|Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 15:05||comments (0)|
Coach-counsellor integration is no longer a guilty secret, thank goodness.
But, until the integrationists ‘came out’, there were many counsellors who felt judged by their supervisors or peers if they admitted to working in a goal-focused or solution-focused way. Just like the early CBT therapists, this was just a sticking plaster we were warned. Only ‘depth psychotherapy’ would have a lasting effect.
A few years later and things have moved on, as more and more understanding about the human brain and mind emerges from the new brain sciences. Modern, proactive mental health interventions are outcome informed and evidence based. We will not return to the dark ages of nodding therapy now. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.
Anyway, who would want to crush innovation and the evolution of more effective mental health care? BACP are at the vanguard. They are moving forward fast with the promotion of coaching skills for counsellors.
The world of coaching is also on the move, responding to the change which is quite clearly in the air. Now the term ‘holistic coach’ or ‘wellbeing coach’ is becoming more common.
There is a two way stream of traffic across the bridge of integration, it seems.
Fortunately, whether you are a counsellor looking to integrate coaching tools or a coach looking to deepen counselling skills; if you are a teacher, mentor, doctor, nurse, prison officer, social worker or anyone who works in the helping professions, Fusion training will definitely help you be more effective in your role.
That’s because the Fusion Model is based on the understanding that human beings have certain needs and that it is the role of our emotions to push us towards getting those needs met.
So, if you are working with human beings, no matter what their age, colour, creed, gender or status, they will have the same human needs. This also makes Fusion the ultimate multi cultural model for mental health and wellbeing.
Perhaps someone could tell Theresa May and we could start saving the NHS billions of pounds lost in the out of date and inefficient mental health system currently in place.
|Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 15:00||comments (0)|
Are you able to deal with the stresses and strains of life?
Ups and downs are a normal and natural part being human. Life does not travel in a straight line; is not a plateau but a series of valleys and hills. But it can be tough, especially if you feel you’ve been stuck in the valley for too long. Sometimes we just have to stay strong and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
A little while ago, I wrote a guided meditation for Sally, a young woman who had lost touch with her inner strength and lost faith in her own ability to cope. Her mother and brother had both died in a car accident. Her marriage was in trouble too. Sally was beginning to crumble under the weight of her grief.
She made good progress as we worked together over 5 weeks and started to feel more positive but, just at the point of returning to work, she had a wobble. We started to practice meditation together. It helped her to stop fearing the future and accept there were things she could not control no matter how much she worried about them.
Mindfulness meditation is about surrender rather than demand. It is not about forcing things to go our way. It is relaxing into the way things are. It’s letting go.
It’s a time when we can rest in the presence of our breath, our body and our emotions with a detached, kind and gentle curiosity and in doing so; we befriend our breath, our body and our emotions.
We befriend ourselves.
This is one of the meditations I wrote for Sally. It’s designed to be spoken or read slowly and with periods of silence for introspection and insight.
The therapeutic suggestions are in bold as are the embedded seven pillars of mindfulness as outlined by MBSR creator Jon Kabat Zin.
I wrote a haiku for Sally too and that is at the end:
Guided mountain meditation
Either close the eyes, or half close the eyes, soft focusing on an area of floor about two feet in front of you:
Begin to notice the breath, saying silently ‘I am breathing in, I am breathing out.’
As you follow the breath you might notice the warmth or coolness of the breath as it passes over the upper lip
After a little while, the out breath may naturally extend as you begin to relax
Observe the breath as it moves down the diaphragm and then gently back up again.
