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Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., author of
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression,
has endorsed this book:
In Working the Present, Mindfully Based, Donald Fleck succeeds in staying true to the intentions of MBCT while adapting it for use in individual therapy. The book can be used with clients who have serious mindfulness meditation practices as well as those just getting started, as Fleck has taken many of the core elements of MBCT — the 3-Minute Breathing Space, Kindness and Self-Compassion, Working with Difficulty, Allowing/Letting Be, Thoughts are not Facts, Kindness in Action — and found ways to use them effectively within the basic dyadic encounter.
Packed with clinical vignettes and a user friendly narrative structure, Working the Present, Mindfully Based, provides a clear path towards offering this novel delivery format for MBCT’s key concepts and practices.
Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., Author of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
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Pressed for time? Here’s the executive summary…
- Aware – We increase our awareness of the present. When we are present, we perceive more, we perceive differently. When our clients are aware, they have stepped out of automatic pilot.
- Allow – When we practice allowing our experience to continue, without chasing after it, or running away from it, we find we have more strength to work with it. Same thing for our clients.
- Accept – When we accept our experience as it is, just for now, or go a step further and accept ourselves, our energy can move from resistance to relief and finding solutions. Same for our clients.
- Act – When ready, we act. Our actions propel us forward in life. Getting the next action right is really important. This is how change starts. This is how change continues. With awareness, allowing, and acceptance we are grounded and better able to choose helpful actions. Clients, too.
© Donald Fleck 2015
Why this book?
Mindfulness-Based therapies are getting a lot of attention these days, to say the least, and they are very effective in a group format. But clients meeting one-on-one expect sessions geared to their unique needs. They expect therapy to be about their progress or difficulty in working towards their unique treatment goals. In the eight years I have been teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy I have tried taking my individual clients through the content only to be reminded again and again that the weekly discussion of progress and difficulties takes priority over a curriculum.
So, over the years I have sought out new ways to use the powerful elements of Mindfulness-Based therapies within the individual session. With the approach in this book, therapists can continue with the methods they find effective, and add in mindfulness elements as needed.
For example, if a client comes in very upset about an interaction with her colleague, we might start with our normal therapy process, inquiring into what happened before and after, how intense it was, how she understands it, how she tried to work with it, how it relates to her childhood and parents, and how it relates to homework and treatment goals and her recent work in therapy. Then we might introduce a mindfulness practice. We might bring her experience into the present, asking about her experience right now, in thoughts, feelings and body sensations. We might ask her to bring to mind again the interaction with her colleague, let it sit in her awareness, noticing the feelings that arise as she does this. We might ask her to allow those feelings to be present, to de-couple them from thoughts and instead link the feelings to sensations in her body. In this way she may build tolerance for these feelings. As she is more able to tolerate them, she will be more able to think clearly and take actions that are helpful to her. We might ask if she could practice this Working with Difficulty process at home, so we can discuss it more next week. We might wrap up by returning to our usual way of working, perhaps relating this experience to her patterns and interactions with other important people in her life.