At the first consultation, people undergoing therapy are usually seen as being crushed by a giant stone..
This stone is unique in each of the patients, but they all have in common the brutal weight, the impossibility of being detached from it; Sometimes comes to mind the comical image of people being dragged by a snowball, falling on the side of the mountain.
And that’s where the therapy begins: at start to put distance between the person and their suffering…
Mindfulness-based therapies: the mindfulness paradox
One of the axes that usually articulates therapy concerns acceptance: accept that pain, anxiety, sadness or recurring thoughts will be part of our lives, And start to think of them as travel companions. That alone makes a difference. It is not resigning oneself, it is not giving up, but it is admitting these phenomena as they are.
I remember one particular case of someone we’ll call Mr. He looked at me strangely when I offered to befriend his depression, and he later admitted that when he had took that step and even “he went out for a walk with her”, She realized that she had ceased to have so much power in her life.
Also noteworthy is the case of JA, who he has become an expert at greeting his intrusive thoughts which had to do with potential misfortunes lurking everywhere. He was able to practice kindness with them, greeted them, thanked them for their visit, and cordially bid them farewell, and at that point they stopped spoiling the day.
I this is the paradox of therapy based on acceptance and mindfulness: The more I accept my difficulty, the less power it has in me. And vice versa: the more I try to detach myself from my difficulty, the more it clings to me and the more it generates suffering in me.
Think of M., a person overwhelmed by her thoughts: she was perfectly aware when thoughts took possession of her, but she couldn’t stop them, they “stung” her. Attempts to distract, to cover them with drugs had failed, I was really desperate. The first step was to take a step back, step out of the pot of thoughts you were steeping in, and be able to begin to see thoughts as they are: mental events, not reality. So he could begin to recognize the thoughts, to move away from them, not to pay so much attention to them; he began to assume that “thoughts are not facts” and here began a crucial process of liberation in his life.
Or as happened to S., who lived in such a state of activation and hyperirritability and had problems in almost every area of his life: in the family, at work, at bedtime, while eating … Introducing little pauses in his life where he called attention to the body, emotions or breathing made those moments gripping. from which to begin a work of recuperating moments of calm, small but more and more frequent.
Suffering also occurs at the physical level. I remember with great fondness N. his stomach burned whenever he had problems with his partner, and just paying attention to the physical sensations and letting his stomach express itself caused this to stop. sensation. Go and be able to get closer to your bodily sensations more easily. As much as he paid attention to the body, the body was looserHe felt more and more in balance.