Set aside the focus on the breath and simply begin to notice the rise and fall of the abdomen allowing the attention to ride and rest where it will
In your mind’s eye, bring up an image of a mountain
And, as you begin to pay attention to the mountain, you might notice its shape
It may be a small, wide mountain or a tall, narrow mountain. It doesn’t matter for, as you look more closely at the mountain, you may have a sense of it being the most beautiful, graceful and elegant mountain you have ever seen
And this mountain has a secret; it has been here since time began and the mountain has been a witness to many things
As you observe the mountain, you might notice how the sun passes over it, creating pools of light and shadow and, as the sun sets, how it is gently illuminated by the soft glow of the moon
Each day passes in this way
The mountain does not judge the day or the night, does not prefer one to the other, does not cling to the heat of the sun or the coolness of the moon, does not pull or push
The mountain appreciates both sun and moon, day and night, with a simple yet immovable presence
And so it is with the seasons: as you observe the mountain, you might notice how the green leaves on the trees, rooted in its crags and crevices, bathed in the full sun of summer, begin to redden and wither and fall to the ground. In time, autumn transitions to winter. Now snow caps the top of the mountain and cloud descends
And the mountain is silent and still with a wise strength that knows there is no need to fight the wind or repel the rain and in this way remains free from pain and free from suffering, trusting in the rhythm of the seasons and waiting to emerge from those passing clouds as the frozen earth is caressed by the first rays of early spring
The mountain is patient and present to each moment. It knows there is no reason to hurry. The buds on the trees will unfold in their own time
And isn’t it amazing how you can be an observer of the mountain in all its detail, moving in close to see the crags and crevices, the buds on the trees as they emerge, the little spring flowers bursting through the warming ground
And, if you wish, you can travel in your imagination, around to the other side of the mountain and see it for the very first time as though seeing with new eyes, perhaps noticing how different it seems from a new perspective
And you can, if you wish, in your imagination, drift into the mountain, become the mountain and have a sense of the mountain, with its solid base, like your seated base of hips and legs that extend firmly to the floor
Your spine and neck and head can extend tall like the lofty peaks of the mountain
We can all be like the mountain with its patience, trust and acceptance
We can be a witness to our experience and see with new eyes
We can choose to let go of attachment and striving
We can set judgement aside and understand there are things we cannot control.
We can accept times of darkness and winter chill
We can stay strong and steady
We can trust and wait for the sun to shine again
The mountain knows a secret
The air does not breathe
Water has no mind to swim
Snow is simply snow
|Posted on 5 February, 2018 at 14:55||comments (0)|
How often do we say exactly what we’re thinking?
‘How are you?’ is the only question to which no one really wants the answer, so how do we finally drop the mask and give ourselves permission to be more real? Let’s face it, there’s often much more power in what is not said than what is. No one particularly wants to hear about problems, but continually dodging the elephant in the room doesn’t mean the elephant isn’t there.
My 17 year old client, Paul, and his father had been dodging elephants for a while and the stress was now building. Paul had secured himself a string of A*s at GCSE and been strongly advised by his father to go for STEM subjects at A level to give him greater career opportunities.
But within weeks of starting sixth form, Paul knew he had made a bad mistake. He actually loved art, music and creative writing. Doing sciences made him feel like he was ‘thinking in circles but having to express himself in squares. I feel so boxed in’ he told me but he felt unable to talk to his father about it.
Actually, Paul’s father was one of the main problems. He was a highly qualified scientist specialising in Artificial Intelligence. Worryingly, Paul described him as ‘physically present but emotionally absent.’ He often worked from home but hardly ever emerged from behind the doors of his office.
As Paul painted more of a picture of his work, personality and behaviour, I began to feel his father might have a systemising brain, a term used by Dr Simon Barron Cohen to describe those on the autistic spectrum. If my hunch was right, then he would not have an instinct that Paul was distressed at all. He would not understand that his advice to follow STEM subjects might be at odds with Paul’s natural inclination or preference. He would not have a sense of context and would probably not be able to empathise with Paul’s current dilemma.
But it went deeper than that. It turned out that Paul’s father had never told him he loved him and had never even given him a hug. Real communication had all but broken down over the years. Paul respected his father deeply and wanted a relationship with him and, after I had explained the implications of systemising brain wiring, he began to realise his father was not actually being uncaring, it was simply that probably did not have the innate skills to relate to his teenage son.
