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meditation

To be a good mindfulness teacher, or even to use mindfulness effectively with your clients, it’s important that you have your own personal practice.

Luckily, the practice of psychotherapy has a number of built-in qualities that present clinicians with ample opportunities to do mindfulness in sessions.

Mindfulness in the context of psychotherapy is more than just a technique or a theoretical perspective; it is a way of being with and relating to experience. Regardless of whether or not you choose to incorporate formal mindfulness practices in your sessions with clients, having your own mindfulness practice will positively inform your work.

Editor’s note: There are numerous factors to consider when leading a meditation practice. In this four-part series, clinical psychologist Greg Serpa, PhD, and physician turned mindfulness teacher Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, answer some of the most noteworthy logistical questions about teaching mindfulness. Keep your particular population in mind as you go through their tips; it’s possible that you may have valid reasons to adapt or change the guidelines to suit the needs and experiences of your participants. 

Editor’s note: There are numerous factors to consider when leading a meditation practice. In this four-part series, clinical psychologist Greg Serpa, PhD, and physician turned mindfulness teacher Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, answer some of the most noteworthy logistical questions about teaching mindfulness. Keep your particular population in mind as you go through their tips; it’s possible that you may have valid reasons to adapt or change the guidelines to suit the needs and experiences of your participants. 

Editor’s note: There are numerous factors to consider when leading a meditation practice. In this four-part series, clinical psychologist Greg Serpa, PhD, and physician turned mindfulness teacher Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, answer some of the most noteworthy logistical questions about teaching mindfulness. Keep your particular population in mind as you go through their tips; it’s possible that you may have valid reasons to adapt or change the guidelines to suit the needs and experiences of your participants. 

Editor’s note: There are numerous factors to consider when leading a meditation practice. In this four-part series, physician turned mindfulness teacher Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD, and clinical psychologist Greg Serpa, PhD, answer some of the most noteworthy logistical questions about teaching mindfulness. Keep your particular population in mind as you go through their tips; it’s possible that you may have valid reasons to adapt or change the guidelines to suit the needs and experiences of your participants. 

Guiding with eyes open or closed?

While it’s certainly not a requirement, many who are drawn to become mindfulness facilitators are trained psychotherapists. And many of the skills of psychotherapy, such as managing the group dynamic and building rapport, are assuredly useful in facilitating a mindfulness group.

There is a profound common purpose shared between psychoanalytic exploration of the self and the self-discovery that occurs in mindfulness practice. Both are pursuits of aliveness, though “aliveness” may be conceived of differently. Both pursuits address the pain that comes from clinging too tightly to either outmoded or false ideas about the self. Both are, or can be, fearless and relentless in their examination of what it actually means to be “oneself.”

Using mindfulness to treat the suffering that comes with the symptoms of borderline personality disorder is a difficult task because it requires you to attend to what’s going on in your mind. The explicit application of mindfulness used in dialectical behavior therapy provided a way for people with BPD to get unstuck from their judgments and the intense emotions that lead to suffering.

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