Reply To: Week 2 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Melissa Gerrish

Question 1: Given I have some medical issues laying flat is a challenge, but I was able to easily modify the body scan experience. I actually did both directions (toes to head, then head to toe) at two different times. I found it much more effective to go from head to toes as I could “relax” the brain and had and settle into the moment. Using mindfulness in this way is something I use regularly with myself and client (when they are sitting). I have also asked them to do a body scan (like this exercise) and then zone in on areas they needed to relax. When the focus is on being mindful of each part, I did not find much “drifting thought.”

Question 2: This section was honestly a breeze. Mindfulness of an object I use for both personal and professional almost daily. Typically in the morning (as silly as it sounds) my coffee is my starting point. Which cup I use, which hand, ridges on cup, temperature, etc. I will sometimes use my left hand only and be mindful of the (semi) awkwardness of holding/preparing. I have client’s open stop mid-session (when indicated) and just pick up one of the fidget tools, or therapeutic tools for a thought stopping moment. I find this type of exercise most beneficial with my clients with a diagnosis or components of ADHD. I typically will start with 30 seconds of direct focus and work to increase time for up to 3 minutes. Then using that experience to shift the focus to more detailed concentration.

Question 3: I did not read ahead on the questions and really have mostly answered this in the above questions. For my clients with either straight MH or co-occurring utilizing these techniques is more about distress tolerance and learning the new skills and then taking them back to their own community for continued use.

On a side note I hoe everyone has a healthy and safe Thanksgiving. Healing thoughts to those who are afar from family/friends for whatever reason.