A naked conversation
Direct action would be needed. Paul had to find a way to have ‘a naked conversation’ with his father; one where he told him exactly how he felt and what his needs were. I introduced Paul to the ‘communicating difficult feelings’ template and we set to work, collating Paul’s thoughts into the essence of what he felt he needed to say. It’s a formula I’ve used many times and in many different contexts and it always has an impact. One client, Barbara, came to see me on the brink of leaving her husband.
‘He has no instinct about what is going on for me’, she said despairingly. ‘Most of the time he seems indifferent to how I’m feeling. If I want him to do something, I have to write it on a list or it doesn’t happen. I have to make all the social arrangements and even tell him what to wear or he’ll turn up in odd socks!’
The template came in very useful for Barbara, as did the systemising brain explanation. She became much more forgiving of her husband when she realised he was not being bloody-minded after all. One real up side of systemisers is that they are very loyal and have a keen sense of fair play. They are often highly intelligent too. I asked Barbara what her husband did for a living. ‘He’s a rocket scientist’ she said with a wry smile. All was becoming clear.
Even if your partner is not on the spectrum, according to relationship counsellor John Gray, author of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ women will discuss feelings easily yet most men would rather mow the lawn ten times or lock themselves in the shed rather than have ‘that’ conversation.
The letter starts with a positive statement to open communication. There is a tendency to switch off if something looks like it will be critical.
The template can be used to structure thoughts for a spoken conversation, but putting it in writing works well when trying to communicate with a systemiser as they often miss non verbal signals, and crucially, the letter ends with a call to action.
This is what Paul wrote:
I love you because you have always stood by me. When mum left, you became my rock. You have worked so hard for us to be able to stay in this house and keep me at my school. I don’t think you know how much I admire you and the work you do.
Yet, it makes me angry when I try to talk with you about what’s worrying me and you seem pre occupied and don’t really listen.
And I feel so sad that we don’t spend time together or have fun like we used to before mum left and that communication has broken down between us.
I am frightened that I’m doing subjects at sixth form that I don’t enjoy and I’ve made a mistake I can’t undo because you won’t listen to what I’m saying.
I regret taking STEM subjects and want to do art, music and creative writing instead.
Dad, there’s something I need from you now…
I need us to talk about this and for you to come and speak to my form tutor and explain how I feel and find out if I can change subjects or what my options are
And there’s something else…
I need a hug and I need you to tell me you love me (you never have)
I wondered how Paul’s father would react.
He intended to leave the letter on his desk that evening. I needn’t have worried. When he returned the following week, Paul was like a different boy. After his father’s intervention, the school had been very sympathetic to Paul’s needs and helped him change subjects without delay. It was still early in the term. Paul was bright and would be able to catch up it was felt.
But there was another more immediate result from the letter.
‘After he read it’, Paul told me,’ he came straight out of his office, gave me the biggest bear hug and told me he loves me and is really proud of me.’
‘Result’ I said (I had to stop myself from punching the air) ‘Looks like that template might come in very handy in the future’.
Paul agreed. ‘Yes, and it might come in handy when I get married too’, he said.
Told you he was bright…
|Posted on 5 February, 2018 at 14:50||comments (0)|
FUSION WORKSHOP: RESOLVING POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER with trainer Frances Masters
July 14th Bedfordshire £95 Book on [email protected]
The history of PTSD: DSM definition and diagnosis
Using impact and outcome measures
Sub threshold trauma
The neuroscience of trauma
EMDR, EFT, progressive counting and LSD therapy: how they work
The Rewind timeline
How Rewind can resolve PTSD symptoms in one session
Coffee and biscuits
Dr Muss’ fast Rewind protocols
Ploughman’s lunch provided
The Human Givens protocol with formal induction
Tea and cakes
Case studies and discussion
Post trauma growth
Hand outs, scripts and a copy of the book by Frances ‘PTSD Resolution: reclaiming life from trauma’ provided for all delegates
|Posted on 31 January, 2018 at 13:55||comments (0)|
I had a Skype supervision session today with a Fusion Therapeutic Coach. I do quite a bit of supervision via Skype these days as diploma delegates come from all over the country and some from abroad too. For me, it’s a real privilege to observe careers evolve and confidence grow over many years.
