NYMHCA Convention 2014: How I Learned the True Meaning of Mindfulness


This past weekend I went to the New York Mental Health Counselors’ Association in Albany, New York. The theme for this year dealt with bringing creativity into counseling. Needless to say there were workshops on art therapy techniques, the DSM-5, and helping transgender clients amongst other workshop sessions. I personally attended a double workshop on mindfulness, a session on helping transgender clients, and finally a session on Yoga and how it deals with mental health.

The session that took my interest was a session on mindfulness. The session explained the concept of mindfulness and gave us counselors and counseling students mindfulness techniques we could employ in our counseling sessions. Prior to this session I had thought mindfulness and yoga were techniques that you used in order to help ensure your mental and physical health. WRONG!

These skills are practices! A practice is a skill set that you develop and bring into your daily life by practicing the skills through a morning or evening routine or scheduling it into your day. Eventually if you subscribe to these practices enough they can become a part of your life and a way of thinking.

What is the practice of mindfulness?

The practice of mindfulness is taking into account that you have a part of yourself that makes you experience emotions and fear while also having a part of you that can control it. A fear center and an executive center. By developing a center to focus on, awareness, and an attitude of acceptance you are able to better understand and handle situations in your life. This practice can be used in overcoming difficult thoughts, pain management, and yourself become more aware of your own thoughts and experiences.

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