I offer mindfulness courses with a focus on relationships. Alongside Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), I organise Interpersonal Mindfulness groups and promote mindfulness in psychotherapy, collaborating with international training institutions.
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Mindfulness has been gathering much attention over recent years as a tried-and-tested method of reducing stress and anxiety. By helping us to focus our attention on the present moment and not get swept up in worrying or negative thoughts about the past or future, a regular practice can help us to: 1) learn to cope better with the pressures we’re under; 2) recognise the thoughts and judgements we make, often subconsciously, that generate more stress; 3) find balance and a sense of calm.
MBSR is the most recognised and established mindfulness course, taught all over the world, and scientifically proven to help people cope better with stress, depression and anxiety. This eight-week life-skills course combines experiential mindfulness practices with the latest tools and techniques of neuroscience, psychology and the study of well-being. It includes mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching and movement, group dialogue and discussion, individually tailored instructions and home assignments. The course consists of eight, two-hour sessions. The full-day retreat will be uniquely designed as an exercise in incorporating mindfulness into the flow of life and will include a variety of guided practices, a silent lunch, and an afternoon of meditation.
The Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme is closely modeled on MBSR with some important differences designed specifically to help us deal with depressive mood states. The programme has been shown to be highly effective in preventing depressive relapse and in treating other psychological conditions, including anxiety and stress-related conditions. MBCT is included in the NHS NICE guidelines and is increasingly used in therapeutic practice.
While the content and learning outcomes of the course are very similar to our other 8-week mindfulness courses, this particular course presents an opportunity for participants to learn new ways of managing and preventing episodes of low mood and anxiety in a group that shares experience of struggling with these issues.
By training ourselves to focus our attention on the present moment, MBCT can help us:
- cope better with emotional challenges;
- change our relationship with difficult thoughts and feelings;
- learn skills to reduce the risk of further episodes of low mood or depression; and
- increase a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Interpersonal mindfulness program
The 8-week Interpersonal Mindfulness Program was developed by the Centre for Mindfulness and the Metta Foundation in the US to support MBSR graduates in integrating their mindfulness practice into their interactions with others and extend learning to:
- develop skills for staying present when communicating;
- experience greater ease in relationships, with yourself and with others;
- deepen connection with others, including friends, family, and colleagues;
- recognise emotional and psychological patterns of reactivity in your interactions with others;
- increase relational confidence;
- and work one-to-one with people, deepening your capacity for empathy.
Relating to others is a fundamental aspect of our everyday lives, with family, friends, in the workplace and in our wider community. Our relationships can be a source of happiness when we feel connected to others, and a source of stress when miscommunication inevitably happens.
Interpersonal Mindfulness offers a bridge between our solitary meditation practice, and our relational lives. Building on the skills learnt on the MBSR course, this course will teach you the meditative guidelines central to the practice of Interpersonal Mindfulness. Skills that will support you in embodying a greater awareness in interactions with others.
The 8-week course consists of eight, two and a half hour sessions and a full day retreat. The sessions include periods of silent meditation, movement and interpersonal meditation. We will work with carefully guided and timed contemplations, in pairs or in small groups, to enable participants to be able to observe the mental and emotional habits that are usually invisible to them in the flow of stressful, or even pleasant, communication. In this way, reactive patterns of communication become clearer, and thereby choices become available to communicate with greater skill. Ultimately our relationships can transform from a source of unhappiness to a source of enrichment, and even joy.
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Insight Dialogue Practice
Insight Dialogue is an interpersonal meditation practice that brings together meditative awareness, the wisdom teachings of the Buddha, and relationship. It has the same purposes and traditional roots as silent meditation: developing mindfulness, compassion and liberating insight, while investigating present moment experience.
Tanya facilitates monthly Insight Dialogue practice sessions open to those who have already attended ID retreats or completed an Interpersonal Mindfulness Programme. There will be a small fee to cover the cost of the room. Whilst Tanya will offer her guidance freely there will an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution for her time.
Why go to a therapist?
Going to a therapist can be a worthwhile growing and stabilizing experience, good for times when you have specific problems, interpersonal problems, or generally feeling down. You can go to a therapist once, for a few months or embark on long-term therapy–each depends on different expectations and goals.
What kind of therapist do I choose?
More important though than the type of therapist is the amount of training and experience with patients, who is compatible with your problems and personality and who you don’t feel uncomfortable with.
What makes therapy successful?
In short, you make therapy successful. Practically this means:
- Taking therapy seriously, by doing the assignments the therapist assigns you.
- Think about the session and what you and your therapist have talked about outside of the session.
- Get family members or friends involved in your therapy experience and tell them what they can do to help you.
- Keep a journal and talk about what you write with your therapist.
- Be patient–sometimes the most “productive” therapy session or time while your are in therapy is when you feel frustrated.
- Remember, therapy is hard work, an investment in your mental health, but just in exercise, the rewards can be invaluable.
What do I ask to determine if the therapist is a good match?
The first session is where you get to assess the therapist and they get to give you an “in-take” interview. They will differ in what information they need to know from you.
- Tell them why you are there and then ask them if this fits their training or interests.
- Ask them what kind of therapy they suggest, how long they would want to do therapy, how much it costs, up front.
- If it doesn’t fit, tell them what you want and ask them if they would be willing to accommodate.
- Pay close attention to how you feel–it is normal for you to feel a little uncomfortable or nervous. Tell them your feelings and ask them how they would deal with it if they were your therapist.
Should I choose a male or female therapist?
Try to emphasize the trust factor, so I am more likely to suggest the gender in which you would feel most comfortable and trusting with. However, even if you are uncomfortable with one gender it could turn out that it could be a worthwhile experience.
Where do I find a psychologist or therapist?
Go by references, talking to your friends who have been in therapy. Psychology professors are usually friends with or actually are clinical psychologists. Read psychology self-help books and when you find a therapist you think is interesting, write to them or call them.