What is It?
People often come to therapy in the hope of getting rid of something. They want to get rid of anger, despair, fear, loneliness, anxiety, sadness ... you name it. If I can get rid of these negative feelings, then I'll be happy.
What if it's the other way around? What if happiness comes from being more fully engaged with what we experience instead of trying to minimize or manage it somehow? What if all our attempts to avoid what we are feeling actually makes life worse?
At its heart, mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, more fully, to what you are experiencing in the moment -- with acceptance and without judgement. It's that simple. There are lots of ways to apply this to your life. Some use a regular focusing/mediation practice, others simply bring an attitude of mindfulness to whatever activity they find themselves in.
As a compliment to therapy, I invite people to learn more about the principals and practice of mindfulness as a way to help understand themselves better, relieve suffering related to anxiety and depression, and be more present to the people and life around them.
benefits of mindfulness
- Increased freedom to make the choices you really want to make instead of giving in to old habits, living your life on automatic pilot, making the same painful mistakes again and again
- Interrupt cycles of negative and self critical thoughts and feelings -- softening these voices, transforming them over time to voices that are more accepting and compassionate
- Be more emotionally present with the people you care about
- Be less afraid and avoidant of your own internal experience (thoughts, feelings, body sensations)
- Understand, observe, and accept emotional conflicts going on inside you instead of getting so caught up with them
- Be more focused and energetic
- Find more resilience in the face of life challenges and stressors
- Have a greater capacity to feel and experience everything life has to offer instead of shrinking away
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
I am trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a cognitive-behavioral approach that uses mindfulness as a way to understand the anxious/depressed mind, ease related suffering, and re-focus people on the things they care about most in life. For many who suffer with anxiety and depression, learning to change the way they relate to their worries, fears, or sadness can offer dramatic and surprisingly rapid results.
By learning how to be with what you experience instead of spending so much energy fighting or avoiding it, you can find a renewed appreciation for all that life has to offer. Not only can joy and pain live side by side, when we learn how to live from both places, our lives are richer, more joyful, and more rewarding.
How can I help? Schedule your first session or set up a free phone consultation.