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New Psych 515 Week 2 Dq 6

  • Date Submitted: 11/26/2015 09:18 PM
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Avoidance, Stress, and Mindfulness
In my psychotherapy practice, I often use mindfulness meditation and related methods as a therapeutic intervention to help individuals face their distressing inner and outer experiences. Mindfulness also has implications for immune system functioning. Mindfulness can be defined as "awareness of present experience, with acceptance" (Germer, 2005). To my clients, I might suggest that they pay close attention to their thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to become more aware. As the great cultural icon Yogi Berra once said, "you can see a lot by just looking". Mindfulness involves more than present-centered awareness. It involves a certain set of attitudes such as acceptance, patience, gentleness, openness, non-judgement, and non-striving. The "non-striving" attitude is challenging for many people because most of us have been taught (i.e., "conditioned") to believe that there is something "better" to attain. The paradox for many people is that when they "try to be at peace", they set up an opposition to being peaceful. When facilitating select clients in mindfulness I sometimes state, "don't try to relax...just allow yourself to be present, open, and accepting to whatever you are experiencing." When they stop trying to relax and stay open and accepting to what they're experiencing, many times they end up feeling deeply relaxed! There are now several research-validated therapies that integrate the process of mindfulness. Mindfulness can be practiced as an in-the-moment awareness exercise and also as a formal meditation practice. "Mindfulness meditation involves two basic elements: concentration (e.g., on the breath) to focus and stabilize the mind and body; and open, nonjudgmental awareness that observes the passing of thoughts, feelings, images and sensations (Kabat-Zinn...

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