During the 2011 EMDRIA Conference, Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of “Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation” posed the question, “What is the definition of the ‘mind’?” Few people had learned a definition in their psychology training programs.
Siegel views the mind as “an emergent property that arises from the interactions of elements of a system – i.e. from the flow of energy within embodied neural activity and relational communication.” Simply put, he believes that the mind is different from the brain and is impacted by the exchange of energy in relationship.
As therapists, he suggests that being “mindful therapists” will have an impact on our clients mind and brain. Learning how to be present in a session with one’s own state can help regulate and change a client’s experience of self. Some of the skills to be a mindful therapist include: attuning, building trust, understanding and recognizing traumas. When a client is “seen””by the therapist, he feels that he is not so alone in the world, is understood, and is connected in the world.
In order to learn these skills, therapists must look within themselves to develop these skills first, so that they can be more present with their clients. One way to do this is through meditation and self-reflective exercises of mindfulness.
When an EMDR therapist becomes more conscious of this exchange of energy in one’s sessions, the therapist becomes very important to the healing process. Being witnessed is important to a client’s ability to process trauma.
In the Advanced EMDR Workshops at the Maiberger Institute (i.e. “PTSD,” “Somatic,” and “DBT“) skills are taught to help enhance the therapists’ ability to self-reflect and to be an important conduit in the therapeutic relationship.
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