Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Helping our patients with mindfulness

When we are faced with a feeling or thought, we have three ways in which we can “relate” to them.

1. We can judge it as good or bad. Right or wrong. Wanted or unwanted. This is very important as it helps us to take actions based on our judgments. Life and schools have taught us to judge often. Perhaps too much to the point of mental distress.

2. We can observe it with curiosity, openness and without judgement. It’s to simply perceive in order to gather information in a non bias way. This is what mindfulness practice is trying to achieve. This is often not taught well in life or schools.

3. We can disconnect or dissociate from it. It can be seen as letting go, self preservation, or experiential avoidance from the sensory or emotional discomfort perhaps. If this is excessive, it can be problematic.

In counseling, we often see folks who engage in 1 and 3 more excessively.

Mindfulness practice is to strengthen 2 in order to “balance things” out.

It’s the “middle ground” between judging and disconnecting.

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