Skip to main content

Shift Your Inner Landscape Through Mindfuless Based Stress Reduction:

by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP
"The only peace we find at the top of mountains" goes an an old Zen saying, "is the peace we brought up there with us." And yet we tend to search outside ourselves - and outside our daily existence - for inner quiet we hope will clear emotional fog and calm turbulent thoughts that seem unavoidable. The trick is to develop a mind-and-skill set that helps us reframe life’s dilemmas, disappointments, and difficulties as creative choices – by working on them the same, focused way we learn technique in piano or dance or painting. By learning the techniques in a gradual and relaxed way when the pressure is off so they are ready to roll when the pressure is on. The fact that we can rethink our old, automatic mental habits, create new roles and change our minds through new learning for the entire length of our lives - the scientific term is “neuro-plasticity – really is good news, especially in these times of accelerated change and increasing complexity.
 Some effort and commitment are required but there is good news here too, in the form of evidence-based methods like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, (MBSR). Nina Thorne, LCSW, an MBSR teacher, clinical social worker and educator - who will facilitate an 8-week program at Lifestage, Inc. in Smithtown, NY starting Thursday Sept. 20, noon - 2 p.m. - describes the method as “a way to train the mind to stay in the present moment. We learn to live, where life takes place,-in the present moment. Mindfulness fosters enhanced attention to and awareness of present moment reality. This attention helps us to get off automatic pilot behavior.”
      Getting beyond the automatic, mechanical reactions – which might rightly be called “mindless”since we experience them as something not in our conscious control – is a process that opens us to an inner space of greater receptivity to not only our partner’s point of view, but to a more compassionate acceptance of our own human flaws and failings. According to Thorne, who studied with Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, "being more mindful helps the practitioner stay centered in life’s ups and downs. Research in neuroscience has shown that mindfulness practice actually changes the structures of the brain, offering protection from stress, anxiety and possibly aging related impact on the brain."

Some evidence for the benefits of MBSR:

Research published in the journal Stress and Health showed that participation in an 8-week MBSR program significantly reduced stress levels while enhancing positive states of mind and the sense of self- value. (Vickie Y. Chang, et al “The effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program on stress, mindfulness self-efficacy, and positive states of mind,” Stress and Health, Vol. 2: 3, August 2004)

The journal Emotion published a study involving individuals with social anxiety disorder that showed improvement in anxiety symptoms and depression as well as enhanced self-esteem after an MBSR program. (Philippe R. Goldin & James J Gross, "Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Emotion Regulation in Social Anxiety Disorder," Emotion, Vol 10, No. 1, 2010)

The Journal of the AmericanMedical Association identfied mindfulness as "characteristic of good clinical practice" among medical professionals. Mindful medical practitioners utilize “a variety of means to enhance their ability to engage in moment-to-moment self-monitoring, bring to consciousness their tacit personal knowledge and deeply held values, use peripheral vision and subsidiary awareness to become aware of new information and perspectives, and adopt curiosity in both ordinary and novel situations. In contrast, mindlessness may account for some deviations from professionalism and errors in judgment and technique. (R.M. Epstein, “Mindful Practice” Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume: 282, Issue: 9 (1999): 833-839,)

The PsychotherapyNetworker - the premier resource for cutting-edge information about the theory and practice of psychotherapy - dedicated an entire issue to the rise in importance of MBSR to psychotherapy and provides ongoing Continuing Education about its application for therapists.

James O’Dea of the Institute of Noetic Sciences writes about studies that show how even “a slight turning of attention and a subtle redirecting of intention can shift the entire landscape of lived experience. Transformation is not so much a change of the person but a change in perspective. It is a profound shift in our human experience of consciousness that results in long-lasting alterations in worldview—how one experiences and relates to oneself, others, culture, nature and the divine.” (James O’Dea et al, “The Shift Report: Evidence of a World Transforming” (Petaluma, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 2007):64).

Nina Thorne, LCSW
FEE  FOR THE SEPT. 20 - NOV. 8 PROGRAM: $350
The fee includes a free introductory session on Thursday Sept. 13, a 6-hour retreat on October 27, CDs and hand-outs. By check payable to Lifestage, Inc. 496 Smithtown Bypass Suite 202 Smithtown NY 11787   www.lifestage.org

Nina Thorne is a member of Mindfulness Meditation New York Collaborative and studied MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine in a Residential Program with Jon Kabat-Zinn & Saki Santorelli, Residential Practicum in MBSR with Florence Meleo-Meyer & Melissa Blacker, and Residential Teacher Development Intensive. More information about the January MBSR program is available on her website.

Jude Treder-Wolff is a trainer, writer and performer who will bring her original show Crazytown: my first psychopath to the San Francisco Fringe and Chicago Fringe Festival this fall.
About CrAzYToWn: How do you know that nice, helpful guy in the next cubicle is a psychopath? You don’t. In Crazytown, real-life therapist/performer Jude Treder-Wolff takes you down the rabbit hole of belief that led to her being blind-sided by reality. It’s a comic take on an over-eager therapist getting over herself (when nothing else seemed to be working). And these days, when our phones are smarter than we are, and we can meet, fall in love, shop for a ring and get some counseling with someone and never meet them in person – it’s a cautionary tale about how authentic a completely fake person can be. Click here for information about upcoming performances.


    Comments

    1. I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!
      OGradys Landscape

      ReplyDelete

    Post a Comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

    Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence. These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers. 
        Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use. 


    Why Improvisation?
    Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete. The tensions of the creative process and this kind of interpersonal interaction are a fa…

    WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

    Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP, Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff


       “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, just as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.
        The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a professional train…

    Improvisation Training Makes The Science Of Human Connection So. Much. Fun.

    There is an improv warm-up game called "Mind Meld" in which people pair up, are given a suggestion, count to three out loud and then say the first word, at the same time, that comes to mind. After a beat, they do it again: "One. Two. Three. Word." After another beat, they do this again. It usually takes only a few beats for both players to say the same word at the same time. Some people find this a remarkably easy and intuitive thing to do. Others find it weird and struggle to stay with it long enough to get results. Somefind themselves doing a rapid assessment of their partner's face and predicting what he/she might say. When I use this exercise in training workshops with therapists and educators, there is often a great need to know "how to get to the mind meld moment" and reflexive self-criticism about having "done it wrong." The exercise can raise anxiety, resulting in a brain freeze for one or both players. But there are no "right&…