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Mindfulness Approaches to Facing Stigma: for Those with Symptoms of Mental Illness A Presentation by Glenn Derrick Produced by Susan Genden for the Facing.

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Presentation on theme: "Mindfulness Approaches to Facing Stigma: for Those with Symptoms of Mental Illness A Presentation by Glenn Derrick Produced by Susan Genden for the Facing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mindfulness Approaches to Facing Stigma: for Those with Symptoms of Mental Illness A Presentation by Glenn Derrick Produced by Susan Genden for the Facing Stigma Project © 2007 Derrick - Genden

2 2 Seven Core Ideas There are Seven Core Ideas from findings and methods in clinical psychology and from historical and cultural practices related to consciousness and awareness building. These seven core ideas are: 1.observation 2.description or labeling 3.participation 4.non-judgmental noticing 5.one minded focus 6.effective choice making 7.awakening your natural wisdom mind.

3 3 Principle 1 - Observation In Observation – We simply practice noticing what’s going on within and around us, starting with our breathing, Then gradually expanding our practice to consciously noticing our emotions, our thoughts, our beliefs, our choices, our behaviors, the consequences of our choices and behaviors and How all of it together feels in our own lives each moment. As we sit, or stand or walk, we simply notice: “sitting” “standing”, “walking”. As we just enjoy breathing mindfully, we just notice: “breathing”.

4 4 Principle 2 – Description or Labeling In description or labeling, we learn to connect to our feelings, without mistaking them for statements of absolute truth. Just because I think or feel something is thus and thus, doesn’t mean it really is. So instead: “That woman really hates me because of my Mental Health Issues”, I might say: “Oh, this is just me having a thought that that woman hates me because of my mental health issues.”

5 5 Principle 2 - Exercises Exercise A: Thought Labeling, we step outside of our normal way of getting caught up in our own thoughts and judgments about ourselves and others. E xercise B: Description practice happens when we notice how feelings connect to and are actually caused by our own thoughts, rather than from anything anybody else does or says to us. Simply Noticing: “I feel __________, because I think ________, the place in my body where I feel this _________ is in my ___________. It feels ___________. This is how I know I am feeling __________________________.

6 6 Participation: can be thought of as the art of “really diving all the way in, to whatever it is we are doing.” Whatever it is, do it with gusto, throw yourself into it, and do just that one thing whole-heartedly, without self-consciousness. Participate is the “go for it” feeling you have. Participation is the satisfying experience of becoming absorbed. Principle 3 - Participation

7 7 Non-judgmental Noticing happens when, in the process of noticing and labeling, we avoid evaluating. We take a non-judgmental stance and pry our opinions away from the simple facts of “who, what, when, and where.” Focus on the “who,” not the “good” or “bad”. Focus on the when and the where as it is rather than on the “should” or “should not”. Just notice what it is. Principle 4 – Non-judgmental Noticing

8 8 Principle 5 – One Minded Focus One Minded Focus is the practice of noticing when you are doing two things at once, and then making a conscious choice to just stop, and go back to doing one thing at a time. When eating, eat, when watching T.V. watch T.V., when in a group or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person.

9 9 Principle 5 – One Minded Focus – continued Do each thing with your undivided attention. When other things distract you: thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds, just gently bring yourself back to what you were doing, without judging. The point is not to avoid being distracted, but to notice. Come back to what you were doing, or, stop what you were doing, and deal with the distraction. Sometimes it is more important to deal mindfully and lovingly with a two year old, then to try and finish meditation when he/she is crying.

10 10 Principle 6 – Effective Choice Making Effective choice making – As you practice mindfulness skills, you become more effective. Focus on what works, do what needs to be done in each situation, meeting the needs of the situation you are in, rather than the one you wish you were in.

11 11 Principle 6 – Effective Choice Making Marsha Linehan, founder of dialectical behavioral therapy, talks about letting go of vengeance, useless anger, self-righteousness and “being right”. These mental habits are not mindful and they only hurt you in the end. Focus on healthy objectives, rather than on getting even, the principle of the thing, or teaching someone a lesson.

12 12 As a result of your mindfulness practice, you can create an awakening of your natural wisdom mind. When you first begin practicing mindfulness, especially in regard to your own and others’ negative judgments and prejudices around Mental Health issues, you will notice that you almost seem to have two different minds. Principle 7 – Natural Wisdom Mind

13 13 Principle 7 – Natural Wisdom Mind You will notice: The emotion mind which is intense, chaotic, loves drama, victim-hood, self-pity and other emotional extremes, and The reasonable mind which generally has better judgment, thinks things through, and tends to solve problems in a straight forward and non-destructive way

14 14 As you practice using your reasonable mind through mindfulness skills of effective choice making, you will become more aware of your emotion mind through observation, non- judgmental noticing and labeling. These two minds will begin working together. This is Natural Wisdom Mind. You behave in ways that are consistent with your own values and sense of right and wrong. You feel more calm and centered, more at peace, and have more energy left for healthy ways of caring about yourself and others. Principle 7 – Natural Wisdom Mind

15 15 Glenn Derrick, M.A., L.L.P., F.L.E. Glenn Derrick is a clinical psychologist at the Master’s level as well as a practitioner & teacher in the White Clad Zen tradition. He trained and completed research in temples & universities in the U.S., Canada, The People’s Republic of China and the Tibetan autonomous Region. He has taught and given lectures in mindfulness practice to people across the country in colleges, universities, and to corporations. He also uses this approach in private and professional practice as a psychologist and substance abuse therapist.

16 16 Susan Genden, producer, editor, artist Susan Genden has owned a graphic and web design business, Genden Graphic Design, Southfield, MI, for over fifteen years. She has been teaching graphics and design courses through community education programs, colleges and to businesses since This project is part of the Facing Stigma Project, completed in partial fulfillment of her M.Ed in Instructional Technology at Wayne State University. This project is intended to create greater awareness of the stigma faced by those with mental illness. These exercises are intended to offer helpful tools for self empowerment, increased self esteem, and improved mental health.


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