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How Mindfulness Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

Cultivating Self-Compassion with Your Inner Critic

Tim Desmond

By Tim Desmond - Buddhist practices hold potential for helping clients, particularly those suffering from low self-esteem. One of the main goals of Buddhist meditation is cultivating compassion and love. Here are several techniques that focus on developing these qualities toward oneself.

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The Therapeutic Value of Buddhist Meditation

A Meditation Retreat Helps a Therapist Confront Cancer Trauma

David Treadway

I've been working hard on integrating Buddhist teachings and meditation practice into my life for six years now. But none of my spiritual practice prepared for my stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma that turned my life upside down two years ago. I was extremely sick and given a small chance to survive. In the first weeks, I spoke easily about the transformational power of illness, the gift of cancer. I thought I'd become enlightened. But in reality, I was out of my mind, quite dissociative. Buddhism doesn't mean being detached, uncaring, disengaged. I came to this retreat out of desperation. I'm here to learn how to live again.

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Addressing Race Therapeutically in Black Relationships

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

Today I attended a workshop called “Working with Black Couples: Overcoming Myths and Stereotypes,” led by Dr. Christiana Awosan. Being an African American female, this talk was very emotional and I was able to identify with some of the stereotypes that have been placed on black single heterosexual women. A big problem in black relationships, Christiana said, is not that black men and women don’t want to stay together. It’s that they don’t know how to sustain their relationship. Race is a huge contextual factor in why black couples have a hard time working through their issues. But nobody seems to be talking about this or giving voice to their oppressive experiences within society.

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Mindfulness, Conscious Breathing Exercises, and Cyber Intimacy

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

Although I have read his books and seen many videos of him in action, today's Networker Symposium workshop was the first in-person opportunity I've had to hear Jon Kabat-Zinn speak. This enlightening workshop was exactly the push I needed to reinstate mindful practice into my life, starting right here, right now. Here are a few of my favorite pearls of wisdom from the day: In all Asian languages, "mind" and "heart" are the same word. Thus, "mindfulness" is also "heartfulness," and "Do you live in a world of nouns or verbs?...Is your intention to be fully present without filling up the moment with anything extra?"

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Improving Therapy Through Song, Mindfulness, and Self-Care

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

I attended the Networker Symposium's Creativity Day because I figured I might take a couple interesting facts home with me or meet a few nice people the day before the large crowds came for the conference. I was pleasantly surprised at how incredible the Symposium was from the very second that Creativity Day started. From the traditional African music to the wonderful choreography on stage, I was energized for the day to begin. By the time I saw Jon Kabat-Zinn, I was inspired. I was blown away by how personable and intellectual he was with regard to mindfulness, along with how well he was able to translate his knowledge to the crowd.

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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 Rebirth of Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

How Marsha Linehan Revolutionized Therapy with DBT

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

For decades, most clinicians who had a choice avoided borderline clients, while agency staff (who couldn't) went through the motions with a sense of futility. Therapy consisted of guarding against "manipulation" and mining the borderline's reactions to the therapist for clues to her fragmented inner world. It was hard on clients---and on therapists as well. Then, in 1991, a behavioral psychologist and Zen student at the University of Washington named Marsha Linehan introduced an alternative. Her treatment was called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT.

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A Week of Silence

Quieting the Mind and Liberating the Self

Dan Siegel

I'm flying from Los Angeles to Boston for a week-long meditation retreat, and I'm feeling nervous. For the next seven days, I'll be sitting in silence with 100 other scientists at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, at an event sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute, an organization devoted to the scientific study of mindfulness and compassion. The event is unique: when before have 100 scientists, most of whom specialize in studying the brain, gathered together to sit in silence for a week and learn "mindfulness meditation"?

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Revolution on the Horizon

DBT Challenges the Borderline Diagnosis

Katy Butler, Katy Butler

DBT was no walk in the park: it required team treatment, including weekly individual therapy, a year-long "skills training" class, telephone coaching and supportive supervision for the therapist. But it offered clients and therapists alike a way out of chaos--a systematic clinical package that integrated the technical and analytical strengths of behaviorism, the subtleties of Zen training, the warmth and acceptance of relationship-centered therapies and the often undervalued power of psychoeducation.

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The Power of Paying Attention

What Jon Kabat Zinn Has Against Spirituality

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie

Jon 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. Kabat-Zinn was a very bright, hard-driving, 22-year-old kid from New York City, the son of a distinguished research immunologist, who was just starting out on his own promising scientific career. He had no idea what Zen was or who Kapleau was, but, in a sea of notices posted on one of the huge bulletin boards lining the corridor, this flyer somehow called out to him.

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