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

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Sarah Ferriss

1. This was my first time doing a Breath Counting Meditation, I have counted before while exhaling and inhaling but not for an extended period of time. I have always found counting peaceful so I found myself gravitating towards the meditation. Physically what I noticed is that I had a few days of difficulty sleeping so I have been overtired and what I noticed is that it actually gave me a calm steady energy and I felt less stress and fatigue and more focused. The counting helped with my minds tendency to wander which at times is really good for me.

2. The Basic Mindfulness Meditation I returned to this week starting with 5 minutes and now at 10 minutes every day. This is my preferred meditation practice and what I find is that the habit of gently noticing and not judging my thoughts has a profound impact on me personally and professionally. In order to be effective therapists it is important to listen deeply from a non judgmental stance the same goes for parenting. I find if I can do this with myself in meditation I am more able to bring this into my sessions with clients and into my interactions with my family. There is so much shame and judgement in our culture to have a place to cultivate something different is a gift.

3. To compare and contrast feels hard but the difference for me to some degree is about what works when. I used the counting meditation while waiting in a parking lot to pick up my daughter and felt more present for her when she leapt into my car to report on the details of her day. It seemed like something I could use anywhere and it also seems like a great way to introduce meditation to clients who have never had a practice or even just to do in the moment with a client who is struggling with fear or anxiety. I do bring mindfulness theory into my practice and would like to actually do more in terms of using it in session as a way to get settled in the room even as a brief ritual.