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VIDEOS AND PODCASTS
In this video I highlight some of the pragmatic reasons why we should practice meditation at this time, during the global Covid19 pandemic. This is particularly relevant for those of us who feel that meditation might not offer a "high return" in terms of time and effort spent, especially when there seem to be so many more pressing issues.
In this interview on the Mindful Movement podcast I talk to Aimée Barnes about some of the misconceptions of meditation and mindfulness, how these practices can be applied in a psychotherapeutic context and offer some helpful tips on how to "sit quietly and do nothing". Enjoy :)
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS COACHING?
What is Mindfulness Coaching?Mindfulness Coaching is a facilitated process through which a person can gain a deeper insight into the working of their minds through both newly developed psychological techniques and centuries old practices. During a typical session a coach will help a client to notice patterns in their thinking, offer tools to assist in dealing with difficult thoughts, emotions and life situations, and provide a safe space to get clear on the values that lead to a fuller, richer and more meaningful life. Mindfulness coaching is strongly based on A.C.T., meditation techniques and mindfulness theory, as well as including tools from many other personal development systems.
Who can benefit from Mindfulness Coaching?Mindfulness Coaching and meditation have been shown to have beneficial results for people in all walks of life by providing greater insight into the nature of our minds through the development of increased awareness and clarity, building a greater capacity for dealing with difficult feelings and situations, and on the whole providing mental tools for building a fuller and more meaningful life.
In a clinical context A.C.T. has been shown to help with anger management, depression and suicidal ideation, PTSD, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, negative self-talk, eating disorders and chronic pain. This may seem like a tall order but the proof is there in the multiple clinical trials that have been conducted since the 1980s when A.C.T. was first formulated.
What is A.C.T.?A.C.T. or or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a mindfulness-based behavioural therapy that challenges the ground rules of most Western psychology. It’s a therapy that makes no attempt to reduce symptoms, but gets symptom reduction as a by-product. A therapy firmly based in the tradition of empirical science, yet has a major emphasis on values, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, living in the present moment, and accessing a transcendent sense of self.” - Dr. Russ Harris
What is Meditation Training?Meditation training is first and foremost a discussion about the nature of consciousness. Once we have a working model of consciousness we can start to explore proven techniques that train and develop the two foundational skills or mental faculties that assist in creating clarity, alleviating suffering and helping us to know ourselves better: clarity and insight.
The trainings typically take place in public workshops but can also be done one-on-one or in smaller private groups. The trainings range from 1 day to 7 weeks with optional, ongoing follow-up workshops and group practice.
Why should one meditate?In this short transcription (by yours truely), Sam Harris elegantly outlines the logic of practicing meditation and the resultant benefits of mindfulness. To find out more about upcoming workshops and trainings, fill-in the following form.
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F rom an early age I have been fascinated by the mind and the way we perceive reality. This led me to study various disciplines from Western Psychology to Eastern Contemplative practices. I have spent the last 12 years studying psychology both formally and informally and have obtained an honours degree in psychological counselling (BAHONS PSY) through the University of South Africa (UNISA).
I continued to investigate alternative forms of psychological therapeutic methodologies that were aligned with my adopted Eastern philosophical framework. In 2015 I discovered ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), a mindful based approach to psychological counselling and coaching and completed my ACT certification in 2016. I also obtained certification in Recovery Coaching (a framework designed to assist with all forms of the recovery process) through the SHARP recovery center.
Today I practice as a mindfulness coach and counsellor for individuals and facilitate group mindfulness and meditation trainings in Johannesburg in an effort to make these practices more accessible to everybody. I am a passionate advocate for the practices of mindfulness and meditation having seen the positive impact these practices have had on my life and the lives of the people with whom I have shared these practices. In essence: greater self-awareness, an increased capacity for dealing with difficult emotions and situations as well as an empowering re-orientation to life.
I have spent the last 12 years studying psychology both formally and informally and have completed my honours degree in psychological counselling. In addition I have obtained certification in A.C.T. (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), a methodology based on mindfulness principles, and Recovery Coaching, a coaching framework developed in the rehabilitation space. I hold 3 certifications as a yoga instructor (Iyengar, Jivamukti and Hatha basics methods) and have been teaching since 2006.
"I have only attended a handful of sessions with James but it has given me the chance to take the time needed to look at what's going on for me. More importantly, James is wise, patient and understanding, and he provides a safe space in which I can be vulnerable and honest about the 'ugly' stuff. And it is his gentle curiosity which allows me to see things more clearly for myself. I am looking forward to our next session!"
"James has a remarkable ability to help you unearth the roots of an issue. He listens attentively and gently guides you along. I found his sessions very helpful [...]"
"James demystified mindfulness in a very straightforward way. Plain language and easily understandable. It's a long journey, but for me his approach is a helpful first step, or for me, a re-charge towards calming the mind in this hectic town."
Health Systems Analyst
"I'm learning a lot even though I've done meditation for a while and enjoy your approach."
CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) at Seven Star Energy Centre
"[James'] obvious passion for the subject and practical, approachable style appealed to me and the way he simplified the practice of meditation was excellent. I still use his techniques daily. So worthwhile!"
Professional Yoga Instructor and Reflexologist
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