Topic - Mindfulness

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

The Fiction of the Self

The Paradox of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice

Ronald Siegel

What if our therapeutic goals of improving self-esteem, developing a stable and coherent sense of self, and identifying and expressing genuine, authentic feelings all turn out to be symptoms of delusion? If we engage in meditation long enough, we discover that our sense of being a separate, coherent, enduring self is actually a delusion maintained by our constant inner chatter. Seeing ourselves in this light can pull the rug out from under us in alarming—though potentially liberating—ways.

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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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John O'Donohue and the Poetics of Therapy

Rekindling Creative Therapy through Poetry

Mary Sykes Wylie

John O'Donohue has begun to build up a small but devoted following in the therapy world. At a time when the pressure is on to do ever briefer, more technical, symptom-focused, "evidence-based," standardized therapies, and to rationalize every moment of a clinical encounter, he reminds us what a noble, even sacred, calling therapy can be. What's more, O'Donohue's musings lead us to reflect on the same old questions mystics and spiritual guides have asked throughout the ages: Who are we? Where have we come from? Why are we here? What do we truly want?

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Appointments With Yourself

Don't Mistake Your Schedule for your Life

Michael Ventura

We speak about “the present moment” and the ability to be fully present, and we claim a sort of smudgy understanding of what that means. But what is “the present moment?” Americans have heard and used these phrases for about 40 years, as Eastern and New Age concepts influenced psychology and other ologies. But obviously, once you delve into it, now isn't as exact a word as it appears. Plus, it isn't so easy to "live now" in a multimedia, interactive era of cell phones and pagers in which we're expected to be constantly available. To buck the odds takes courage.

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Journaling Exercises to Do Better Therapy

Brad Sachs on Creative Writing to Bolster Your Therapeutic Technique

Brad Sachs

While therapists are generally trained to focus on preparing case notes that are clinical and objective, confining ourselves to this format severely restricts the creative potential of the process. While many clinicians encourage their patients to keep a journal, draft real or imaginary letters to family members, and compose poetry, few clinicians use creative writing in their own work. But at its core, creative writing brings into awareness a conversation between what's alive and what's dying in ourselves, what's limiting and free, what's observable and shadowy.

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Positive Psychology Approaches to Aging Gracefully

How Therapists Can Boost Happiness for Elderly Clients

Robert Hill

More people are living into very old age than ever before. But with a greater life expectancy, the prime question for the growing elderly population has moved from "How long will I live?" to "If I'm going to live a long time, how can I be happy in the process?" The realm of Positive Psychology offers specific actions and habits of mind that we can learn to help the process of aging become a more positive experience for our clients and ourselves. Here are a few ways to construe growing old as meaningful and worthwhile, regardless of the challenges that old age inevitably presents.

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Mindful Meditation for the Therapist

Dan Siegel Embarks On a Vipassana Meditation Retreat

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. 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"? As a therapist, I know that teaching mindful awareness can markedly improve physical and mental well-being. Still, I have no background in meditation, my mind is always busily running on at least 10 cylinders, and I've never been known for my taciturnity.

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