What is Mindfulness? And other questions about how I approach therapy.
I get asked this a lot: what is your approach to being a therapist? Or rather, what can we expect therapy to be like together?
My approach to therapy is informed by a number of factors the first is my background and training. I came to this field later in life. I didn’t always think I would even become a therapist, even though I have long admired and worked next to the profession as a crisis manager and adviser to students. I try to bring the variety of experiences and various paths in my life to the work.
I call my basic approach to therapy as a Mindfulness therapist. I will talk about some other therapeutic approaches that take like CBT, IFS or solutions based therapy but this post is going to center around mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the world around you. Trích Nah Hanh has a quote I practice when I eat, it goes like this, “let my fork rest between bites so I can know it is a fork and not a shovel.” Mindfulness is just that, can you eat when you’re eating? Or are you eating so that you can get to doing the dishes? Once you get to the dishes are you thinking of sweeping the floors? How present are you in your life and is Mindfulness the practice of getting you to slow down and realize what is happening. Summed up with the simple expression: be here now.
The work of slowing down our minds and paying attention is scary. The thoughts come very quickly. The judgments, the criticism. All of these thoughts are part of a mind-system which you have had all of your life. Some of us remember a time when we were very young and we turned to our parents and we said, “mommy, I hear voices in my mind.”
Lex Enrico Santí is a mental health therapist based in Ithaca, NY. He offers therapy sessions in a home practice and can work with clients using a secure telehealth (online) practice. Contact him today for more information.