When I ask people if they know what mindfulness is in their first session I am always intrigued by their answer. When I started asking clients this question less than half said ‘yes’. Over the last few years of practicing mindfulness with virtually every one of my clients, mindfulness seems to have exploded into the collective consciousness of North American society, from the school and health systems, to employers and so much more. The research showing the benefits of mindfulness for the human brain excites me beyond words! Since the increasing interest in this ancient tradition, more and more clients have answered my initial question by not only knowing what mindfulness is, but by having varied amounts of experience and practice.
For those of you not familiar with mindfulness, no problem. It is certainly not a prerequisite of beginning a guided practice or of entering therapy with me. Mindfulness in simplest terms is just noticing. This might sound oversimplified but it is true. Mindfulness is noticing and observing the present moment, whether that is your external or internal experience, using your five senses. This also includes noticing and observing your emotions and your stream of thought. Mindfulness allows for a grounded presence within your experience. Some of the benefits over time include increased:
- Mental clarity and focus
- Living in the moment rather than in the past or future
- The ability to accept and be curious about your experience with less labelling, avoidance, cravings, and judgements
- Acting with intention versus reaction
- Compassion towards self and others
- Issues being carried in the body and the emotions coming into awareness and being let go
Mindfulness takes various forms in sessions with me based on the needs of each client, and there is both structured and unstructured mindfulness practice. One thing I will guarantee is that it is less about forcing anything (such as internal silence) and and more about allowing and accepting experience so that it can do what it is meant to do – come and go, rather than stay and lead to suffering.
Through years of my personal practice and the experience I have gained as a therapist and in trainings, I have learned when to use what mindfulness techniques and with whom. Sadly, many of my clients who had tried mindfulness before our sessions had not had positive experiences, or believed they were incapable of being mindful. It is a mission of mine to advocate for mindfulness education and practice.
If you want to experience how mindful-experiential counselling can improve your mental health, request a free 20-minute consultation today.
Meet Erin Our Mindfulness Specialist
“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.”* It is even recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of trauma and specifically for PTSD.
We are naturally healing seeking beings and if we get what we need we can recover from unbelievable pain and struggle. During difficult events, traumas, or prolonged periods of stress our brains and bodies do what is necessary to survive. We then make meaning out of our experience over time and we try to move on. Sometimes we feel stuck around these events, issues, or traumas, and symptoms of distress develop. These can look like anxiety, depression, addictions, fears, difficulties in relationships, chronic pain, and so much more. EMDR allows for a second chance to naturally heal the mind, body, and emotions; relieving distress and the symptoms that go with it. EMDR is used to develop and strengthen natural internal resources and to allow your brain to heal itself! With EMDR the therapist’s most important task is to allow your natural healing to occur without getting in your brain’s way.
Request a free consultation to find out how EMDR can help you!
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Meet Erin Our EMDR Specialist
Re-Creation of the Self (R-CS) is a powerful way to shift out of limiting states of being on a mind, body, emotion, and spirit level. As Jon Eisman the founder says, “it’s like coming home to yourself.” Below I have included quotes from Jon’s website that explain the approach further:
“The Re-Creation of the Self Model of Human Systems (R-CS) has been called ‘an instruction manual for being a human being…’ It is a clearly defined map of the Self, and a comprehensive guide for being a person. R-CS holds that we are innately whole, but typically create a ‘committee’ of limiting trance states in order to accommodate difficult life situations. The model not only describes our many inner resources, but offers a powerful set of tools both for shifting consciousness immediately, and for emerging from our perceptions of woundedness and the seeming need for constant strategizing. It also promotes a practical vision for relating from an inclusive, compassionate state of maturity and wholeness.” *
“What makes R-CS so useful is not only that this map of the Self is presented in a clear and readily understood form, but that it offers specific, easily learned methods for both identifying and shifting these typically unconscious trance states. Viewing the Self as innately resourced, R-CS seeks to identify fragmented states of consciousness —held as neural patterns in the brain and body— that perpetuate both our…sense of wounding, and the limited behaviors that follow. It then works to allow [us] to rediscover already existent pathways for preferred and expansive experiences.” *
R-CS is the practice of BEING your true Organic Self. The Organic Self is the expansive and whole YOU that never gets affected by experience, but that all of us unconsciously strive to protect through limiting ways of being in the world. By being your Organic Self, you can find that what you’re looking for outside of yourself (i.e. freedom, clarity, Truth, rightness, abundance, spaciousness, balance…) already resides within!
Are you ready to practice freeing yourself from patterns that prevent you from fully living and sharing your gifts with the world?