THERAPY & COUNSELING
In therapy, I emphasize Mindfulness Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, metaphors and story re-telling.
Mindfulness Therapy is the practice of being attentive to the present moment. It means actively bringing awareness to your thoughts, but without engaging with or reacting to those thoughts; that is, we think and feel without judging those thoughts or feelings. Mindfulness therapy can be helpful in moving from past thought and future thought and awakening clients to the here and now. Mindfulness can even feel somewhat like a spiritual practice, as it builds on Buddhist values of acceptance and connection. The goal of this type of therapy work is to increase flexibility and compassion. In mindfulness-based therapy, the intention is to notice and discourage ways in which we automatically add to our pain by clinging, avoidance, and identification.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) instructs that our cognitions (or thoughts) create our behavior. By attending to thoughts and even changing what feels like an “automatic” thought, we gain the ability to change our behavior. We can learn to “Re-count” the facts about a given relationship or situation, “Re-member,” or re-conceptualize, our thoughts we have assigned to the relationship or situation, and then “Re-live,” or behave, in the relationship or situation differently.
Use of Metaphor and Story Retelling
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which is not literally applicable. Use of metaphor can help us more quickly develop alternate neural pathways in our brains to allow for different thought, and therefore different feelings, about a relationship or situation. Thought formation also follows the same rules as language: thought has syntax or order, and we can create a “new” order of thinking in our minds when we use metaphor and tell a different story about ourselves in a relationship with those we care about or life situations in which you find yourself.
Narrative psychology informs us that we are the main character and narrator of our life story. The story we create brings unity to our Self across the life span, as well as directing our purpose. We are always in the process of reconstructing our past, perceiving our present and imagining our future. While the context of our life changes constantly, we often organize the story of Self based on themes. We often lose sight that we can question the truthfulness of our themes, or that we can create different themes of our life story as needed.
Because mental states are structured in a way that causes our intentions to manifest themselves by what we do, there is a connection between how we view the world and how we interact with it. When we consider other metaphors and retell our story, we can change what we do and how we behave in the world.