07 Jul Counselling resources
I see counselling as a way of beginning a long-lasting, warm friendship with ourselves. When we approach our struggles with less judgement and shame, change comes more easily. Dr Kristin Neff has done a lot of research in the field of self-compassion. In short, Dr Neff researches the value of talking to yourself in the same way you would to a very good friend.
The lessons of death
Frank Ostaseski is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. The grief, the denial, the confusion, the loosing. He is a leading voice in end-of-life-care. He has been named one of America’s 50 most innovative people. In 2001, he was honoured by the Dalai Lama for his many years of compassionate service to the dying and their families.
No matter how many times we do the same thing, there will come a time when we do it for the last time. In this conversation, Frank speaks about death and dying—and about how the awareness of death can improve our lives in each moment.
Transforming afflictive emotions
Joseph Goldstein is a Vipassana meditation teacher and the author of several contemporary books about Buddhism. In this podcast he discusses how to be with emotions we are not so comfortable with. He talks about how to train ourselves to recognise emotions. As we learn to recognise emotions, we become more skilled at distinguishing for example frustration from anger. Following the simple buddhist strategies of becoming aware of emotion, accepting emotion, to not identify with the emotion.
It is a thought provoking listen for anyone interested in counselling. Or for anyone who wish to be closer to their emotions and leading a richer, more compassionate life.
Mindfulness in every day life
John Kabat Zinn is the founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic and known for his work on introducing mindfulness for beginners. Listen to him address authenticity and the deep longing we all have to belong, to feel whole and to feel connected.
He describes how we are so brought up in cognition and thinking, that we loose valuable moments of just hanging out with ourselves, which the practise of mindfulness can bring. By identifying our triggers we can reach new levels of understanding ourselves to support new ways of being in the world.
In this podcast, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris delivers a beginner mindfulness meditation. It is an introduction to stay present to the contents of consciousness, shown to reduce pain, anxiety, depression and also to improve cognitive function. Mindfulness is also known to produce changes in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. If it is something you are drawn to, it can be an enriching complement to counselling.
“Being” versus “doing” with your child
Dr. Dan Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has written a number of parenting books to help parents guide their children to become more open, creative and resilient, even during difficult time. In this brief introductory talk about some of Dr Siegel’s basic ideas, he emphasises the importance of taking the time to be with our children. To become aware of the time we spend managing our children’s “doing” and instead directing our attention to listening in with our children, a critical skill to develop compassion and resilience for life.