Mindfulness originates from the word ‘sati” which means awareness, attention, and remembering. In modern days, and in order to incorporate mindfulness into our everyday lives, it is being used to alleviate clinical conditions and include qualities such as compassion, non-judgment and acceptance.
One of the foremost pioneers in Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines it as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”
Therapeutic Mindfulness means awareness of present experiences with acceptance. Those words are found in most of the modern psychological literature you will find on Mindfulness.
Other terms that have been used to describe therapeutic Mindfulness are: “affectionate awareness, Mindful compassion, mindful acceptance and open-hearted presence.”
If someone is suffering from an overwhelming traumatic experience, learning Mindful acceptance can greatly increase the person’s chances of overcoming their suffering.
If you become aware without acceptance it can be hard to deal with the emotions. If you add acceptance in a much lighter sense, it can bring about a much softer therapeutic mindful experience.
The more intense your suffering, the more you need to be accepting and compassionate in order to change what is going on in your life.
Kindness is also important but also needs to incorporate awareness so that the difficulties in your life can be addressed. Without awareness your acceptance of the difficulty could turn into defensive avoidance.
When someone seeks therapeutic mindfulness they have come to the point in their life where the distress outweighs almost anything else. They want someone to help them understand why they are suffering and someone who fully understands.
Seeking a strategy in order to deal with their pain is the first item to consider. By encompassing kindness, compassion and awareness into their Mindful Therapeutic sessions, you can really understand what your patient is going through. In other words, “you feel their pain.”
The key to helping someone in this state is to accept and be compassionate about their problems so that the person does not feel misunderstood.
We also need to be kind to ourselves. This is known as an intrapersonal, therapeutic relationship.
We need to be self-compassionate and self-accepting as we try to make sense of our world under even the most trying of circumstances. You need to allow your heart to be fully open in order to have your eyes fully open as well.
When practicing mindfulness by ourselves, hopefully we are emotionally aware to allow self-acceptance to take place. If you are in a therapeutic mindfulness setting, acceptance and compassion are essential for the process to become effective.
T Ford Consulting