Reply To: Week 4 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Question 1
It was very frustrating to not be able to shift position at first. It did shift towards accepting the discomfort and breaking it down into feelings. It is hard to be non-judgmental of feelings and the need to abate them (negative feelings) but I think this made it easier. I think riding out the urge is a good description as it seems to slip by and pass subsequently. Definitely very different from needing to “fix” everything and get rid of it. I think this would be helpful to allow tolerance of urges and to see them dissipate and that they can tolerate them, and they do not have as much power as thought for the client. This would be especially helpful with the urge to drink and with the urge to give in to compulsive pornography and escapism.
Question 2
In used thought diffusion specifically the “Leaves on a stream” exercise” because I have used variation and find water related visualizations as soothing and cleansing. I think that it allows the letting go of painful or difficult experiences and teaches that they are transient and can drift into nothingness as you do so. I think that connecting with a higher power for helping let go and for letting God handle the big problems that we have no answers for as helpful. I often tell clients that they can only do the reasonable best that they can and give the rest- the unknow- to God. This is freeing and really is all anyone would ask of a person. It is not de-motivational as there may be a lot in the front end but letting go of the things they can’t handle, or control anyway makes sense. While that is a more cognitive exercise than this one it seems to go along well with this. By accepting the feelings, urges, or negative thoughts and noticing them in a non-judgmental way it allows one to acknowledge them but not let their power overtake us either by trying to ignore them (rarely works) or by over-thinking them. I do feel that a more practical client might see this as not “solving” their problems it seems we are after the secondary and sometimes more debilitating associated issues (fear, anxiety, worthlessness, etc) by this technique. It doesn’t prevent problem solving. This is very different from western methodology.
Question 3
I think this has been very interesting. I have been already doing these strategies in vivo as they actually allow the client to relax. I sometimes feel that I am not doing enough- that it is too simple. But the clients don’t seem to feel that and enjoy this new experience for them. Due to time constraints, I am doing these studies at night and find I am tired and that is the predominant feeling I feel. They make me sleepy and nodding off doesn’t always help me capture the answer to the question!! But, I have noticed that I keep returning to them with various clients this week, saying to myself, “Oh what was that technique again about counting, etc.”. They can be applied with many different clients and situations at least as an adjunct. I think that a summary handout would be helpful to remember so I have bookmarked a lot of these techniques for use later. I think it can help me immensely as the strategies are very applicable to the various stresses and cares that we face at work and letting go of clients’ issues to maintain or own health. I find I am more resilient, and things don’t seem to bother me as much. I hope this is lasting. All in all, it has been interesting- a bit overwhelming in scope but very helpful and positive. Thank you.