Clare offered a relaxed and yet professional evening enabling us to explore and play with the Focused Mindfulness approach and consider how this might work with the clients we work with.
She has been developing the practice for over 10 years and inspired by many spiritual teachers including, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Brandon Bays, Marianne Williamson and others.
Clare’s initial interest came from working in a rheumatology department of a Yorkshire hospital and working with people in chronic pain. This led her to develop this simple and pragmatic approach that is acceptable for most issues that clients bring to therapy.
The first part of the evening was spent considering ‘what is mindfulness’ and experiencing ourselves a mindfulness meditation.
- Mindful is being aware
- Being embodied in the moment
- Noticing and registering
- Being present
Some of the feedback from the group regarding the meditation was around physical responses and noticing what is going on in our brain – ‘we can’t control our thoughts but we don’t have to engage with them’.
We were then taken through an exercise that highlighted the usefulness of being mindful of ourselves when working with clients and to be aware of our own ‘traps’ in the therapeutic process ie: colluding, rescuing or judging. Clare would encourage all counsellors to undertake an 8 week mindfulness course in order to develop a ‘mindfulness practice’.
Clare then gave examples of the work she does with her own clients in terms of the Pain Release Process and discussion took place regarding different issues that can be worked with, such as trauma, depression, suicidal ideation and others, to help people who are trapped by their minds, to identify root thoughts. This can be accessed by ‘feeling in the body’ which will move the individual away from the intellect – Pain Release Process, take the lid off, sit in it and fully feel it…