Over the past 20 years I have developed a holistic model of Mindfulness Counseling that is complementary with traditional psychiatry and clinical psychology, although they are very different processes. I started developing this model for my own use, when I was going through a painful divorce. None of the traditional forms of “treatment” were as helpful as I needed them to be. Even the marriage counseling we received prior to the divorce was ineffective because it failed to address the root causes of our conflicts – namely, our unconscious, and thus unskillful, responses to each other and the alienation that would follow. Sure, all of their techniques were somewhat helpful. They just weren’t helpful enough.
Many of my clients have spent years in psychotherapy before they find their way to me. My practice is based on over 40 years of Mindfulness practice that began for me in 1971, when I had the great blessing of being the student of two great meditation masters over the course of 26 years. Since then, I have also studied with many of the leading transpersonal teachers and researchers of our time. My father had a long and brilliant career a neurologist and psychiatrist. When I discussed with him how Mindfulness Training could be used in a counseling capacity, he praised it as “the way of the future.” My decades of Mindfulness practice are the cornerstone my work. Now I teach others how to use Mindfulness to gain the insights needed to work effectively with their problems as well as with their authentic wants and needs. In short, Mindfulness-Based Counseling is based on principles of Mindfulness Training that provide a powerfully effective set of skills for life management, personal growth and an abiding sense of self-empowerment.
As a pioneer in Mindfulness-Based Counseling, I have developed a non-pathological system that empowers practitioners to transmute their problems into natural growth, even when it comes to their most painful experiences. Mindfulness Training’s effectiveness is in the truest sense therapeutic – derived from the Greek word, therapeutikos, which means to minister to – although it is not psychotherapy. Far from it. Rather, it is a proven process for overcoming adversity by moving beyond the victim-perpetrator dyad. In this way permanent solutions are achieved, instead of temporary ones. My operating principle is that you need to be taught how to minister to yourself by changing how you use your mind, so that over time you actually rewire how your brain functions. Although my job is to show you how to do this as you work through life’s challenges, it does not stop there. Mindfulness-Based Counseling will also teach you how to harvest the growth on the other side of any crisis.
Our problems can be brought into Mindful awareness and understood as growth-related. Nearly all of our emotional pain and stuckness derives from our entrenched programing and conditioning, which we desperately need to outgrow. Mindfulness Training brings this need into conscious awareness. Buddhists have a saying that the obstacle is the path. Think about that for a moment. Mindfulness-Based Counseling provides the training, the skills and the tools needed to calm the reactive mind and tame the emotional chaos caused by our unconscious habits, especially when it comes to the unskillful speech and behaviors that wreak havoc in our lives. Mindfulness-Based Counseling provides a revolutionary remedy for these problems. It has proven to be tremendously effective for couples experiencing power struggles and alienation.
There is a truth here that needs to be acknowledged. Namely, that anxiety and depression occur in all people. No one is exempt. Developing resiliency through Mindfulness-Based Counseling changes everything. Even when the worst things happen––the death of a loved one, marital discord, stress levels that have become overwhelming––Mindfulness is the only process I know of that is capable of providing permanent relief. The process of Mindfulness Training elevates its practitioners out of the prevailing pathological mindset and replaces it with the expansive mindset of self-mastery. Mindfulness Training offers you a positive, nutritive, hands-on method for developing resilience and self-empowerment through a proven process of expanding and elevating your conscious awareness. In my view every single one of us needs to learn how to do this. Professionally guided Mindfulness Training makes all the difference.
Mindfulness-Based Counseling works!
If you would like to book a Mindfulness-Based Counseling session,
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Henk has highly developed skills in personal interaction; he knows how to facilitate intrapsychic processes and can draw others out to help them clarify inner issues in a way that is fully respectful and appreciative of individual boundaries.
Lee Irwin, Professor & Chair
Religious Studies Department
College of Charleston