Peace Inside: How meditation can transform your mental health

peaceSam Settle, editor of Peace Inside, examines how the time tested practice of meditation – sitting in silence and paying attention to the breath – is helping people maintain a healthy mind behind bars.

“If you don’t go into prison with a mental health problem, then you’re very likely to pick one up while you’re there. And if you do have a pre-existing condition – and many people who come into prison do – it’s probably going to get worse while you’re inside.” So said the head of the mental health team at an Oxfordshire prison, speaking recently to yoga teachers at a training run by our charity, the Prison Phoenix Trust (PPT). Part of the PPT’s work is setting up yoga and meditation classes in prisons, training and supporting qualified teachers for this unusual work. There are currently 144 classes in 79 UK and Irish prisons.

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‘The Forgiveness Project’ book – 12 years in the making

forgivenessAuthor Marina Cantacuzino explains how a journalistic idea evolved into the charity  The Forgiveness Project; dedicated to building understanding, encouraging reflection and enabling people to reconcile with pain and move forward from trauma in their own lives. Eventually, her work with the charity led to the publication of The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age – Marina explains how it came about and why she wanted to create a book from the stories she’d heard and the messages she’d learned.
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Marian Liebmann awarded an OBE

Marian Liebmann

Marian Liebmann leads a game during a Mediation Training Course, Gulu, Northern Uganda, March 2012

JKP are thrilled to share the news that in January this year Marian Liebmann was awarded an OBE for services to Social Justice through Art Therapy and Mediation.

On receiving the news Marian says she was very surprised, “A colleague had mentioned it to me but it was so long ago I hadn’t given it any thought. I was surprised too that it was an OBE rather than an MBE.” In terms of what it means to be awarded an OBE, Marian explains; “it means recognition for the work I’ve done over the years, and also recognition of my fields of work as important. The citation also includes ‘Social Justice’ which I am passionate about. I’ve been surprised by the number of people who have seen it in the paper and who regard it very positively – people who know nothing or very little about what I do – so it does help to raise the profile of my work with people who are not familiar with it.”

Over the course of her career Marian has worked in education, victim support, probation, art therapy, mediation, conflict resolution and restorative justice and in 2005 she received a special merit award of the Longford Prize for her pioneering work in art therapy, restorative justice and mediation.

Marian has written and edited ten books, including Art Therapy in Practice, Art Therapy with Offenders, Arts Approaches to Conflict, Art Therapy, Race and Culture, Mediation in Context, Art Therapy and Anger, and Restorative Justice: How It Works, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

The OBE ceremony will take place on 17thMay.