Reply To: Week 1 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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#22213
Melissa Gerrish
Participant

Question 1 : I found the physical aspect somewhat challenging. As a person with chronic pain it is often hard to have a focal point and just be in the moment. However after about 8 minutes I did find myself focusing more on the focus than my body position (and any pain). The counting aspect is something I have done before, but in different ways, so this was a nice (different) experience.

Question 2: I have used a BMM in the past so am familiar with the concept. Given it has been an especially hard few days at work I did not fare well with maintain focus – my thoughts drifted back to clients and/or a family anniversary. I find this is best used when I am trying to settle for bed. For myself when I am in a darkened room or have a white noise machine I can do breathe work focus with more ease.

Question 3: For myself the biggest difference is having a structured plan (counting, in/out) vs. the natural drifting of thought back to a general state of awareness. For my clients (especially those with trauma) I often encourage more of the counting (or the 5,4,3,2 1 system) for grounding and to slow down any anxiety. It is with this method we can do it together and I can help/support the pattern as they learn on their own. I feel as though the body sensation/breath, feelings and thoughts it is bit deeper and is best used independently. I know for myself, in a group or with others, I am more comfortable with a structured medication vs. the latter (alone) with a self awareness.

In a group setting, with breath counting, given the structure and natural flow is very attainable. If I were using physical sensations I would individualize it so to support each client as various awareness (sometimes that we are not even aware of) can surface. Following a counting exercise I have asked “what was it like for you to just go with this – did you drift – how was it to focus back” and have client’s share their own process. I have developed some great tips and tricks from client’s direct reports/experiences.