I always start supervision sessions with the important question ‘how are you?’
As life coaches and mindfulness trainers, we need to be authentic and able to walk the talk. How can we encourage our clients to ‘live their best lives’ if we are not working towards that ourselves?
Encouragingly, my supervisee today described herself as ‘living the dream.’
But it wasn’t always so. Five years ago, she nearly didn’t attend the diploma at all. With outstanding health test results and confidence issues at work, she phoned just 24 hours before the course to voice her concerns that she would not be in the right frame of mind to come along.
Having listened to what was going on, I felt the diploma would present a great opportunity for her to step outside her life for a while and take some time and space for herself. She had already booked into a pretty canal-side B and B for the 5 days of the course. ‘Perhaps this is something you can be doing while you wait for those other difficulties to resolve’ I said, and the decision was made.
She describes that decision as ‘a life changer.’
How different things are now. These days she is self employed as a Fusion therapeutic coach-trainer with a work/life balance that is enviable. She stays close to the 5 session manual and finds it consistently works well, charging £125 for the first session of 1.5 hours and £95 for subsequent 1 hour sessions. Five to seven clients represents her perfect work load as she also leads monthly ‘happiness recipe’ workshops; quite an achievement for someone who used to get flustered if she had to speak at a meeting.
Although the five session format works well to resolve problems and refocus on the preferred future, she finds that many clients want to maintain an ongoing coach-client relationship, so she has just signed up for the next Mindfulness Based Mind Management training day.
I spent most of last year writing this latest Fusion product and, when I did so, imagined it in a group setting. Once written, however, it became clear it would work well on a one-to-one basis as it embeds the Fusion mind management tips, tools and techniques with core mindfulness exercises such as mindful eating, loving kindness and a ‘just a minute’ breathing space.
|Posted on 19 January, 2018 at 4:35||comments (1)|
Quitters Friday followed by Blue Monday reflects the reality that January can be a challenge for many of us. Feeling low can make us negative about who we are, or rather who we think we are.
We beat ourselves up for not sticking to our New Year’s resolutions and our already fragile self esteem crashes through the floor. Low self esteem merely fuels the fires of low mood, and so the downward spiral continues.
Cutting into the loop
I was asked recently how to raise self esteem.
There are many ways, but the one I am about to describe is particularly effective as it engages the right brain hemisphere and bypasses the resistant ‘yes but’ defences of the left. The left brain has long since formed a belief system around the personality of the person and continues only to look for the evidence it is correct.
The resistance-busting technique is called ‘The overheard conversation’ and begins by relaxing the client very deeply and accessing an area of consciousness that sits between wake and sleep. The brains of people who are in this hypnogogic-hypnopompic state are noted to have alpha and theta waves present. Alpha waves are associated with deep relaxation and theta waves are associated with accelerated learning…or insight.
Those who have completed Fusion training will know recent research shows the moment of insight occurs in an area of the brain just above the right ear, known as the anterior superior temporal gyrus.
Much has been written about the mechanism of insight, but it’s true to say, a paradigm shift can occur in seconds and, when it does, the results can be dramatic. That is what happened for my client Joan, anyway.
Joan had been traumatised in childhood. We had to do some specific work around those incidents to bilaterally integrate the old memories. But, even though that work had been successful, Joan was left with very low self esteem. She had a perception of herself that allowed others to continue to bully her, especially at work.
Joan’s self image had been formed during her unhappy childhood. The messages she had received back then from the people around her had programmed a negativity that was resistant to logical challenge. Quite simply, she was running outdated software and it was time to upload something new!
