Tuning the Self of the Therapist

This retreat and training will rejuvenate your body, inspire your clinical practice and nurture your soul.

Training/Retreat Objectives

  • Nurturing, tuning and integrating your personal & professional selves.
  • Introduction of a holistic/integrative clinical approach.
  • Exploration of theoretical and practical aspects of psychotherapy integration.
  • Ethical considerations in a holistic psychotherapy practice.
  • Providing a safe and inspiring space for colleagues with diverse orientations to connect and share experiences.

Tuning The Self of The Therapist

Objectives:

  1.  A basic understanding of holistic approach.
  2. An appreciation of the importance of incorporating personal experiences related to somatic, emotional, mental, imagery and spiritual awareness in the therapeutic process.
  3. Exploration of theoretical and practical aspects of psychotherapy integration.
  4. Clinical applications of body awareness and somatic psychotherapy.
  5. Clinical applications of breath work.
  6. Clinical applications of mindfulness.
  7. Enhancement of emotional attunement and therapeutic presence using awareness, breath and mindfulness.
  8. Ethical considerations in clinical integrative psychotherapy practice
  9. Ethical aspects of personal/professional interface in integrative practice
  10. Providing safe and inspiring space for colleagues with holistic orientation to connect and share experiences.

The training is based on a creative blend of systemic theory, post-modernism, quantum psychology, positive psychology and transpersonal psychology combined with the Eastern practices of yoga, breath work and meditation.

Transpersonal psychology provides base for integration of psychological concepts, theories, and methods with practices of the spiritual disciplines while recognizing significance of the body and embodied experiences as a vehicle for a personal growth. Transpersonal psychology has strong connections to the meditative traditions of Yoga system, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism, shamanic traditions and indigenous African wisdom. From its origins, transpersonal psychology has been strongly multicultural and it has challenged our culturally defined views of mental health and psychotherapy to draw cross-cultural insights into its practices and applications.

Mindfulness and meditation have their roots in Eastern practices, such as yoga, tai chi and qigong as well as meditative traditions of Buddhism. Over the last two decades mindfulness has been widely accepted into psychotherapy and has been incorporated into transpersonal, humanistic, analytical and cognitive-behavior traditions. For clinical purposes, mindfulness/ meditation is considered a distinct state of consciousness (Johanson & Kurtz, 1991) characterized by awareness turned inward toward present felt experience. In addition to developing capacity to simply witness experience as it unfolds, a mindful state of consciousness also manifests essential qualities such as compassion and acceptance (Almaas, 1986; R. Schwartz 1995).

Research on mindfulness has identified different benefits such as: reduced rumination, stress reduction, increased concentration, boost to working memory, better regulation of emotional arousal, cognitive flexibility, interpersonal benefits. (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006).

Mindfulness (Germer, 2005a) can be integrated into psychotherapy through three means:

  • therapist mindfulness: therapists’ own practice of meditation to be more mindful and present with clients,
  • mindfulness-informed psychotherapy: applying yogic and Buddhist psychology and mindfulness theory to clinical work,
  • mindfulness-based psychotherapy: teaching clients skills through the application of mindfulness practices.

Several benefits to therapists practicing mindfulness and meditation have been identified (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006):

  • increased compassion and empathy
  • enhanced patience and listening skills
  • better focus
  • more effective and attuned responses
  • reduction in personal stress
  • feeling of wellness and deeper connection to self
  • promotion of personal/professional growth.

 

 

Daily program on the retreat

Saturday

8 am – 9 am

  • Introduction
  • Tuning & Awareness

9 am – 10 am

  • Experiential exercises
  • Wisdom of the body
  • Western body/Eastern body

10 am – 10:30 am

  • Midmorning break & snacks

10:30 am – 1:00 am

  • Introduction to energy psychology
  • An Eastern approach to energy psychology

1:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • Lunch

2:00 – 4:00 pm

  • Experiential exercises
  • Language of breathing
  • Research on breath-work
  • Clinical applications of a body-oriented approach & breath-work
  • Case examples & group discussion

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

  • Afternoon break & snacks

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

  • Experiential exercises
  • Exceptional human experiences (EHE)
  • Spiritual emergency versus emergence: Delusional or enlightened?
  • Cross-cultural aspects & EHE
  • Case examples & group discussion

Sunday

8 am – 10 am

  • Experiential exercises
  • Introduction to mindfulness & imagery
  • Clinical applications of mindfulness & imagery techniques
  • Case examples & group discussion

10 am – 10:30 am

  • Midmorning break & snacks

10:30 am – 1:00 pm

  • Ethics: therapists’ self-care, compassion fatigue and competence
  • Personal-professional burnout
  • Case examples & group discussion

1:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • Lunch

2:00 – 4:30 pm

  • Experiential exercises
  • Historical context of body-mind controversy
  • East meets West: framework for integrative practice
  • Integrative psychotherapy & practical considerations
  • Pros and cons of integrative practice
  • Case examples & group discussion

4:30 – 5 pm

  • Afternoon break & snacks

5pm – 6:00 pm

  • Questions & discussion
  • Recommended reading
  • Closure