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  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 4, Michael Yapko 10.31.2011 17:51
    I just wanted to add a possible distinction between the two methods. Mindfulness (whether therapy or 'spiritually' based) involves developing the witness (conscious mind??), whereas hypnotherapy does not. This does not mean that hypnosis is sleep (like the word 'hypno'), but there seems to me a development of the sub-conscious (through trance) to engage in some kind of therapy. Where the two practices may converge is at least the fact that the sub-conscious is engaged regardless in both methods, but mindfulness does not stress trance, or engaging the unconscious, but rather, the witness or observer. My question to this forum therefore, what or who is the witness? Who or what is aware? The ego, or some deeper aspect of a 'self' (which Buddhism tells us doesnt even exist), in which case is there really and difference between hypnosis/mindfulness (conscious/unconscious awareness)?
  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 4, Michael Yapko 10.20.2011 17:56
    Reminded me instantly of my first Vipassana retreat. They were loath to accept someone with a "Hypnosis background" because, according to the then meditation instructor, Vipassana does NOT use "suggestion or in any such way influence the mind in one way or the other, it's about self-observation". Somehow I was accepted into the retreat though, and on the first day I lost count of how many hypnotic suggestions Goenka was using, but I was clear when he would use his 'hypnotic voice' and his 'usual voice'.

    Michael Yapko drove the point home when he used the term ‘self-deception’. I think such deception in spiritual communities leads to further repression of other important experiences too, like Desire. But Desire is the motor force of any experience, including mindfulness meditation!

    I don't think any conception of mindfulness would be complete without a discussion of Transference... A very important point was made about how the Buddha in the background, or any spiritual teacher, in and of itself can evoke expectancy from practitioners and potentially place the practice on a pedestal (positive transference). Transference is, of course, far more complex than that.

    In my view a massive problem in psychotherapy is a reductionist attempt to commercialize methodologies (and make them out to be superior than others), whether it be hypnosis, mindfulness or CBT. My main practice is psychoanalytic psychotherapy and I am constantly hearing criticisms of CBT. But CBT is just as natural as hypnosis, or mindfulness, in its pure form, is it not (how many times a day do we change our view about something!)? I mean, the problem I have with specific methods is the way they’re advertised/marketed as the holy grail of mental health, as though it can somehow be separated from its original context (devoid of things like affect, personal history, relationships etc - as a medical model which reduces people into symptoms/parts)...much like mindfulness is being taken out of its broader context... which was never intended as a 'technique' alone...

    Maybe mindfulness meditation and hypnosis are but ‘meta-rituals’ in that they can help open people up to deeper aspects of ourselves.

    Another fascinating point raised in the talk: dissociation. I had previously assumed this was often pathological (except when used for say pain conditions). Some mindfulness teachers may argue that the aim is not to dissociate. I would like some clarity on this point. I heard an elegant description the other day: ‘therapists need to be BOTH in and above the transference.’ I think this could involve something other than dissociation, perhaps as a form of mind training to be both ‘in experience’ and ‘observing’ simultaneously?
  • 0 NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough? NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 1, Jack Kornfield 10.02.2011 01:06
    Appreciated what I heard as both the complexity and simplicity in the attempt at an integration of meditation and psychotherapy. And, to avoid attachment to psychotherapy, meditative practice, or anything else as the supposed holy grail of mental health or spiritual awakening. However as the name of this series questions whether mindfulness meditation is 'enough', I wasn't sure where to propose the following questions to Jack and the other presenters: 1. I am interested in exploring Buddhist views on Desire, specifically Desire as Freud and Lacan made it synonymous with the life drive in many ways, and how many Buddhists have stated desire is the root of suffering. Is there a major difference in the intended meaning of the word? I mean, if a 'goal' of (Buddhist) meditation is to eradicate suffering by somehow dissolving desire, and a goal of psychotherapy (again Freudian/Lacanian) is to help the patient to uncover, know and own her Desire (unique life force which is separate from the demands of others), how are the two methods possibly compatible? 2. In meditation who or what is the observer/witness, if not a part of the ego/false self? 3. Is it truly enough in psychotherapy or meditation to strengthen the observer/witness? Consider the following quote from Lacan (2001) “It is false to think that an analysis comes to a successful denouement because the analysand consciously realizes something... What is at stake is not a move from an unconscious level plunged in darkness, to the conscious level, the seat of clarity, by some mysterious elevator... What is at stake is not, in fact, a move to consciousness but, rather, to speech...and that speech must be heard by someone.”
  • 0 P002 New Perspectives: Ethical Standards for the 21st Century PractitionerNew Perspectives on Ethics, Session 1: Comment Board 09.08.2011 20:33
    Really like the idea of demystifying the therapy process upfront; talking about therapy. Not assuming that the client has the same theories of change as we do. Working psychodynamically I was trained not to disclose much in this regard in service of more clearly eludicating the transference, but I can appreciate Mary Jo's point. Adam

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