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Modern Cognitive Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Meditation

What Is Psychotherapy?. Psychotherapy is a dynamic set of cognitive and behavioral techniques used by professionals to systematically help clients become more tolerant of and learn to work with their own mental phenomena (thoughts, emotions, judgments, opinions, etc) Since our mental phenomena create the reality of our day to day lives, psychotherapy has a deep and profound positive impact on our day to day existence.

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Modern Cognitive Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Meditation

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    1. Modern Cognitive Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Meditation Dr. Parker Wilson (720) 335-3963 parker@amidenver.com www.amidenver.com

    3. What Is Psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is a unique relationship in human experience It is a completely safe and legally confidential space (doctor-patient privilege) where a client can receive objective and powerful feedback about themselves and their lives How often to we get the chance to talk with a professional who is highly educated about the science of human psychology and human psychological transformation; how often do we get into a relationship that is totally about us, where the overriding goal of that relationship is self-improvement, transformation, and the creation of our own happiness?

    4. Why Do People Come to Psychotherapy? Severe mental illness (major depression, personality disorders, chronic substance abuse, etc) Severe mental illness in private practice, however, is quite rare 95% of clients come to address one or more of the following common experiences in human life:

    5. Universal Sufferings Birth (family disorientation with the inclusion of a new child, transitory post-partum, etc) Aging (mid-life crisis, identity crisis, grief and loss associated with transitioning from youth to mid and then old age. etc) Sickness (grief, loss and overwhelm after diagnosis with a serious illness, a family has a chronic illness, etc) Death (grief, loss, and overwhelm after a loved one has died or is close to death, etc) Negative Circumstances Beyond Our Control (someone we love abandons or betrays us unexpectedly, we lose a job we love, we are a victim of crime, etc) Separation from People, Places, and Things We Want, Crave, or Desire (fame, fortune, love, education, wealth, power, acceptance, etc) Impermanence (everything is transitory and always shifting, a chronic anxiety and fear spawned from the feeling that there is no ground under our feet in life, etc)

    6. What Are Your Exits Doors? What if We Learned To Just Stay?

    7. The Eight Mundane Concerns of Mental Affliction Four Pairs of Opposites (left side is what we desperately crave, the right side is what we desperately avoid): Material / Material Loss Acceptance / Rejection Sensory Pleasure / Sensory Displeasure Praise / Blame How much of your time and energy in this life is spent negotiating between these four pairs of opposites? Have you ever lied, stolen, cheated, psychologically or socially harmed someone else, or engaged in unethical behaviors to gain one and avoid another? What has been the result of these expenditures in time and energy? Have these expenditures created increased happiness, peace of mind, and satisfaction in your life? When you are very old, and looking back on your life what will you regret? What will you be proud of and glad you did?

    8. What Is Mindfulness Meditation? Mindfulness meditation is an intentional willingness to stay with, observe, and explore your own mental phenomena without being all caught up in, hooked by, or lost in those phenomena From the courage to stay with your own mental experience comes the ability to work with your mind and thereby create (and re-create) the reality of your life The mind is a relative thing (ex. pool table, tea on a train), and mindfulness meditation is a control methodology (ex. taming a wild horse) Mindfulness mediation is an intentional, systematic, human activity. It is not about trying to go somewhere or become something. It is about cultivating a deeper, clearer, more insightful awareness of what you already are.

    9. Mental health begins with giving up all hope for a better past. - Anonymous When we let go of superimposing expectations, and wanting something else to happen in any given moment, we move towards being able to encounter the here and now on its own terms without needing to add or subtract anything Letting go of exaggerated expectations, letting go of needing specific outcomes, ceasing to add to and subtract from our raw mental phenomena, this helps us stay with what is actually happening in each moment of our lives (ex. Jaguar) Having a focus for your attention (object of meditation) helps to keep you in the present moment: Awareness of our breathing can be helpful Tune into the feeling of the the breath entering/leaving the body, not deep or forced or thinking; just awareness There is something profoundly healing and purifying about the mind simply being stable, relaxed, awake, calm, focused, and still Like the human body heals itself (ex. MD and a cut), so does the mind all we need do is get out of the way

    10. "We are disturbed not by events, but by the views which we take of them." - Epictetus A deep mindfulness practice means being truly awake; far less sleep walking through life (ex. raisin) on the automatic pilot of ancient perceptions, beliefs, habits, and patterns; everything gets easier with repetition good and bad (ex. Sex offenders and the Dalai Lama) Mindfulness is being present with what you are thinking and feeling in any given moment; mindfulness is being present with the raw feed of your perceptions, thoughts and emotions Two Basic Approaches to mindfulness: Observation: mindfulness is labeling thoughts and emotions in their raw, unaltered forms, and then noticing how your thoughts create emotions, and how your emotions create thoughts Absorption and Concentration: mindfulness is also about learning to release thought and emotion entirely thus allowing you to bring a still and calm mind to any object of meditation Once you have deeply learned how to grasp and release thoughts and emotions, you will see that your thoughts an emotions can not be intrinsic parts of you If you are not intrinsically defined by what you think and feel then what are you?

    11. The Positive Effects of Mindfulness

    12. "One's real life is often the life that one does not lead. - Oscar Wilde American culture: meditation, and non-doing; Why should I sit and do nothing for a twenty minutes??!! What will that accomplish??? Allow yourself room for stillness and non-doing This helps to connect you into your own breathing, which then automatically allows a connection between mind and body in the present moment Mindfulness practice yields relaxation and stability in the body and mind; this connection between mind and body then becomes the first source of both psychological relief and the ability to discern and work with afflicted emotions and thought processes

    13. The Positive Effects of Mindfulness Mindfulness practice has been clinically shown to substantially increase: Mental and physical relaxation Mental awareness, clarity, insight, and balance Mental attention and concentration The creation of profound life satisfaction and happiness Mindfulness has been clinically shown to substantially decrease: Rumination Obsessive thinking Compulsive and self-destructive habits and behaviors Lost in thought, Cant turn my head off

    14. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Psychotherapy (MBCT) Originally developed by psychologists and mind scientists at MIT and Harvard, among others Over the last two decades, MBCT has been proven clinically effective in treating all of the following: Substance and alcohol abuse Major depression and dysthymia PTSD Generalized anxiety disorder Various personality disorders Various stress disorders Entrenched grief and loss Identity crisis and existential problems of living (aging, sickness, divorce, sexual betrayal, death, etc) Trauma, abuse, and victims of crime Chronic physical pain Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.- Carl Jung

    15. Cultivating Mindfulness Formal Mindfulness Meditation: Shamatha (single point of focus) three foundational stages: 1. Settling the body in its natural state 2. Settling the breath in its natural state 3. Settling the mind in its natural state Informal Meditation: The color red Passing a stranger Mindfulness Based Cognitive Psychotherapy (MBCT): this is the all encompassing approach which combines informal and formal mindfulness with the power Western psychology and psychotherapy For more information about mindfulness, psychotherapy, or to listen to a recent seminar about Buddhist psychology and the cultivation of mindfulness, compassion, and equanimity, please go to WWW.AMIDENVER.COM or email me at parker@amidenver.com

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