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Magnanimity, Mindfulness, & Metaphor Cultivating Balance in Clients and Clinicians Texas University and College Counseling Centers Conference February.

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Presentation on theme: "Magnanimity, Mindfulness, & Metaphor Cultivating Balance in Clients and Clinicians Texas University and College Counseling Centers Conference February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Magnanimity, Mindfulness, & Metaphor Cultivating Balance in Clients and Clinicians Texas University and College Counseling Centers Conference February 6, 2014

2 Magnanimity  Means “greatness of soul”  Greatness results from exemplification of all virtues  Virtue = mean between two extremes  GREATNESS OF SOUL IS BALANCE!  This is what both clinicians and clients should aim for!  Metaphor and mindfulness embody balance and can therefore help us achieve and maintain equilibrium  Metaphor as liaison between visceral and cerebral man

3 Metaphor: Theory & Research  CS Lewis  Myth as balance between abstract and concrete  Balance between world of intellect and world of experience  Metaphor may be fundamental to the way we experience and think  Cognitive experiential self theory 1,2  Grounded cognition 3 and embodied cognition 4  Conceptual metaphor 5  Bridge between cognition and experience  Deeper level of processing

4 Metaphor: Client Care Applications  Metaphor as a vehicle for change  4 Phases/Stages  1. Enter the client’s metaphoric imagination  2. Explore client’s metaphoric imagination  3. Transformation of client’s metaphoric image  4. Connect metaphoric patterns and life problems  Buffer and bridge for approaching hard material  Art therapy, play therapy  Clinical examples

5 Metaphor: Self-Care Discussion  Chess match/ chess master  Dance/ dance partner  Journey/ fellow traveler  Saving the world/ superhero

6 Change Process Metaphor  The metaphor for how one conceptualizes the change process naturally affects and influences the therapists sense of and perceived need for self-care  Superhero vs. journey  Burnout  Compassion fatigue

7 Mindfulness  “Paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” 6  Psychological, neurobiological, physical, interpersonal  Increases awareness of bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions; unhelpful ways of coping with stress (avoidance, fusion)  Fosters curiosity, acceptance, interconnectedness  Rooted in Buddhist meditative disciplines

8 Mindfulness  Can be taught and practiced (neural plasticity)  Mindfulness-based approaches: MBSR, MBCT, DBT, ACT  Clients (i.e., ↓ depression, anxiety, psychosis, PTSD, OCD, ↑ pain tolerance, PA) 7  Therapists-in-training ( ↓ stress, NA, anxiety; ↑ PA, self-compassion) 8  Clinician/self as instrument: client outcomes of mindful therapists-in-training ( ↓ anxiety, anger, somatization, obsessiveness, paranoia) 9  Mirror neuron systems may enhance empathy  Mindfulness fosters intrapersonal attunement which may, in turn, enhance interpersonal attunement

9 Mindfulness Applications  Experiential exercises  How do we know when we’re feeling out of tune?  Body Scan  “Leaves on a stream”  How do we know how to proceed? How do we sustain our instrument?  “Retirement party”

10 Discussion, Questions, Thoughts? Justine Grosso Matt Breuninger

11 References 1 Epstein, S. (1994). Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious. American Psychologist, 49, Epstein, S. (1998). Cognitive-experiential self-theory: A dual process personality theory with implications for diagnosis and psychotherapy. In R. F. Bornstein & J. M. Masling (Eds.), Empirical perspectives on the psychoanalytic unconscious (Vol. 7, pp ). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 3 Barsalou, L. W. (2010). Grounded cognition: past, present, and future. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2(4), Wilson, A. D., & Golonka, S. (2013). Embodied cognition is not what you think it is. Frontiers in psychology, 4. 5 Wickman, S. A., Daniels, M. H., White, L. J., & Fesmire, S. A. (1999). A “primer” in conceptual metaphor for counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77(4), Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full Catastrophe Living. Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York, NY: Random House. 7 Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), Grepmair, L., Mitterlehner, F., Loew, T., & Nickel, M. (2007). Promotion of mindfulness in psychotherapists in training: Preliminary styudy. European Psychiatry, 22, Wise, E. H., Hersh, M. A., & Gibson, C. M. (2012). Ethics, self-care and well-being for psychologists: Reenvisioning the stress-distress continuum. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(5),


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