Once relaxed, and with the defensive left hemisphere distracted and disengaged, I spoke directly to Joan’s right hemisphere in a guided visualisation. Guided visualisation is like walking someone through a dream and is a powerful mechanism for change. This is what I said to Joan with the embedded messages in bold:
A guided dream
‘‘Joan, I wonder if you could imagine turning up at a gathering. Lots of people you know are there and they are people whose opinion you value.
Notice what the room looks like, the sounds of voices chatting. As you take a glass of orange from a waitress, perhaps notice the coolness of the glass against your hand, the citrusy fragrance of the drink and the fruity taste of the orange as you take a sip.
And as you drift around the room, feeling relaxed, and wondering which group to join, you begin to pick up fragments of conversation from those around you.
‘Look, there’s Joan. I’m so pleased she came. She’s lovely to talk to. She’s one of those people who actually listens and is interested in what you have to say.’
‘Yes, she’s got a great sense of humour too. She’s fun to be around.’
‘It’s no secret Joan had a difficult child hood. Isn’t it amazing how she’s turned her life round? I was reading about that. It’s called post trauma growth. Some people emerge the other side of difficulties stronger in so many ways.’
‘I don’t think Joan quite realises how much she is respected around here. She’s bright and she’s a people person too. That’s a powerful combination.’
‘She’s certainly a tenacious lady. I think she’ll do well here.’
‘Do you think she’ll get promoted?’
‘She certainly deserves to climb the ladder. She understands at a very deep level. Look how much time she’s spent on learning and self development. We need more like Joan on the management team.’
‘Looking good too….’
‘Yes, always smartly dressed but it’s her bubbly personality that really lights her up.’
‘I know what you mean…’’
I saw Joan one week later. She’d noticed a shift.
‘I think I’m being more assertive’ she told me ‘but in a good way.’
It’s strange really but the better I feel about myself, the better other people seem to treat me. Strange, isn’t it?’
‘I think you understand at a very deep level’ I responded.
I had a feeling our work was almost done.
|Posted on 9 January, 2018 at 8:20||comments (1)|
The start of a new professional year is always exciting for me. I like new projects, new ideas and new opportunities and it looks like there will be plenty of those in 2018.
There are 2 new venues for the Diploma and Trainer programmes. They will both be super-fast track over two weekends. Responding to previous feedback, many people tell me they like the idea of immersing themselves in a learning experience and , when you stay away, it also feels like a bit of a holiday, especially when the surroundings are so beautiful.
And, now that mindfulness is such an integral part of the Trainer programme, many participants will be able to use the space for some work on personal as well as professional development. Several Fusion graduates have called the course ‘life changing.’ I know that is true as I’m still in touch with most of them.
The biggest change this year will be the Association for Coaching Accreditation for the training. It’s currently going through the process and was a lot of work to put in place. But I’m pleased I have done all the paperwork as Fusion graduates will find it very straight forward to achieve professional or executive AC coach status post training if that is the road they wish to take.
|Posted on 28 August, 2017 at 8:10||comments (0)|
One of the joys of running the Diploma is meeting a group of like-minded people, getting to know each other and observing how relationships form.
Relationships are important. We are social beings. The human brain is a social organ. Empathy is central to relationships. Theory of mind means we can put ourselves in the shoes of the other, feel their feelings and see through their eyes.
On the Diploma, we watch an old recording of Carl Rogers counselling and man on anger. It's a rare film and not one you can access on you Tube.
One thing that shines through as you observe Rogers is how central empathy is to his work. Empathy is one of the person-centred core conditions for a therapeutic alliance. It's something we totally accept now but it wasn't always so.
Rogers was an innovator of what he termed ‘here and now therapy’. He was greatly inspired in this by the work of Otto Rank. Rank was once a central figure in Freud's analytical circle but became disillusioned with his oedipal obsession and the focus of psychoanalysis on the past.
Here and now therapy would focus instead on being fully present, and offering congruence, non-judgement and empathy to build a relationship and create a holding space where the client felt safe enough to explore their thoughts and feelings.
Polyvagal theory now offers an additional explanation for the effectiveness of the therapeutic alliance and how one human brain can connect with another.
