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Mindfulness Activity of the Month
“Deep seeing is a simple exercise that engages the sense of sight to tune in more deeply to your surroundings. All you need to do is select an object that appeals to you. It can be anything: a colorful scarf, an orange from a fruit bowl, a fresh flower.
Then, use your sense of sight to intimately engage with that object. See the folds, colors, texture, size, and shape. Gently observe the object until you begin to notice things you didn’t notice before.
Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes, so you can fully immerse yourself in the process without looking at the clock.”
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
(from Healthline.com, healthline.com/health/mind-body/mindfulness-activities#5-minute-activities)
Meet Your Provider!
Interview with Dani
Dani is the director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program at MHWWC. They coordinate services for individuals enrolled in PRP and oversee the program’s providers.
Interviewer: What led you to the PRP program here at MHWWC?
Dani: I graduated with a degree in Applied Psychology and began working here at the front desk. During that time, I chatted with the then-PRP director and became interested in getting involved with the program. I really liked that PRP is community-oriented and seeks to reintegrate the person into their community.
Interviewer: Can you tell me a little bit more about what PRP is?
Dani: It’s a program that provides extra support for individuals with severe mental health diagnoses, helping them to get back on their feet. It provides more frequent contact with a provider to talk through the process of reintegrating into life, like through finding work and social supports.
Interviewer: What do you think makes PRP a special or unique part of treatment?
Dani: I think that PRP provides what is usually not covered by regular therapy, which is case management and daily enrichment activities. We provide a listening ear but also help the individual to meet their goals in a way that is strengths-based and goal-oriented. It’s a good conglomeration of what you get from services like therapy and life coaching; it’s very comprehensive.
Interviewer: What are some things that you enjoy in your personal time?
Dani: I like keeping up with physical health, so I go to the gym and do yoga. I like to draw and paint as well. Relaxing is important to me, I think everyone sometimes needs to have a moment just to do nothing.
Interviewer: As MHWWC continues to expand, how do you envision the PRP will grow?
Dani: I’m imagining more partnerships outside of the center to do more recreational activities that a lot of the kids in PRP can benefit from, and for adults too who benefit from more healthy social support.
Transition from student to intern:
Mindful Healing Works Wellness Center has allowed me to grow from being a student into a professional. Coming from the Clinical Psychology M.A. Program at Towson University, I have been able to step outside of the classroom and experience providing therapy. Being able to translate information from school into therapy sessions is a fundamental learning curve for every therapist. I have learned how to sit, listen, and be present with my clients while applying evidenced based practices. While applying science is certainly useful, I have learned the importance and power of being genuine, authentic, and having human connection with my clients. This internship continues to allow me to achieve my goals of becoming a fully licensed therapist by offering a supportive environment and place to learn ~ Tom
Psychological Adaptation to Chronic Illness
Psychological and physical health can be interrelated and impact an individual. People who have pre-existing medical conditions may have associated mental health concerns with regard to lifestyle, medication adherence, or overall struggles with adaptation to life with a chronic illness/disease. Some people may experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, anxiety about their diagnosis, or anger about their situation. Parents of children with chronic illnesses may feel helpless or anxious about their child’s prognosis. While each experience of chronic illness looks different for each person, therapy can provide a safe space to discuss those experiences. Chronic medical conditions can affect people at all stages of life as well as the lives of those around them, and here at MHWWC we want to help those people to adapt to the psychological challenges that come along with medical issues. If you or someone you know struggles with the impacts of a chronic medical condition and needs someone to talk to, MHWWC has a therapist for you!
Experiencing Grief and Loss:
Terms like grief, loss, and bereavement are often used interchangeably, but there are nuanced differences between them. While bereavement refers to one’s response to a loved one’s death, grief may be applied to any type of loss. When someone you know or are close to dies, you may experience a range of emotions besides just sadness. Likewise, if a friend moves away or becomes estranged, you might also find yourself mourning their loss from your life. Below, one of the most common models of grief is broken down and demystified:
The Kubler-Ross Five Stages of Grief: this model has been popular for several decades now, and it posits that the following emotions most commonly experienced are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (check out examples on the infographic below). A misconception of this model is that it is linear, meaning that a person moves from one stage to the next until they ultimately reach acceptance. However, it is more accurate to see these five reactions as cyclical, meaning that one or more may be experienced at once, and you may experience them “out of order” or return to some stages at a later point in time.