Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Sarah Ferriss

Question 1~ I listened to Dr.James Gordon while doing this meditation which was helpful for me. The physical experience I had following this meditation was surprising. I felt tension in my head that I now realize had been there all weekend dissipate and when I opened my eyes I felt more visual clarity it was almost like I had new perspective on my space where I work. The soft belly concept made me realize that I tend to ignore my belly and if anything I can be at war with it which was why the audio of Dr. Gordon was helpful as I had a hard time doing it on my own. With that said I was able to soften my belly and have tenderness for myself.

Question2~ I listened to the audio recording for the Acceptance Exercise and was surprised about the feelings that came up for me. My physical experience was peaceful and I was able to sink into the the phrase “May I accept myself completely as I am right now.” What came up for me were feelings of both peacefulness and sadness. I think saying the phrase repeatedly reminded me how I at times run low on self compassion. In some ways it felt like I was talking to my inner child that person who is free of spirit, creative and unencumbered by to do lists and all those things I think I “should” be doing. I am going to hang onto this meditation and keep practicing it. It feels essential if I am going to bring the spirit on non judgement into therapy I need to always start with myself.

Question 3~ This is a good question I would like to integrate meditation into my work with people with addictions. I have a number of clients who are in various stages of sobriety. Last week I had a client who I did not know had a substance abuse problem reveal that he had a serious problem and was in the throws of extreme shame and despair. I use MI in my practice consistently so I am fairly consistent in my spirit of deep respect and suspension of judgement so I worked to create this space. I found the reading about the “good” and “bad” dichotomy very compelling and it resonated with what I observed with my client and with many of my clients who are new to considering recovery and are in this shame narrative. I think the Mindful Acceptance exercise is one that I could practice with my client and others who are suffering with shame. I also recognize I need to keep practicing myself so I have congruency with my own self compassion. I don’t think I can truly bring what this unless I am practicing myself.