The ventral vagal nerve is connected to the facial areas associated with communication, such as the eyes, mouth and ears. It is the most recently evolved branch of the autonomic nervous system and developed as human beings began to group together to form tribes and family units. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal now became essential for bond-forming and for working together.
Brain imaging confirms that information from our environment enters the right emotional brain hemisphere first. The brain checks out whether it is safe or whether it needs to engage fight or flight.
If it does feel safe, the incoming information travels across the corpus callosum, the bridge between the two hemispheres. It now engages the neo-cortex or rational left hemisphere where thought and reason process the data.
This milli-second of internal triage generally occurs outside of our consciousness.
If the environment feels safe, the ventral vagal system is in the driver’s seat and the brain tells the heart to remain calm. But if we sense a threat, whether real or imaginary, the older fight or flight system becomes switched on. Intense threat can even result in a brainstem response; freeze, shut down or death.
There are many ways to override our innate human empathy.
The social psychopath feels little if no empathy, for another human being. It's a brain wiring issue. The narcissist is so focused on ‘The self’ and their own needs that they see little point in engaging their empathic circuitry.
Polyvagal theory now informs us that, when we feel unsafe in our environment or in the presence of another, the older autonomic nervous system will produce more instinctive reaction that comes from the older part of the brain that perceives the world in a polarised, black or white, fight or flight mode.
In that mode, it's easy to see how empathy would be switched off, another explanation for how the hand that feeds can also be the hand that kills.
|Posted on 21 August, 2017 at 14:40||comments (0)|
I'm prepping in earnest now for the southern based Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma running from September.
The northern hub training went really well. I ran the new 'Mindfulness Based Mind Management' trainers' day for the first time. I hoped it would be well received, but was absolutely bowled over by some really enthusiastic feedback, such as the email I received from BACP counsellor Donna Ward :
'The Fusion training model has picked up the best of other therapeutic models, fused together with Frances’ knowledge and evidence of what really works. Incorporating coaching, it is the full package!
For me it has provided the missing pieces of the jigsaw. I now feel hopeful and confident that I can really move my clients past sticking points and make some major breakthroughs. Frances’ knowledge and delivery was clear, professional and EVERY bit of what she taught us was useful. This was certainly not a course that was padded out.
It has changed my mind-set in so many ways. I have realised we don't have to complicate this process. What Frances has done with this model is fantastic. The Mindfulness Based Mind Management was a great course. It is very clear and easy to follow, concentrating on the facts and what really works; also what is realistic so it can be maintained.
Honestly, this has been the best training I have been on. Every bit of it was so valuable. I definitely got what I needed from the course. …definitely great value for money.
I feel very honoured to be part of Fusion. The skills I have learned will help gives people their lives back.'
Mending the world
At the start of the MBMM day, we set our intention by stating what we wanted from the training. I surprised myself with the level of emotion attached to my own response:
'I just want to help. I want this training to help you and to help your clients.'
It took me back to a saying I came across right at the start of my own journey as I emerged from a frightening experience of post natal depression, 'If every man would mend a man, all the world would be mended.'
It set me thinking. I reframed the word 'would' as 'could'. Through my experience, I had seen that many people wanted to help me, but didn't know how. Now training as a counsellor, I realised with a sense of despair that, not only was the mental health system broken, but that the training for mental health practitioners was seriously flawed too.
A dream started to take shape to make fast, efficient and effective help available to those who, like me when I was so ill, might be clinging on by their fingernails, desperate for someone to offer hope, practical information and a plan to help them reclaim their lives. It led me found the mental health charity Reclaim Life.
And that dream now continues with the launch of the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Mind Management programme; something that has the potential to touch even more lives and help more people improve their emotional resilience.
Thank you to everyone who has joined me now in a growing movement to change the face of mental health in the UK.
Thanks to the Foundation for Ribble Valley Families for sending me your trainees and for putting the model to good use improving the lives of local Lancashire families. Thanks to Social Sense and the Mindful Me team who are putting so much energy into getting the model into schools where it is so desperately needed.
