Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Mindfulness-based Therapies Require Skillful, Experienced Facilitators

     "It is to be expected that serious psychological transformation involves some level of discomfort and difficulty. Indeed, learning how to tolerate exposure to discomfort and gaining the ability to confront and overcome difficulty has a lot to do with what makes a person grow in new ways. The knack is to know how much of this is healthy, even if painful, and at what point it may become unhealthy. ...

     It is useful to distinguish between mindfulness as a mental state on one hand and the unskillful pursuit of this state on the other. Consider the case of a person plunging into the jungle, in search of a beautiful and healing flower, he gets torn up by thorns and battered by branches in the process. The problem is not that the flower itself is harmful; what is harmful is only the means of pursuing it. A similar confusion exists when researchers (or media reports of research) say 'Mindfulness can be harmful' when what they really mean is something like 'Going into prolonged situations of silence and isolation, with unrealistic or uninformed expectations, under the inadequate guidance of an unsuitable teacher, when one has a history of psychological fragility, can be harmful.' ”

       Andrew Olendzki PhD. "The Mindfulness Solution" Tricycle, Spring 2015.           

Monet's garden, Giverny

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