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Mindful : August 2019
When three mood-disorder researchers (John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Mark Williams) collaborated in the early 90s to marry Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to mindfulness practices, they created a hybrid greater than the sum of its parts. MBCT doesn’t simply overlay medita- tion on CBT’s challenging of habitual thought patterns. It emphasizes going beyond manipulat- ing thoughts to becoming intimately aware of our automatic patterns—trusting that repeated non-judgmental appraisal of these patterns can inspire us to disrupt repetitive thinking. In this book, three clinicians who have been teaching MBCT for nearly as long as it has existed (and who also train others to teach MBCT) lift up the hood on this relatively new and powerful vehicle. They do so in order to guide would-be practitioners—particularly those who facilitate MBCT courses—in the nuances of how MBCT works when it’s done well. Two major themes rise to the surface. The first is that to facilitate MBCT requires embody- ing the practice. One of MBCT’s founders, Zindel Segal, who wrote the foreword to this book, has repeatedly emphasized that mindful- ness is a skill. As such, it must be modeled and demonstrated for others. MBCT is not about getting high on insights; it’s about learning how to ride and redirect our mind and emotions. The second major theme is that inquiry prac- tice—essentially prompting us to explore and describe experience—is the powerhouse at the heart of MBCT, and it emerges as a “contempla- tive dialogue.” The book offers a master class in this powerful form of dialog ue, which has been extremely helpful for countless people work- ing with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY Embodied Presence & Inquiry in Practice Susan Woods, Patricia Rockman, and Evan Collins • New Harbinger Anxiety often goes hand- in-hand with navigating the teenage years. Academic stress, home life, relation- ships, sexuality, emotional and physical changes—it seems like there are end- less sources of worry. Based on the principles of cogni- tive behavioral therapy and mindfulness, Put Your Worries Here offers a safe and welcoming place for teens to manage these anx- ious thoughts and feelings. With 100 written and visual journaling prompts, it speaks directly to teens (“Create a playlist of the songs that help you de-stress. Write the best lyrics here.”), and lets them discover their own best way of expressing and working with difficult emotions. PUT YOUR WORRIES HERE A Creative Journal for Teens with Anxiety Lisa M. Schab, LCSW • Instant Health Books The popular self-help vision- ary Byron Katie goes by a sur- name that’s a common first name. She is simply Katie, like Lebron is Lebron and Prince was Prince. Simple yet com- plicated, as is the system she teaches the world over, which is “the revolutionary process called ‘the work.’” You don’t need a secret initiation to uncover what “the work” is. It’s right there, in four questions: 1. Is it true?; 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?; 3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?; 4. Who would you be without that thought? Beneath that simplicity is a minefield of fundamental questions. In person, Katie is playful, humorous, both direct and elusive. On the page, with the aid of co-writer and husband Stephen Mitch- ell, she seems a little more philosophical and speculative. But the strongest sections of A Mind at Home with Itself are transcripts of Katie carrying on the inquiry process with a range of people going through widely varying challenges. And herein lies the popu- larity of Katie’s work: the enduring power of inquiry. The Socratic method of continually inquiring of a thing whether it’s true and what consequences emerge from that is alive and well, and even though this book is largely dedicated to a Bud- dhist sutra, it’s reminiscent of the mindfulness of an ancient Greek. A MIND AT HOME WITH ITSELF Byron Katie, with Stephen Mitchell • HarperOne Can we gently turn toward the experience of sensations just as they are right now, without judging them? 74 mindful August 2019 read, listen, stream