The Pause is a mindful beginning that creates a sense of rhythm and safety.
Dr. Stefanie Bauer PsyD, LP from Life Ripples is a mental health practitioner who believes in the power of the mind/body connection. One way she incorporates mindfulness into her sessions is with an optional mindful beginning. “I offer clients the opportunity to listen to The Pause at the beginning of our sessions”, Stefanie explains, “and almost everyone takes the option.” Here are three reasons why a mindfulness practice is the perfect way to start your sessions with clients.
When people start a therapy session, they may be feeling stressed from the day or feeling nervous about what will be discussed. Starting with a mindfulness practice can help calm their nervous system helping them be more present during the session. It is important to get grounded before the cognitive work starts. Bruce Perry, a developmental mental health psychiatrist, explains in his neural sequential model, human beings process best through a “regulate-relate-reason” model. We can not emotionally connect or begin to cognitively process before our nervous systems are regulated.
Routine is incredibly important. If clients know that the first four minutes of a session is always going to be the same, the predictability creates a sense of safety. Listening to the Pause is an audio cue that shifts the heart, mind and body into a space where cognitive and emotional work can begin.
The healing that occurs in a therapy session is largely based on connection – both between therapist and client and the client’s own deeper connection to themselves. A mindfulness practice helps foster co-regulation and connection. Using an audio recording (like The Pause) allows both therapist and client to fully participate in the experience.
Stefanie explains that The Pause offers relevant topics and themes that often seamlessly integrate into her sessions and offer an anchoring perspective, like “Choice is where my freedom resides” or “Reset”. You can find these audios at our store. Also, sign up for our newsletter to receive The Pause, a mindfulness practice, every Monday.
Do you use a mindful beginning with clients or students? Leave a comment!