Monday, 26 March 2012

What will happen next?

Learning about a colleague's practice in which she works with children and young people diagnosed with psychopathology integrating mindfulness in all her work and involving the parents in her interventions gave me tremendous hope about the future of mindfulness and the extent to which MBCT and MBSR are already being used in a wide variety of clinical settings. 

As Prof. Mark Williams, one of the three fathers of MBCT was saying, the recent trends and excited curiosity (ok, hype) about mindfulness is only the beginning of a two or three hundred year project the conclusion and outcomes of which none of us will be around the witness.  What remains to be seen is what will happen once the froth settles, and we can see the wood for the trees.  What will be left on the beach? 

I feel privileged to have been supervised by Mark, and to have had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge and expand my understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the brilliant approach the application of which has already been shown to have a positive correlation across a number of different clinical presentations.

Having grown up with programmes such as Tomorrow's World and the promise of quick fixes, it perhaps might appear to be a retrograde step to now be interested in slowing down, yet I see no alternative.  As a practitioner and teacher of mindfulness, I am eager to know where it will stand in 20 or 30 years, but also recognise my responsibility for preserving the integrity of the intervention and in the embodiment of the philosophy informing the practical application - that of detachment, and focus on the present, trusting the process.  Mindfulness has been around for 25 centuries.  It doesn't need me to worry about it's longevity. 

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness,
which unites your body to your thoughts.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn

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