冥想 VS 正念

“如何区分正念与冥想?”

这是一个我被问过几次的问题,下面的解答是基于我的实践和理解。

从广义上讲,冥想有两种类型。一是集中注意力。例如,当你专注于你的呼吸,一个单词,一个咒语,一个烛光,你放开任何引起你注意的事物,并将你的注意力集中在这一个事物上。(这种类型的一个例子:本森放松法

另一种冥想,是广泛的注意力(意识)。这就像你处于没有在进行比赛的体育馆里。你看着这整个空间。你可以像观察者一样观察整个体验,不评判,不反应。你允许事物来去自如。

第二种冥想,就是一种正念练习!正念的定义通常包括处于当下、带着觉察、不批判和接受(不过度反应)。当你在进行河流上的飘叶时,你注意并观察着你脑海中正在发生的事情。你当然可以将它概括到你的日常生活中,注意到你在哪里,你在干嘛,觉察你的想法/感受等等。

你可以随时随地练习正念。带着正念地吃,喝,工作,打字,开车,锻炼,运动,行走(即处在当下,觉察,并接受)。但是,你不能冥想着进行这一切。

有些人在走路,跑步或游泳时可能会冥想。这可以是第一类型的冥想(集中、狭隘注意力)或第二类冥想(扩大注意力)。第一类,你可能会在心里重复“一,二,一,二,一,二……”,或把注意力放在你的呼吸。第二类,你观察你的整个经历,比如你的肌肉如何运动,你看到,听到什么,觉察你的感受等等。

我会说两者都是冥想,但只有第二类是正念。希望我有把我的理解厘清吧… 欢迎分享你的看法!

How do I get more clients for my practice?

Here is a list of results brainstormed by a group of 25 students in China. They were trying to find out as many solutions possible to get more clients for their practice (psychotherapy). It is part of the Problem Solving Therapy Exercise (step 2). It is a process of getting as many solutions as possible without assessing how good or practical they are (quantity > quality).

  • Set up personal website
  • Use of social media like facebook, instagram, wechat
  • Share of information online
  • Giving talk in hospital, schools
  • Advertisement
  • Organising workshop
  • Collaborate with government organisation
  • Collaborate with corporates, company
  • Collaborate with schools
  • Collaborate with celebrities
  • Collaborate with hospitals
  • Collaborate with other private practices
  • Collaborate with the community groups or organisations
  • Collaborate with specialist clinics (e.g. post cancer treatment, irritable bowel syndrome, skin problems)
  • Leaflet
  • Business card
  • Summer camp
  • Use of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu
  • Radio station (share of information, ads)
  • Words of mouth
  • Talk for parents (through schools)
  • Group experiential workshop in the schools
  • Charity events
  • Visiting schools, giving talks to teachers, managements, students, parents
  • Rise your fee per session (to increase your income…)
  • Treating celebrities and make them your spokeperson
  • Running workshop series
  • Set up association
  • Make short videos
  • Personal development, learn more approaches
  • Ads on bus, bus stop
  • Set up good name for your business/practice
  • More flexibility, provide online sessions
  • Raise fund from corporates
  • Be very specialised in certain areas
  • Be interviewed in radio or tv programmes
  • Stage hypnosis or demonstration
  • Target students, teenagers, parents
  • Target women general wellbeing
  • Target insomnia
  • Wellbeing / Healthcare centre
  • Package, e.g. free one session every 5 sessions
  • Pre-wedding package (weight loss, smoking cessation, general confidence)
  • Funerals
  • Target bad habits
  • Target pregnancy (e.g. post-partum anxiety/depression, weight loss, general wellbeing)
  • Therapy during a day-out together

What else can you come up with?

Suicide with a Hostile Intent

In the past, whenever we talk about suicidal clients, it’s normally due to depression, they feel hopeless about the future and see themselves as a burden to the family and society, and see that ending their lives as the only solution to their problems.

