extensive training as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) facilitator and MBCT therapist. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is similar to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and like MBSR may be helpful in bringing ease to mental stress and chronic pain.
Alison has taught hatha yoga in Brisbane privately and in the corporate sector since 2001. Her specialty is mindful, yin and restorative yoga.
“Too often in a busy and driven world we are drawn to exercise that is similar – pushing, driving, trying to reach a goal, get somewhere with it! What we are needing is to use and move the body which gentles our active or worries minds into slowing down and finding some peace and ease.”
Alison has studied and practised yoga with many wonderful teachers over the years including:
- leading yin yoga teachers, Paul and Susie Grilley (Esalen Institute, Ca)
- Insight Yoga founder, Sarah Powers (Esalen)
- Restorative yoga educator, Judith Lasater
- Iyengar’s Peter Scott
- within Brisbane’s Ashtanga yoga community
Private Mindfulness Meditation, Lifestyle Coaching and Yoga for Wellbeing
Rather than MBSR or other mindfulness training in a larger group you may prefer to see Alison one on one for a private counselling session, for support and training in developing a personal mindfulness meditation practice, for relaxation techniques or to learn yoga and mindful movement.
Alison’s private clients are a diverse group! They include air traffic controllers, therapists, school principals and teachers, parents and families, politicians, retirees and HR professionals.
Below are some of the reasons that people have given for seeking one on one support whether a counselling session or a mindfulness or yoga private class.
- to calm my mind so I can reduce anxiety and be able to focus better on my ‘med’ exams
- a desire to become a regular meditator, not just an occasional one!
- to be less irritable and reactive with my staff, to be a better person (at work)
- to introduce my daughter to meditation and yoga to help her with anxiety which seems to be getting worse
- I go to the gym but I do nothing to look after my mental wellbeing. It’s time!
Mindfulness Training and Support for Healthcare Clinicians
Alison has produced the two day training The Mindful Therapist which can be delivered in your own workplace. Whether we are workplace managers, supervisors, therapists, or teachers we set out to meet others with authentic, clear-headed, open-hearted presence. But this advanced therapeutic skill can be easily chipped away by our own emotional reactivity to stress at work and in everyday life, and unconscious long held patterns of thinking, even deeply buried core beliefs.This workshop brings a laser light focus to how we can begin to use mindfulness as a way of being more present, compassionate and authentic for others and for ourselves.
Alison has presented training for the State Library Queensland (SLQ), Queensland Health, Queensland Cardiovascular Group, Education Queensland, the Queensland Law Society, Legal Aid Queensland, Triathlon Queensland, Epilepsy Queensland, Brisbane Catholic Education, local law firms, corporate workplaces and organisations in the non-government sector.
While mindfulness is a practice that can be learnt relatively easily, to cultivate these capacities in the long term requires determination and a commitment to regular practice.
Contact Alison here
Award Winning SBS Documentary About Mindfulness
Alison’s Brisbane MBSR course was featured in an award-winning SBS television documentary, The Silent Epidemic. The show highlighted the positive mind-changing mindfulness journey of a young Brisbane woman, Ali Dower.
Alison is a keynote speaker on health and well-being, including the positive impact of meditation and secular mindfulness in people’s lives.
- 2013 – Speaker at Yoga Australia’s national conference, Unity in Diversity.
- 2015 – Presenter at Brisbane’s premier yoga event YogaFest
- 2017 – Keynote address, Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA)
Mindfulness Presence in Education
Alison has designed and delivered training for TAFE and Education Queensland teachers and career guidance officers. She continues to mentor principals and other school leaders.
In 2015 Alison travelled to Bhutan and explored education policy emphasis on mindfulness and meditation in schools there.
As well as her own mindfulness courses for the education sector she is also a presenter of the 8-week well-being course Reconnected in Brisbane schools. Reconnected is a program developed by UK-based Mind with Heart.