Here are three strategies that can strengthen anyone's mindfulness practice, be it your own or a client's.
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Users of MBCT and MMBPro may be surprised to see that we encourage them to take time away from our course and to split up sessions by a few weeks. We used this approach because using the practice first in therapists’ own lives is such an important part of learning it.
Mindfulness has become a pretty huge buzzword in the last few years. Search the term and you’ll end up with so many different articles, opinions, ideas, and ways to implement the practice that it can become overwhelming.
I’m not a therapist or an expert in mindfulness. I’m just a writer and comedian from Chicago with a soft spot for snacks and cats.
Much of what we do in therapy is intended to change our perception of life events so that we experience them in a better or more comfortable way. MBCT functions differently. It operates with the understanding that our experiences themselves don’t need to be altered–our approaches to those experiences do.
People often stumble over the concept of acceptance when they learn about it as an approach for dealing with difficult emotions and mind states. These reactions reflect an underlying calculation that even though trying to avoid or push away negative thoughts and feelings can be exhausting, the strategy has worked in the past, so… why risk using a different and unfamiliar strategy?
It is not unusual for clients to come to MBCT with preconceived notions that being mindful means being peaceful, silent, and still. It can be very confusing, therefore, when these expectations rub up against the real demands of practicing mindfulness in everyday life.
It was kind of outrageous. There is no other way to describe my initial reaction to being told that teaching MBCT would require that I begin practicing meditation myself. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way either.