Presentation the impact of mindfulnes in southamerican psychotherapists

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Presentation the impact of mindfulnes in southamerican psychotherapists

  1. 1. Mindfulness Practice in SouthamericanPsychotherapists<br />Gonzalo Brito Pons<br />Psicólogo<br />
  2. 2. Antecedents<br />Buddhistspractices in South America.<br />Theravada (Vipassana)---- Zen ----- Vajrayana<br />Buddhistinfluenceson western mental health<br />Mindfulness approaches:<br />Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (Segal, Williams & Teasdale, 2002); Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (Linehan, 1993), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes, Strosahl & Houts, 2005) and the widely known Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (Kabat-Zinn, 1990).<br />Mindfulness-based… “everything”<br />
  3. 3. Cultural complexities and thetranslation “problem”<br />Psychology<br />Spirituality<br />North<br />West<br />East<br />South<br />
  4. 4. My objective<br />Objective: To explore the integration of mindfulness meditation practice and psychotherapy from the perspective of the actors that are involved in the process: psychotherapists that are also Buddhist practitioners and who are leading the integration of mindfulness based approaches in South America. <br />UnderlyingObjective: Generating a dialoguingnetwork<br />My researchquestion: How is the clinical practice of South American psychotherapists who are also long term Buddhist practitioners being influenced in their spiritual practice?<br />Heuristicaspect<br />Buddhist practitioner and psychotherapist based in Chile<br />Engaged in helping translate Buddhism as a spiritual practice into South American culture in general, and into South American psychotherapy in particular, <br />Looking for a way that is respectful to the integrity of the Buddhist tradition, authentic and appropriate for the local culture, and aware of the risks involved in certain forms of neo-colonization that are emerging in this era of globalized spirituality. <br />
  5. 5. My co-researchers<br />Claudio Araya (Psychologist- Chile)<br />María Noel Anchorena (Psychologist- Argentina)<br />Sebastián Medeiros(Psychiatrist- Chile)<br />Verónica Guzmán (Psychologist- Chile)<br />Margarita Ungo (psychologist - Uruguay)<br />
  6. 6. Method<br />Skype interviews (spanish)<br />Permissionsnotonlyto record butto share withotherco-researchers<br />Transcription (spanish) and Coding (english)<br />Membercheck (validity/networking)<br />Revision of thethemes and subthemes<br />Sharingtheknowledge, feedingtheinteractionbetweentheco-researchers<br />Orientingtheoverallprocesstonetworkbuilding and a local publication (2011).<br />
  7. 7. My Questions<br />How would you describe your spiritual practice? <br />How would you describe your clinical practice? <br />How does your spiritual practice/tradition inform your clinical practice?<br />What benefits and potential risks do you see in the process of integrating mindfulness into your clinical practice?<br />How do you see the process of mindfulness practice being integrated into South American psychology in general?<br />Anything else to add?<br />
  8. 8. Results<br /> Theme 1: Impact of the mindfulness practice on the therapist. <br /> Theme Definition. The therapists perceived that their mindfulness practice had an impact in their lives as a whole. This impact manifests as an increased capacity to be fully present and self-aware, a deeper and more gratifying way to relate to others, a substantial decrease of stress levels, and an improvement of their overall life quality.<br /> Participants highlighted how the spiritual practice was not limited to the formal practice of mindfulness meditation , emphasizing the fact that big part of the practice and the effects of the practice took place in different areas of their daily lives, including their work. <br />
  9. 9. SupportingQuotes<br /> “ [My spiritual practice] has an oblique influence in my life, I mean, in my way of being, in my way I relate to others, I believe it is implicit in a certain way. It is also explicit in some spaces like in the mindfulness based stress reduction program, where we do meditation and other awareness practices. But I have the impression that the influence is mostly implicit, in my way of relating to others, in my way of observing, in my self observation… A personal benefit of significant life quality enhancement compared to previous years”<br /> “I can bring back that more human aspect of myself, not only the licensed psychologist, the supposed expert, when the real expert in their own experience is the other person,  and this becomes clearer and clearer. And I am really not imposing myself, over-interpreting or imposing my interpretations over their own experience… And clearly there is another quality… my levels of tension, stress or burn-out changed dramatically… sometimes I come out of the [therapeutic processes] enriched and not drained, because I can be attentive to myself too. And being attentive to myself the connection with the other person definitively changes too”<br />
  10. 10. Results<br />Theme 2: Impact of the mindfulness practice in the therapeutic relationship.<br /> Theme Definition. The participants found that mindfulness affects the therapeutic relationship implicitly by facilitating a deeper human encounter beyond roles and diagnoses. This encounter is characterized by openness to novelty and creativity, enhanced sense of presence and attunement between therapist and patient, a compassionate attitude towards oneself and the other, an appreciation of silent presence, and access to non-dual moments.<br /> Participants expressed that mindfulness has deeply influenced the way they relate to their patients and the quality of such relationship, emphasizing their openness with a positive attitude towards the patient, and the enactment of humanist values in their approach to therapy in general<br />
