Mindfulness-based Counselling

Mindfulness-based Counselling is a new approach combining the insight of meditation with the therapeutic pragmatism. Is is suitable for anybody interested in deepening their mindfulness skills while also offering a platform for a more structured and reflective therapeutic investigation of our thoughts, behaviours and habits.

Walking On Two Feet

My view is that meditation and therapy are like two feet carrying us on our journey through life. In order to walk in a balanced way, it is best to walk on two feet. Relying on one foot only can lead to a sense of imbalance, eventually making us walk in a circle rather than following our natural sense of direction.

Meditative Escapism

From clients in my counselling practice and also from my personal life experience, I learned that despite a long-term meditation practice we can repeatedly find ourselves stuck in a place where no amount of retreats, purifications or offerings will achieve a fundamental shift in our feelings, thoughts and perspective.

Indeed, for many people one of the main reasons for taking up meditation is a sense of mental or emotional unease or distress. It is therefore not surprising that many of us habitually grasp on the meditation practices with a hope, that they will make us feel better and will remove our sense of discomfort or pain. In this way, we can turn the mindfulness techniques into a way of escaping our real feelings and thoughts.

Such a manipulation is often so subtle that it can take many years before we discover that instead of opening ourselves to the fullness of our experience as it is, we have done a great deal of spiritual bypassing. (The term ‘spiritual bypassing’ was coined by an American psychotherapist John Welwood.)

Therapeutic Blindness

On the other hand, there might be times in our lives when we become over-identified with our ‘problem’. In search for the right answers and improved understanding, we then miss the beauty of the glittering gems of morning dew in the sunshine.

We become so narrowly focused on ‘getting better’ that we lose a sense of spaciousness, humour and freedom. Again, this is understandable, especially if in therapy or counselling we learned that we can get some relief from our pain and distress. However, if thinking and talking about ourselves turns into an unhealthy habit of self-centred referencing, it will eventually turn against us, as it will simply solidify the sense that our neuroses truly exist.

How Does It Work?

Each session is structured in a way that enables a combination of sitting meditation (or other mindfulness practice) and a therapeutic dialogue. Thoughts, feelings and images emerging in the session are approached with a sense of spaciousness gained through the mindfulness process of de-centring from the identification with our thought process and physical sensations. Through this enquiry, a different perspective often emerges based on a deeper source of wisdom and insight.

Location and Fees

All individual sessions take place at the Clifton Mindfulness Studio, in Clifton Vale, Bristol. Each 90 minutes session costs £ 60 and concessions are available for those on a low income.

Interested?

If you are interested in exploring this approach, please contact me or call 0117 376 3495 to arrange a face-to-face session in Bristol or Skype Video session from wherever you are.