Maria F. Usewick, OTR, RYT
Certified Mindfulness Educator/Trainer

Anchored Minds & Bodies, LLC  provides wellness-based programs with an emphasis on education, training, and practice in mindfulness skills for all children, teens, and adults, through school programs, classes, workshops, retreats, and sports programs.  Weekly guided relaxation and mindful meditation classes are also available for adults and older teens to help ease the effects of daily stress, to aid in maintaining a routine personal mindfulness practice, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

*Occupational Therapy services available for children in grades K-6. 

About Anchored Minds & Bodies

***  Currently serving Somerset County, NJ  and surrounding areas.  ***

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About Maria:

​​I am the owner and founder of Anchored Minds & Bodies, LLC.  I have been a pediatric occupational therapist for over 20 years.  I initially found mindfulness, and started a personal practice, in an effort to manage chronic back pain.  Realizing these tools would be beneficial for the children with whom I work, struggling with difficulties in:  self-regulation, sensory processing, sustaining attention to tasks, anxiety, and social-emotional skills,  I began teaching mindfulness in the clinical setting and in schools, both individually and in groups.  As the children became more self-aware, confident, and happy, I thought, "how wonderful mindfulness would be for all kids, adults, families, schools, athletes and/or performing artists".  We can all benefit from being more "tuned in" to our internal environment (thoughts, emotions, physical sensations) and our external environment; yet, not be thoroughly distracted by it all.   Providing occupational therapy in schools allows me to share the benefits of mindfulness with teachers and to educate other school staff/students.  In addition, by educating parents and offering weekly classes to practice, it has helped parents model these valuable life skills and, in-turn, help children to generalize the skills beyond therapy, to their home environment. 

Mindfulness is a natural extension of occupational therapy, as it is a life skill, (significantly based in science - neurology, physiology, and sensory processing, including the mental health constructs of OT) that can be cultivated with understanding and practice, much like many of the life skills developed and strengthened by OT; therefore, I was very excited to further my training in this field of study.  I received certification and the majority of my mindfulness training through the Mindful Schools Year Long Certification Program, as well as through numerous OT Continuing Ed courses and Retreats pertaining to this subject area, including a (MBSR) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course for Professionals and a Training Intensive on the Learning to Breathe (L2B) Mindfulness Program for Adolescents. I am a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and I incorporate mindful movement in many of my training programs in the classroom, at the wellness center, and privately. 

Although mindfulness has therapeutic value, mindfulness training does not discriminate!  You don't need to have a diagnosis or a problem....mindfulness benefits EVERYONE...which is why I have brought this training to the community.  Teaching these skills in wellness centers, businesses, gyms, homes, and schools for all to benefit, eliminates the stigma associated with any form of mental training.  Many corporate executives, professional athletes, and celebrities are also promoting mindfulness mental training. 

Having three teenage boys, I see the immediate value to sharing mindfulness with teenagers.  As we all know, from having experienced this challenging time of life, there are many stressors; however, in today's technology filled world the teens of today are under a microscope every day...competing, comparing, judging, being judged, worrying, expecting and accepting nothing less than perfection from themselves and others. Many have little compassion for themselves and, therefore, are challenged to offer kindness and compassion towards others.  It is, truly, a tumultuous time of life, which is why I believe in being PROACTIVE by teaching teens skillful ways to navigate the inevitable storms of adolescence.

In addition, I have found it very rewarding to work with teens to prepare for SAT/ACT Exams, college readiness, and athletes/musicians to prepare for competition or a performance.  My three boys, like most teens, work hard to manage their busy schedules with challenging course loads and highly competitive sports (football, lacrosse, swim, and basketball).  I want to be confident that I have provided them with all the skills necessary to navigate life's challenges when they embark on college and their careers; therefore, mindfulness is an important part of our lives.  I am passionate about sharing these same skills with all the kids, teens and adults with whom I have the pleasure of working.

I look forward to collaborating with you, too!