Mindfulness

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    • 00:02

      [MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:11

      RORY SINGER: The goal of Buddhism is happiness.And you could say that that is the practice of psychotherapy,too.My name is Rory Singer, and I've beena psychotherapist for about 25 years.Okay, come in, Andy.

    • 00:32

      RORY SINGER [continued]: If you want a seat--

    • 00:32

      ANDY: OK.Thank you.

    • 00:34

      RORY SINGER: --just sit.

    • 00:36

      ANDY: I'm over here.

    • 00:37

      RORY SINGER: Good.

    • 00:37

      ANDY: OK.

    • 00:37

      RORY SINGER: Yeah?Really, with the practice of whether itbe Buddhism or psychotherapy, the therapeutic spaceis there to kind of see how we complicateand how we get caught in things that make our lives difficult.And really through insights and through kindof our understanding, in some ways, of cause and effect,

    • 01:01

      RORY SINGER [continued]: of if I say or do something, thenthe outcome is probably this or that.And if I talk in another kind of way,the outcome might be different, or if I act in a different way.It's bringing a kind of wise reflection and awarenessto our relationships to others, our relationship to ourselves,

    • 01:22

      RORY SINGER [continued]: our relationship to the world, and howwe can live in a way that's more at ease, more joyful, happier.One of the things we spoke about last weekwas about you doing a pleasant event diary, and possiblyalso just focusing on unpleasant events.

    • 01:44

      RORY SINGER [continued]: And so we're thinking of some not major things necessarily,but just ordinary, very simple, say, pleasant eventslike a cup of coffee or the sound of birds or whatever.Psychotherapy is really focused on reallyhow we can start to free ourselvesfrom the constraints of unhappiness

    • 02:07

      RORY SINGER [continued]: or the constraints of depression or anxiety or griefor whatever it might be.For many of us, most of us, we liveas if our thoughts are absolute facts and the truth.So if somebody is very new to psychotherapyand the engagement to psychotherapy,there can be a lot of relief, revelation,

    • 02:29

      RORY SINGER [continued]: you could say, sort of ways of thinking about the worlddifferently.[SOUND EFFECTS]Three cognitive, eminent cognitivepsychotherapists-- Professor Mark Williams, John Teasdale,both English, and then an American,Sindel Segal-- got together to look

    • 02:50

      RORY SINGER [continued]: at the incidence of relapse in depression.With people on antidepressants and also peoplewho've had a course of cognitive psychotherapy,say, six or eight sessions, within a yearthere was a high level of relapse.So they got together thinking, well,how can we help people to give them

    • 03:13

      RORY SINGER [continued]: something that helps to prevent this relapse into depression soquickly and also such a high level of relapse.And so they heard about the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.And they studied with him and under himand really married the two traditionsof cognitive psychotherapy and mindfulness

    • 03:36

      RORY SINGER [continued]: and called it mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.[SOUND EFFECTS]Hi.

    • 03:54

      VICKI: Hi.

    • 03:55

      RORY SINGER: Hello, I'm Rory.

    • 03:56

      VICKI: I'm Vicki.

    • 03:56

      RORY SINGER: Vicki.Hello, Vicki.

    • 03:57

      VICKI: Nice to meet you.

    • 03:58

      RORY SINGER: The understanding of mindfulnessis that there's two kinds of mental development.One is the development of concentration.So in other words, how to kind of learn to gather the mindor to bring the mind to a more concentrated or peaceful state,really.And the second element is the practice

    • 04:20

      RORY SINGER [continued]: or the element of insight.So the two work together, so that as the mind startsto be more concentrated, more calm,that as we kind of can see the process of sorts of how wesort of engage with the world, interact with the world,think about the world, that insight then

    • 04:40

      RORY SINGER [continued]: sort of naturally forms, in that we start to see,in a sense, how things are.[SOUND EFFECTS]We as human beings exist in four postures.We have walking or stroke running, standing,sitting down, and lying.The practice is also that we pay attention

    • 05:01

      RORY SINGER [continued]: to these four postures.And also there are various practicesthat we can engage in in these four postures.So, for example, in sitting we can bring attentionto something like the breath, with our eyeseither closed or half closed.It doesn't have to be cross-legged on a cushion.

