Mindfulness in Psychotherapy and Love as the Healing Balm

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Humanistic psychology is more than a method or an approach to psychology and psychotherapy. Humanistic ways of being comprise a philosophy, an approach to life and a way to understand and contextualize the existential thrownness in which we find ourselves. In other words, humanistic psychology helps clients discern healthy paths to a mindful engagement with their lives. Mindfulness looks at various ways to cultivate a more enlightened engagement between and among people, exemplified in the emphasis on such considerations as mindful speech, mindful action and mindful effort, among others. The self-help movement promotes improvement through an unrelenting attack on the self, a form of inner violence reinforcing the “I’m not good enough” mindset plaguing our society and ballooning advertising budgets. In contrast, I believe it is time for something more akin to a radical self-love movement and an appreciation of an evidenced-based science of love. Self-love is self-knowing; a humble conscientiousness that frees us from an ego that thinks everything is about “me,” pointing instead to the part we play in the larger production; a capacity to connect to community, to touch and be touched emotionally, to be a part of both local and global healing; to be co-creators of a more expansive and inclusive “we.” It may be wise to embrace the power of mindfulness as a highly effective tool in psychotherapy and earnestly promote love as a vital humanistic agent of change and elemental healing balm.

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