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Clara is a middle-school student who has just moved to San Rafael from Arkansas. She describes the move as “super tough.” Clara was chosen for the six-session Wisdom Warriors group because the school counselors noticed she was having a hard time making friends. She walked through the halls with her head down, wearing the same gray sweatshirt every day.

Wisdom Warriors sessions enabled Clara to interact with a small group of her peers who were also struggling with loneliness and family losses. She values the group for giving her a chance to “come out of her shell” and “talk about tough stuff.”

In particular, the brief mindfulness meditation used in the group allows her to “quiet my mind for a few minutes.” Clara talked of one particular exercise that let her connect to the “wisdom beyond her thoughts.” She described being led on a short guided journey where she connected with parts of herself she didn’t know about. The meditation made her realize that she is strong in ways she hadn’t known, changing her perspective about life.

Last week, Clara walked into group with her head held high, wearing a bright purple dress. Her group members commented on how she wasn’t wearing her gray sweatshirt. “I feel different today,” she said and smiled to the intern-therapists. “I am stronger than I thought.”

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