Thank you to a lovely Fusion coach who is just starting on her own journey to found a charity to provide therapeutic coaching in Wales.
And thank you to all the Fusion Therapeutic Coachers and Trainers now out there doing great work.
1 day can change your life
Fusion coach-trainers Cindy Shilton and Jenny Capaldi are running a Fusion Breakthrough workshop together on Saturday 14th October at Simpson Village Hall. Please contact them if you are interested in attending. You can help publicise the event for them by sharing with your contacts.
Lots of good luck Cindy and Jenny
For me, as for many, personal change started with a terrible experience. It was German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche who said 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
The reality of post trauma growth means that many of us who have travelled for a while along the road of despair can emerge the other side of the experience with a powerful message and motivation to help; what someone on the recent diploma course referred to as 'bouncing forward.'
|Posted on 11 August, 2017 at 10:20||comments (0)|
I recently returned from lovely Lancashire where I delivered the first ever Master Trainer day of the Fusion 8 week Mindfulness Based Mind Management programme.
It’s fair to say it was well received. The overwhelming reaction was ‘wow!’
I’m pleased with it. It’s been hard work and the guided visualisation scripts for the trainers are still in production. But it seems to me, the process has brought together all of the loose ends, taking the Fusion Model to the next level and offering, what I believe to be, the best mental health practitioner training currently available in the UK.
It’s fast-track and affordable too. Perhaps someone could tell the NHS? They seem to be worried that, even with £1.3 billion allocated funds, they will not be able to train sufficient practitioners in 4 years!
After 8 days’ training the Fusion Therapeutic Coaches and Trainers are highly skilled and fully armed to work with clients where ever they present on the ‘continuum of wellbeing’. And with the 8 week MBSR now part of the Fusion programme, there are even more ways to help people build emotional resilience rather than for society to have to ‘fire-fight’ each personal crisis as it occurs.
Mindfulness Based Mind Management
Mindfulness is all about focus.
It’s the brain training that strengthens the mental muscle of the pre frontal cortex, the seat of our executive control.
It’s certainly a powerful mind management tool. The Fusion programme makes new and critical links with cutting edge neuroscience such as epigenetics, mapping the connectome and polyvagal theory. When people understand just why it works, why wouldn’t they spend 5, 10 or 15 minutes a day simply sitting in the presence of their own thoughts? ‘Show me the evidence base’ is the modern mantra.
And why not?
Knowledge is power after all. Most people do not want a mental health diagnosis. They simply want an explanation for how they feel and a practical strategy for feeling better as soon as possible, restoring hope.
On week 1 of the MBMM programme, delegates are encouraged to go for a mindful walk and ‘see with new eyes’. It’s known as ‘beginner’s mind’. On the course, I make the connection with the powerful brain filter, the Reticular Activating System (RAS).
Counsellor Liz Blackburn made the connection too. She contacted me yesterday:
‘I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the course and the Train the Trainer and MBMM.
Here is a story…… When a returned home after the final day, I went for a mindful walk.
So often I do this walk quickly, just to get the exercise. I live in a beautiful place (even though it might be a bit wet) but so often I don’t appreciate it. Within 100meters from my house I spotted a buzzard soaring in the sky. Then I went on to notice a young hare playing in the lane. Further on I stood for a short while to watch the swallows and swifts, trying to identify the differences between the two.
The curlews are still here, not returning to their coastal homes for the winter yet. Further along I spotted an owl as it took off from a nearby gate post. At this point I thought to myself “all I need now is to see a deer. I will do before I get home”, I thought with confidence.
Almost immediately, I had hardly turned the corner when there in front of me was a young red deer, just grazing in the field. This really proves the power of RAS!! That was for me; the perfect walk… I continued on my way home, only to notice some sloe berries growing on bushes that I had passes many times before but never noticed them. (It looks like I may be making Sloe Gin this autumn.)
What enjoyment to have a “Mindful” walk.’