Can therapists learn anything useful from mindfulness teachings? And can their clients—many of whom are often grappling with issues that demand a more pinpointed, thorough response than simple directives to breathe deeply or focus on the body—use them to find lasting relief?
What does it take to really heal?
Jack Kornfield has spent decades as both a psychologist and Buddhist practitioner, in the process teaching mindfulness in a way that makes it both appealing and relevant for therapists and their clients.
In the following video clip from his Networker Symposium keynote, "What Really Heals and Awakens," Kornfield explains the values that mindfulness practice and psychotherapy have in common, and shares a touching example of how mindfulness can help people struggling with real, hard issues find relief and know that their therapist sees and acknowledges their pain.
Jack Kornfield, PhD, is a psychologist and one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness to the West. An author of many bestselling books, he teaches meditation to large audiences nationwide.
As Kornfield notes, therapists and their clients are engaged in a beautiful, mysterious dance in which the client's desire to be witnessed and known is of the utmost importance, putting aside from any reputable therapeutic "tools" the clinician may possess.
In a world where we're arguably more stressed, more disconnected, and more polarized than ever before in modern history, is mindfulness still relevant? According to Kornfield, we need mindfulness—and the healing craft of psychotherapy—now more than ever.
"The outer development of humanity," he says, "has to be met with the inner growth of the heart of humanity. Our work at this point is a transformation of consciousness that's called upon in all parts of the world."
Did you enjoy this video? Check out this clip from Jon Kabat-Zinn, where he explains how practicing mindfulness in this day and age is a radical, transformative act. Or, you might also enjoy the Networker issue on mindfulness, Mindfulness Goes Viral: What Would Buddha Say?, with articles from Ronald Siegel, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and many more!
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