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Psychotherapy and Mindfulness: a Good Marriage?

Is Our Goal Spiritual Growth or Symptom Reduction?

Ronald Siegel

By Ronald Siegel - As mindfulness practices work their way into the psychotherapeutic mainstream, we’re starting to ask more clinically sophisticated questions: Who needs what practice when? What about the downsides of some mindfulness interventions?

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Are We Getting Mindfulness Wrong?

Buddhist Thought Pioneer Mark Epstein Has a Message for Therapists

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - For psychiatrist and bestselling author Mark Epstein, a state of mindfulness isn’t just a prescription for quieting an anxious mind: it’s an introductory phase to a much deeper process of healing and enlightenment. In the following interview, he breaks down the intersection of Eastern and Western thought playing out in our culture today.

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The Mindfulness Explosion

The Perils of Mainstream Acceptance

Mary Sykes Wylie

The explosive growth of mindfulness in America has inevitably triggered a backlash—a low, rumbling protest, particularly from Buddhists, who're disturbed by how much meditation in America appears to have been individualized, monetized, corporatized, therapized, taken over, flattened, and generally coopted out of all resemblance to its noble origins in an ancient spiritual and moral tradition.

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The Therapeutic Goldmine of Song, Dance, and Mindfulness

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

John Kabat-Zinn sparked my interest when he recounted the time Oprah asked him, "Is there life after death?" His reply to her: "Oprah, I'm interested in the question, 'Is there life before death?'" Living fully is dependent on our capacity to practice mindfulness. The idea that acknowledging a feeling, even acknowledging pain, can reduce suffering is so powerful. Over time, I have realized what John Kabat-Zinn illustrated so beautifully this morning. Mindfulness is realized in a world full of human beings, people waiting to be seen and heard, and in search of ways to live more joyfully and with less suffering. We therapists have the privilege of being present for people who are doing just that. In this moment, I feel gratitude.

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Overcoming Depression Using a Mind-Body Approach

Zindel Segal Explains His Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Zindel Segal

When we're faced with a crisis, or when we're emotionally crashing, and there's no time to gather our thoughts, mindfulness can seem like a hopeless luxury, impossible to achieve. The program for depression my colleagues Mark Williams and John Teasdale and I developed, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), integrates the eight-week group approach of MBSR with basic principles of cognitive therapy. The act of observing our bodies is good training for when we feel bad---anxious or depressed---because it gives us a kind of emotional detachment, which acts as a stable emotional platform, preventing us from being overwhelmed by our feelings.

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Using Mindfulness to Connect with Therapy Clients

Meditation Exercises Soothe Clients and Build Rapport

Jerome Front

In the spacious room where I'm leading a retreat on relational mindfulness, several dozen therapists sit with their eyes closed, silently attending to their breathing. Many people understand this process as a path toward individual growth and healing, and it is. But the paradox of mindfulness meditation is that in cultivating a more attuned and loving relationship to ourselves, we nurture our capacity for a more resonant connection with others. Mindfulness has a pay-it-forward momentum---for when clinicians are more attuned to their clients, they, in turn, can more readily move forward into greater awareness and kindness toward themselves.

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Mindfulness and Awareness According to Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Father of MBSR Reflects on Mindfulness Today

Rich Simon

On the 10th anniversary of the publication of Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World, Jon Kabat-Zinn will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Networker Symposium this March in Washington, DC. He’ll explore the connection between the intensely private experience of living a meditative life and responding to the vast deluge of global and social problems we collectively face. In this interview, he explains the concept of mindfulness, how to practice it, and its role in the world today.

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Mindfulness Enters American Health and Science

How Jon Kabat-Zinn Started a Mindful Revolution

Mary Sykes Wylie

In 1979, a 35-year-old MIT-trained molecular biologist had a vision of what his life’s work—his “karmic assignment”—would be. He’d bring the ancient Eastern disciplines he’d followed for 13 years—mindfulness meditation and yoga—to chronically sick people right here in modern America. What’s more, he’d bring these practices into the very belly of the Western scientific beast. Not exactly a modest scheme. But Jon Kabat-Zinn, the originator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), would manage to pull it off. Since then, mindfulness has spilled out of the healthcare/psychotherapy world and into the rest of society. But the explosive growth of mindfulness in America has also inevitably triggered a backlash.

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The Mind-Body Magic of Jon Kabat-Zinn

One Man's Quest to Bring Therapeutic Mindfulness to Medicine

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie

In 1966, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a graduate student in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spotted a flyer advertising a talk about Zen. Today, nearly 40 years after that portentous afternoon talk, Kabat-Zinn is acknowledged as one of the pioneers in mind-body medicine---a field that integrates ancient spiritual traditions like yoga and meditation with mainstream medical practice. In 1979, Kabat-Zinn established the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the first center in the country to use meditation and yoga with patients suffering from intractable pain and chronic illness.

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VIDEO: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Your Practice

Exploring Sensations with Mindfulness Techniques

Elisha Goldstein

Clients who struggle with PTSD, depression, and other stress-related conditions may have a tough time staying engaged in the consulting room. No matter how lively your approach may be, their minds are likely to wander.

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