Karen Bluth

Dr. Karen Bluth received her PhD in Child and Family Studies in 2012 from the University of Tennessee, and holds a faculty position in the Program on Integrative Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. As a self-compassion and mindfulness researcher and teacher, Dr. Bluth’s research focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting well-being in youth.

She was awarded a Francisco J. Varela grant from the Mind and Life Foundation in 2012, which allowed her to explore the effects of a mindfulness intervention on adolescents’ well-being through examining stress biomarkers, as well as the relationship of self-compassion on the physiologic stress response. As the recent recipient of a NC TraCS grant, Dr. Bluth is currently exploring the relationships among mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional wellbeing in teens in grades 7-12.

Further, she is co-creator of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens, which is an adaptation of the Neff and Germer Mindful Self-Compassion Program for adults. This program is currently being piloted at both the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and University of California, San Diego, and teacher trainings are currently underway. Through support from the John Rex Endowment, Dr. Bluth is collaborating with a local community organization in Southeast Raleigh to train community leaders to teach mindfulness to adolescents, and mindfulness and self-compassion to their adult caregivers.

As a mindfulness practitioner for almost 40 years and a lifelong educator with 18 years of classroom experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks and conducts workshops in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational settings and in the community. Dr. Bluth is an Associate Editor of the academic journal Mindfulness and Associate Director of the UNC Mindfulness Program on Stress and Pain Management.