Zen, Mindfulness, and Therapy - Incorporating Meditation into One's Practice
June 18-22, 2012
Meditation practices can help us learn to be more fully present in everything we do. Psychopathology and medical illness typically take us away from this state of presence. Two traditional meditative approaches are especially useful to help enhance the ability to be fully and comfortably present in our lives.
Zen Meditation teaches us to be fully absorbed in what we see, hear, and feel. In this approach, we learn to recognize the thoughts and feelings that interfere with being fully present, to let those go, and to reabsorb in our current activity. Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana), teaches us to notice how our habitual fears and desires bias our perceptions and interactions, and trains us to suspend habit reactivity so that we can be more fully open and honest with ourselves, others, and our world.
These two methods can be used separately or together to improve a) clinician's ability to be present with patients, b) patient's ability to overcome psychopathology, and c) patient's ability to cope with and often improve medical illness. Applications to pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations, as well as ways to individualize the intervention for each patient's unique needs will be addressed. This training will help the mental health and medical professional to be better clinicians by improving their interactions with their patients, as well as offering their patients simple effective skills that will enhance their ability to overcome their suffering. Each class will include lecture, discussion, and meditation practice.
Overview of meditation practices, their history, special characteristics, and scientific evidence for effectiveness.
Understanding how these meditative approaches can be a part of the clinician's life and practice to improve the quality of the therapy.
Development of the Skill Set - The class will practice a basic skill set that is applicable to improving mental and physical health, and able to be adapted to the unique needs of each patient. (Session extends to 1:30pm).
Applications to psychotherapeutic issues, including the range of Anxiety Disorders and PTSD; Depressive Disorders; Personality Disorders; Substance Abuse Disorders, and Eating Disorders.
Applications to managing medical problems, including pain, autonomically mediated illnesses (such as headache, IBS, and insomnia), chronic illness such as heart disease and cancer, and end of life issues.