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Inviting presence to embodied experience

Video Type: In Practice

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David and Noah “Inviting presence to embodied experience” Scenario Background Noah is a 30 year old graduate student, married to Joanne with a 3-year-old daughter, Samantha. His life is currently very hectic and he has been struggling with the pace of things. He has been concerned about his mood lately, saying he feels “down” much of the time. In one session, he reports distress about an incident that happened a few days ago. He was in a small town and met another young man, who, upon learning that Noah was Jewish, asked “How come you're not in the ovens?” Video Introduction David has solicited Noah's interest in entertaining a revised relationship with guilt. How does he ensure the guilt is “in the room” so that Noah can examine it in the moment? What does David say to clarify the posture that he is inviting Noah to take in relation to the guilt? How does David coach the use of the breath as Noah examines his inner experience? What are some of the specific descriptions that Noah has of the guilt? In what ways does the problem description become more complex and multi-faceted as Noah examines the guilt in the moment? How does David support this examination? What aspects of the counselor's practice might you have done similarly/differently? Video Analysis David reviews aloud what Noah has said about the guilt to “stir it up”—at least sufficiently that Noah might attend to it in the moment. Here, David and Noah have some experience of doing this, so the process of turning the attention inward unfolds more quickly with less coaching. David then invites Noah to scan for the guilt in his inner experience. Notice he gives Noah time for this, coaching him to attend to his breathing. Notice also that he invites Noah to be present without judgment but with curiousity. He acknowledges this could be challenging for Noah as Noah identifies that there is fear and caring associated with the guilt. As the description of the guilt becomes more complex, David coaches Noah to sit with it, to breathe into it, and to do no more that that. All of this will be useful to David and Noah in their continued conversations.

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