For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
In Mindful Therapy, Lorne Ladner discusses his approach to incorporating mindfulness techniques into psychotherapy. The benefits of using mindfulness practices in therapy have been well documented: These techniques have been shown to be clinically effective in treating stress and anxiety and as part of treatment for personality disorders and depression. Side benefits include improvements in self-awareness and emotional regulation as well as enhanced empathy.
In this session, Dr. Ladner demonstrates the process of mindful therapy with an anxious teacher, ultimately helping her to feel hopeful about changing her life. Dr Ladner teaches mindfulness meditation to the client and also discusses and demonstrates how therapists can use mindfulness themselves.
The benefits of integrating mindfulness practices with psychotherapy have been well documented in extensive scientific research. Mindfulness practices have been shown to be clinically effective in treating problems associated with stress and anxiety, in playing a role in the treatment of personality disorders, in improving immune functions, and in helping with relapse prevention for depression. More generally, such practices also help people to become more self-aware, to improve emotional regulation, to enhance empathy, and to help people to be aware of their feelings without acting out on them.
In addition to mindfulness practice, Dr. Ladner also sometimes uses other related methods in the context of psychotherapy that are specifically designed for increasing people's experiences of positive emotions such as love, gratitude, joy, and compassion. All of these methods can be brought up during the course of psychotherapy in accordance with a patient's needs.
For example, a patient who is not yet very aware of her own thoughts and feelings might benefit from mindfulness practice to increase self-awareness. And, a patient who is often overwhelmed by emotions may benefit from brief periods of mindfulness to learn how to be aware of feelings without immediately fleeing from them or acting them out. Someone who has a difficult time with intimacy or with connecting with family members may benefit from trying a method for evoking positive emotions as may someone who is often tired or stressed.
Mindfulness practices have often been used in conjunction with medical interventions and in conjunction with cognitive–behavioral therapies. They also work well when combined with psychodynamic or depth psychological approaches.
The use of mindfulness in conjunction with psychotherapy often works well with clients who have problems related to stress, anxiety, or physical pain. They also can be very useful in working with people who are not aware of their own feelings or who are overly self-critical, and for people who are in recovery from depression and are trying to avoid a relapse. Short periods of mindfulness can be useful in working with people with personality disorders.
Lorne Ladner, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Northern Virginia. Dr. Ladner also frequently provides workshops and trainings on integrating meditation and psychotherapy as well as on methods for cultivating empathy and positive emotions.
Dr. Ladner has written numerous articles on these subjects and also wrote The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology (HarperSanFrancisco, 2004). Dr. Ladner also edited The Wheel of Great Compassion (Wisdom, 2000) and co-authored Bridges of Compassion (with A. Campbell; Jason Aronson, 1999).
Dr. Ladner has been an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University in Washington, DC, and served as director of Guhyasmaja Buddhist Center in Northern Virginia from 1999 thru 2005.
Books by Dr. Ladner
- Ladner, L. (2004). The lost art of compassion: Discovering the practice of happiness in the meeting of Buddhism and psychology. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.
- Ladner, L. (2000). The wheel of great compassion: The practice of the prayer wheel in Tibetan buddhism. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
- Campbell, A., & Ladner, L. (1999). Bridges of compassion: Insights and interventions in developmental disabilities. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc.
Books by Other Authors
- Bennett-Goleman, T. (2001). Emotional alchemy: How the mind can heal the heart. New York: Harmony Books.
- Brach, T. (2003). Radical acceptance: Embracing your life with the heart of a Buddha. New York: Bantam/Dell.
- Epstein, M. (1995). Thoughts without a thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective. New York: Basic Books.
- Germer, C., Siegel, R., & Fulton, P. (Eds.). (2005). Mindfulness and psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.
- Goleman, D., et al. (2003). Destructive emotions: How can we overcome them? A scientific dialogue with the Dalai Lama. New York: Bantam Books.
- Gyatso, Tenzin, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (2000). Transforming the mind: teachings on generating compassion. London: Thorsons.
- Gyatso, Tenzin, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (2001). The compassionate life. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Dell.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.
- Kornfield, J. (1993). A path with heart: A guide through the perils and promises of spiritual life. New York: Bantam Books.
- Magid, B. (2002). Ordinary mind: Exploring the common ground of Zen and psychotherapy. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
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