    • 05:25

      RORY SINGER [continued]: It can be in a chair or wherever, really.Sort of just gently and compassionately bringingattention to the breath.So it's not kind of trying to forceanything or kind of beat yourselfinto some kind of submission of I must, must watch the breath,but rather this kind of gentle gathering

    • 05:46

      RORY SINGER [continued]: of returning to the breath.And so, for example, when we watch the breath,the mind will wander and get restless and possibly bored.So there's this sort of patient just returning to the breath.And then the mind wanders off, and we notice it wanders.We remember, if you like.And then we come back to the breath.

    • 06:07

      RORY SINGER [continued]: This kind of patient practice which really is-- youcould say it's a form of mind-training.Traditionally it's 20 paces or so, whatever feels comfortable.And you go to the end.And then you stop and you turn and you walk back.With walking, then there's a different, say,object of focus or concentration,which might be bringing attention

    • 06:27

      RORY SINGER [continued]: to the footfalls or even just the act of walking,just really bringing attention to the act of walking.So it's just really allowing yourselves to be comfortableand just relaxing into your body lying on the floor.And then with lying, there's also practices of just, say,

    • 06:50

      RORY SINGER [continued]: paying attention to the body, of scanning the body.And then moving attention to the left-hand side of the body.Left thumb, second finger, third finger.With standing meditation, too, you can use anything really.You can use the breath.

    • 07:10

      RORY SINGER [continued]: You can scan the body.Just bringing attention to standing.So just this posture standing, how it feels.[SOUND EFFECTS]We also have the five senses, or in Buddhist theorythere's six senses, where the mind is understood as a sense.

    • 07:31

      RORY SINGER [continued]: For example, we might pay attentionto sound so that the object of meditationcould purely be sound, and just listeningto the coming and going of sound.As I sort of sit here listening to soundand I don't personally have an inbuilt recording system,I can't capture sound or manipulate sound.

    • 07:52

      RORY SINGER [continued]: I just have to allow sound to come and go.And it could be a very good reflectionfor thought, in that with our thinking processes,a bit like sound, our thoughts come and go.But what we tend to do with thoughts is we kind of grabonto them and can make real issues or problemsaround thoughts.[SOUND EFFECTS]

    • 08:15

      RORY SINGER [continued]: So it's a kind of playful activity.And then when I instruct you, then we will--you'll put the raisin in your mouthand I'll guide you through it and chew on it and swallow.And so, say, with the raisin exercise,people are just given a single raisin and to kind of act

    • 08:35

      RORY SINGER [continued]: as if they've never seen this object beforeand to really look at it, taste, to get a feelof it and so forth.And so even that's a very simple exercise, for a lot of peoplea revelation-- it's a revelation.Because we are so sort of automated around our eatingand around food that we don't even really taste it often.

    • 08:55

      RORY SINGER [continued]: [SOUND EFFECTS]The sort of element of theory, of practice, and of communitycan be a very nourishing and, in many ways,a kind of enlightening or liberating event in people'slives.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Mindfulness

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Abstract

Mindfulness is a meditation practice that can be used in conjunction with cognitive therapy to benefit those struggling with mental health issues. As a form of psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation has developed out of Western psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophies. The most important element of mindfulness in cognitive psychotherapy is awareness of aspects of our lives that we often take for granted, such as breathing, eating and standing.

SAGE Video In Practice
Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a meditation practice that can be used in conjunction with cognitive therapy to benefit those struggling with mental health issues. As a form of psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation has developed out of Western psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophies. The most important element of mindfulness in cognitive psychotherapy is awareness of aspects of our lives that we often take for granted, such as breathing, eating and standing.

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