But things changed. Today I’m not writing about suicide bombing or attacks, but suicide with a hostile intent, on a personal level.

So recently I’m seeing more and more young people who are suicidal, who have self-harm issues, or who have attempted suicide. Or, there are also some who have done any self-harm, but they are always telling others that they don’t want to live no more.

It’s not just me. When I was teaching suicide risk assessment in Beijing, many of the students (who are teachers/psychotherapists/counsellors themselves) express the same concerns. They are seeing more and more students and young people like that. They don’t quite seem to be depressed, but they are expressing suicidal thoughts, seem to be as a mean to obtain something, usually from their parents.

It’s difficult. Because you can’t really provoke these youngsters, by telling them that “stop seeking attention! You don’t really want to die! You say it to manipulate your parents” etc. Some of them are willing to “sacrifice” their lives, to make you regret and feel guilty all your lives, just because you don’t give them what they want. Sometimes I feel they don’t appreciate and love lives as much as the previous generations (Why?!).

It’s difficult. Because any expression of suicidal ideation is important and worth our attention, we can’t simply make assumptions and then ignore it. (But do you realise, it’s also because of this, we are reinforcing their behaviour… So they get what they want, they can continue to threaten or blackmail us etc.)

We can help them as much as we can, by being more emphatic and having more compassion. But I’m just wondering, what happens to our society, parenting and education systems, why are more and more entitled children growing up, who are fairly self-centered and do not care much about how others feel?

 

N.B. I don’t mean to discount the importance of helping anyone with suicidal ideation. Here I’m only talking about a small group of people who use suicide to blackmail or manipulate around, but there are definitely plenty of people out there who are really suicidal and in need of attention and help.

Please give yourself a second chance. Malaysia suicide hotlines:

The Befrienders
03-7956 8144/ 03-7956 8145
www.befrienders.org.my

Life Line Association Malaysia
03-4265 7995
http://lifeline.org.my/cn/

Agape Counselling Center Malaysia
03-7785 5955 / 03-7781 0800
http://www.agape.org.my

Mindfulness VS Meditation

“What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?”

One of the questions I was asked a few times, and this answer below is based on my practice and understanding.

There are two types of meditation, broadly speaking. One is with focused attention. So for example, when you focus on your breathing, a word, a prayer, the candle light, you let go of anything that comes into your attention, and keep redirecting your attention to the thing that you are focusing on. (One example of this type of meditation here).

Another type of meditation, is with widen attention (awareness). It’s like you are in a stadium when no game is being played. You watch the whole space. You watch your whole experience, like an observer, or like a third party, non-judging, and not reacting. You allow things to come and go.

This second type of meditation, is a mindfulness practice! The definition(s) of mindfulness generally includes being present, being aware, non-judgemental, and acceptance (not overly reactive). When you practice Leaves on the Stream, you are mindful of what’s going on in your mind. You can of course generalise this to your daily life, and be mindful of where you are, what you do, what you think/feel etc.

You can practice mindfulness anytime anywhere. Eating, drinking, working, typing, driving, exercising, walking mindfully (i.e. staying present, being aware of what you do, and being accepting). You can’t do all that while you meditate though.

Some people might meditate while they walk, run or swim. This can be with either first (focused, narrow attention) OR second type of meditation (broaden attention). With first, you might be saying “one, two, one, two, one, two…” in your mind, or noticing your breathing in and out. With second, you will be observing your whole experience, how your muscle move, what you see, hear, sense, how you feel etc.

I’d say both are meditation, but only the second one is being mindful. I hope I’ve made it clear?! Feel free to share your views!

Stuttering and Stammering

It gets quite uncommon nowadays to meet people who stutter. I used to see it a lot more on TV, and it’s not much presented nowadays. I wonder if people no longer suffer from this problem, or they just don’t get out there and socialise much (so we hardly get to meet them and talk to them). (It also seems that most children grow out of it anyway).

