Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness is at the center of my work as a clinical psychologist, it is at the center of my beliefs about how to live a good life, and at the center of the therapeutic process.

          We face many challenges in life: No one has a perfect personality. Many of us have one type of learning disability or another. Many of the changes and losses we face are painful. Many of us are vulnerable to certain types of painful emotional states such as depression and anxiety. And no one is free from the physical sufferings that go with being alive.

          Mindfulness is definitely not a cure-all, but it has a lot to offer both from the standpoint of how to have a good life and also from a therapeutic standpoint.

          To have a good life you have to be there to enjoy it. Training in mindfulness is all about how to initiate and sustain one's moment-to-moment presence.

          As to a therapeutic standpoint, we all have a choice as to whether to think and mull over things or to turn one's attention to the present moment. There are ways to abuse that power, but done skillfully and wisely, the turning of one's attention to the present moment in an open and accepting way is, I believe, a person's greatest therapeutic ability.

          Mindfulness underlies wisdom. To be wise one needs to be realistic, to see things as they are, unvarnished and without turning away. We must be accepting of the thing we perceive and feel the act of perceiving with openness. This is the practice of mindfulness. With this, a knowing and understanding of life develop.