  11. 11. SupportingQuotes:<br /> “I start to realize that, for example, I speak less, even in therapy, where new kinds of spaces start to be created, spaces of silence, of presence, instead of just focusing on the interventions and thinking about how to intervene for this or that purpose. And maybe, what both of us needed, the patient and I, was just to be there, fully connected in that silence, and connected with what we were experiencing… And sharing that instant, the line [that separates us] disappears… and that feels good, don’t you think?” <br />“There is a change in the quality of the human connection between beings. This relates to how one starts to see one's own suffering, and then how one starts to see the suffering in the other in front, and that changes radically how we stand in that situation, how one accompanies that person, and for me, the quality of presence, of a much deeper and human connection, where the limits of me psychologist and the other with X pathology disappear and the other is not so much of an "other" and I am not so much just ‘myself’ and there is a different connection, and for me this changes radically everything we'll do later”<br />
  12. 12. Results<br />Theme 3: Perceived risks in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy.<br /> Theme Definition. The main risk in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy was defined as misunderstanding the deeper experiential meaning of mindfulness practice. This misunderstanding could facilitate the transmission of a reified, ideoloziged or banalized vision of mindfulness, resulting in an unsound cultural and technical integration between mindfulness and psychotherapy. <br />Participants long term meditators immersed in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy in their respective countries, their responses reflected similar views on the risks in the integration between mindfulness and psychotherapy.<br />
  13. 13. SupportingQuotes<br />“Meditation and Buddhism could be transformed into an ideology or as a discourse… so I see the risk of a bad integration, an integration that is disconnected from experience…. I see the risk of some kind of proselytism, to believe that one can teach something or that one holds a certain truth that is better than any other”<br /> “What I see is the risk of deforming [mindfulness practice], the risk of losing the essence of the teaching, the risk that it is only an easy technique that I can learn in a weekend workshop, where I take note of a certain integration protocol to follow certain phases, and that it was experienced that way… There are people that want to sell [mindfulness] in just two sessions” <br />
  14. 14. Results<br />Theme 4: Characteristics of a sound integration of mindfulness in psychotherapy in South America<br /> Theme Definition. The participants saw the integration of mindfulness in psychotherapy as an emerging process in South America which demands a dialoguing attitude that is open but also critical to models of integration developed elsewhere. This integration should be based in an engaged and genuine spiritual practice of the therapists themselves, thus being able to transmit the experiential essence of this practice. The integration should also be aware of cultural idiosyncrasies of South American population and contextualized in a way that is relevant to modern life. Finally, there are technical aspects of the inclusion of meditative practices in psychotherapy that need to be acknowledged to avoid iatrogenic interventions<br />Participants offered, from their own personal and professional experiences, several guidelines on what needs to be addressed to develop a sound integration between mindfulness and psychotherapy in South America, ranging from personal insights, to more detailed technical aspects to wider intercultural consideration<br />
  15. 15. SupportingQuotes<br />“It is also important to discover which are the local cultural elements that will be able to dialogue and to couple with mindfulness practice… I think it is important to look and to make these elements explicit, the elements related to our Latin culture, such as more physical contact, and more closeness. For example, in the Zen meditation practice that we do at Dojo ‘La Reina’, at the end of the practice, which is very formal, there is a space to hug each other, and I think this is beautiful, because I believe it didn’t came from any other tradition, it’s something that sprouted spontaneously after meditation: to hug and recognize each other”<br /> “The kind of words one uses, the vocabulary… In my training I felt that we as, South Americans, are warmer, we have more contact, a different quality of warmth, even the physical contact, and this is something we have to take into account in our adaptation”<br /> “We have to be attentive to the context… because in our countries there is a strong catholic tradition, so this can generate much friction if [mindfulness] is transmitted in a religious way”<br />
  16. 16. PreliminaryConclusions<br />Universal recognition of theimportance of dialogue. (Tocounteractthesense of isolationand lack of resources)<br />Beyond formal practice, the enactment of the meditative presence in their daily lives, including family life, psychotherapeutic work and engagement with society in general, was the core of their contextualized spiritual practice, the arena where their mindful presence was to be put into practice. <br />Strongagreementontheimportance of experientialover intelectual understanding.<br />Common personal engagement and the certainty that the extensive personal meditative experience of the therapist cannot be compromised if mindfulness is going to be integrated in psychotherapy in any meaningful way. <br />
  17. 17. Risks of spiritual materialism: Mindfulness turned into a commodity that is marketed and turned into a fashionable asset. Nowadays, it is trendy to be a mindful therapist. Participants clearly see this risk in the current “mindfulness boom”, where weekend workshops, certifications, and mindfulness manuals and protocols are becoming increasingly popular.     <br />Differencesaccordingtoexperience in therapists. The more experienced, the more subtle and pervasivetheintegration of mindfulness. <br />Despitetheacknowledgement of cultural variables, I foundlessemphasisonthese variables thanexpected.<br />Urban v/s rural<br />Modernizationprocess<br />Influence of literaturethatemphasizes universal features, orthatsimply ignores intercultural differences<br />
  18. 18. Nextssteps<br />More interviews<br />Transcribe, re-codify and analyzealltheinformation<br />Prepare paperforpublication<br />Continuenetworkingactivities:<br />Organizeevents<br />Web page team<br />MBSR for Latino population.<br />Practice, practice, practice.<br />
  19. 19. FirstWorkshopon Mindfulness and mental health Chile-Argentina (August 2010)<br />
  20. 20. Southamericannetworkfor Mindfulness in Society<br />http://www.redmindfulness.org<br />
  21. 21. Thankyou!<br />

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