Till few months ago I received an email from a lady in her 20s. She said it was depression that she needs help for. At first, based on what she wrote, I was thinking she might be quite socially anxious. And towards the end, she casually mentioned that she also had stammering issues.

I, also, quite casually replied to her that if she’s keen, I can help her with her stammering issues, on top of her depression. Undeniably I was quite “eager” inside, I was thinking I finally might meet one whom I can put what I learnt into practice.

That was few months ago. Now she almost, no longer stutters. She told me sometimes she will still do it, deliberately, just because she was quite used to it (due to some techniques that I coached her to try), now it’s all under her control, she can do it or not based on her will (just like everyone of us?). She is a lot more confident than when I first saw her, a lot more socially active too. It wasn’t quite “depression”, hence her previous treatments (mainly medication) didn’t help her much.

I don’t think people generally seek help from psychologist for stuttering and stammering issues, but yes, psychotherapy will help, hypnotherapy too. So yes, please get in touch if you happen to be one or know someone who might need this probably-life-changing therapy.

 

Extra knowledge: Stuttering VS Stammering

Stuttering refers to the repetition of words or syllabus when one is speaking, while stammering is when one is unable to make out the sound while speaking.

#口吃 #结巴 #治疗 #催眠 #心理治疗

寻求安全行为

有一个部落相信,为了让太阳升起,部落里的每个人,每晚必须建立一个篝火,并围绕着它跳舞直到天亮。由于这种信念,部落每天花费大量时间收集木材并为夜晚篝火做准备(Wells,1997)。他们筋疲力尽。这种仪式已经占据了他们的生命,但他们无法阻止这一点,因为他们必须为整个世界确保第二天早上太阳再次升起。

寻求安全行为是一个人为了阻止恐惧灾难的事情发生所做的事情。但安全行为实际上使恐惧更加强烈,特别是以长远来说,人们没有机会发现其实灾难无论如何都不会发生。克服焦虑的过程,就包括有信心地放弃这些行为同时容忍焦虑。

一些临床病例

小艾伦认为,如果他打羽毛球,那他当晚就会失眠。所以他完全停止了他曾经最喜爱的羽毛球运动。

林女士患有惊恐发作和广场恐怖症,所以她在网上购物,不惜一切代价避开购物中心和拥挤的地方。现在她几乎没有太恐慌,但她的生活是如此有限,甚至已经许久没有和闺蜜见面聊天吃饭。

郭先生有社交焦虑。他尽可能避免社交互动和社交场合。即使他和别人说话,他也会避免眼神交流并保持简短的谈话。人们发现他无趣,冷漠和怪异。


所以,回到部落日出仪式。部落民族要怎么发现仪式是否真的让太阳升起?

小艾伦要怎么知道打羽毛球是否真的导致失眠?

林女士如何知道人群是否导致她的惊恐发作?她怎么能过更充实的生活?

郭先生如何知道避免社交互动和目光接触是否有助于解决他的问题?

(你可能会注意到,为了缓解他们在短时间内的焦虑,他们都已付出长远的巨大代价。“短期收益,长期痛苦”)


当我们“触摸木头”(touch wood)或在进入酒店房间之前做敲门之类的东西时,这些迷信似乎是我们人类的一部分。对于许多患有强迫症和焦虑症的人来说,识别他们的安全寻求行为非常重要,并且围绕它进行一些心理教育以使他们愿意放弃它们,或者测试放弃它们(行为实验)。

更重要的是,有些时候我们的治疗师会教他们某些应对技巧(例如腹式呼吸),并最终被用作寻求安全的行为 — “只要我专注于我的呼吸,我就不会惊恐发作并且不会在商场里晕倒。”因此,这些行为背后的意图(信念)很重要。你为什么这么做?它是一种应对(应对策略)的方式,以便您可以继续购物,或者你用它来预防您认为可能发生的灾难(安全寻求)?

This is a Chinese translated version of the post Safety Seeking Behaviour.