The 8-week training
This program is suitable for everyone who wants to learn to cope better with the challenges of everyday life. No prior knowledge is required. the training is scientifically substantiated and makes you more resistant against stress, anxiety, worry, pain and depression.
How does it work?
The training is based on two pillars: mindfulness and cognitive therapy.
Mindfulness is also called attention training. It is a meditation technique that is more than 2500 years old. Mindfulness lets you get back in touch with the power and richness of the now in every moment. Mindfulness opens up your life towards a deeper appreciation and inner freedom.
Cognitive therapy is based on the observation that negative thoughts can contribute to psychological complaints. Negative emotions can also intensify negative thoughts. Throughout the training we get deeper insight into these mechanisms and we learn how to let them go.
Mindfulness cultivates attention to the only moment we have: the present moment. This allows us to live life as fully as possible, even in the most difficult moments.
What does the training consist of?
During the 8 weeks of training, we work with practical exercises and assignments.
Use is made of:
- The breath as a source of stability
- Physical awareness
- Situational stress awareness
- Insight meditation (emotions, sensations, thoughts)
- Meditative yoga (lying down and standing up)
- Solution focused techniques
- Attention training
- Health plan (focused on prevention and wellness)
Mindfulness focuses on increasing present moment awareness, the here and now-experience. The purpose is to recognize and accept reality as is, without bias from emotional reactions or mental distortions and without reacting to automatic behavioural patterns.
Our untrained attention is continually focussed on getting more of what is experienced as pleasant (attachment) and on avoiding what is experienced as unpleasant (aversion). A certain standard which can never be achieved is aimed for. This creates a persistent unhappiness about how things are. Happiness is sought for outside oneself and in the future. Attention travels restless from past to future and gets stuck in worries, feelings of guilt, fear,…
The purpose of mindfulness meditation is to free oneself from conditioning by these unconscious patterns and to become aware of how emotional habits determine our life. Meditative exercises make the relation between our thoughts, emotions and opinions less compelling. A number of communication exercises teaches how to identify less with mental positions in relation to others.
Mindfulness means connecting to the here and now experience with acceptance. In the first place, concentration, stability of attention is trained. In a first phase, breath is used as a focus. Interfering thoughts and sensations which ask for attention are released in a kind but firm manner and focus is brought back to breathing. In this way, participants are trained to return their attention to the present moment. Secondly, one learns to observe (primary process) in meditation without immediate interpretation or reaction (secondary process). One speaks of “bare attention”. This enables one to live in the here and now experience instead of losing oneself in fantasies, worries, anticipations, … A typical exercise for this is to hear a sound as a sound and dropping the mentally constructed concept e.g. “a car”. Thirdly, one learns to observe things without being attached to a specific point of view or result. Openness and acceptance are central. This creates inner stability and peace. Saying ‘yes’ to reality as it is, is conditional to seeing the full perspective and responding to it adequately.