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The Mindful TherapistA Teleseminar Session with Daniel Siegel, MD and Ruth Buczynski, PhD

The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine

nicabm www.nicabm.com

The Mindful Therapist

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The Mindful Therapist Contents

The Scientific Evidence: Why Mindfulness Can Make Health and Mental Health Practitioners More Effective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 How Quantum Theory Could Revolutionize Therapeutic Possibilities . . . . . . . . 10 How the Development of Trust Leads to Brain Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 How Mindfulness Can Facilitate Neural Integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

A complete transcript of a Teleseminar Session featuring Daniel Siegel, MD and conducted by Ruth Buczynski, PhD of NICABMThe National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine www.nicabm.com

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The Mindful Therapist with Daniel Siegel, MD and Ruth Buczynski, PhDDr. Ruth Buczynski: Hello everyone. Lets get started. Im Dr. Ruth Buczynski, a licensed psychologist and president of the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine. Were your hosts for this series on Mindfulness. Thanks so much for joining us tonight and for all the nights that youve been with us as part of this series. This is the sixth and last, open session of our worldwide series for practitioners on the Clinical Applications of Mindfulness. Next week, we begin the first of two bonus calls for the Gold subscribers. Throughout the five weeks so far, there have been 101 different countries represented. Were so excited to bring the world of practitioners together in this community. We did check with Google analytics to see if we could come up with a number of exactly how many have listened so far and how many unique listeners weve had. Theyre reporting that number to be 18,000 or a little bit over. We think that might be just a bit highand I dont want to guess because I could be wrong and I dont have a way to prove any number. I do know that last week we had 3,232 listeners. Here are some of the countries that were participating in the call. There were 6 people from Argentina, 1 practitioner from Bermuda, 1 from the Dominican Republic, 1 from Greece, 28 from Israel, 19 from the Netherlands, 2 from Romania, 2 from Bulgaria, 1 from the Philippines, and 3 from South Africa. In addition, we had several thousand people from the United States and let me just tell you a few of the states: 81 from Pennsylvania, 67 from Oregon, 6 from Idaho, 57 from Georgia, 4 from Arkansas, and 1 from Alaska. So, no matter where youre calling from, state or country, were so glad that youre part of our worldwide community. We also represent a wide range of practitioners. Were physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, dentists, chiropractors, body workers, dietitians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and stress management consultants. We represent a wide, wide range of practitioners and no matter what your profession is, were glad that youre part of this call. I again want to encourage you to keep checking back on the comment board. Thats another part of our worldwide community and an important one where you can see all the different ways people are applying what theyre hearing each night. My guest today is one of our favorite speakers Dr. Daniel Siegel. He is a physician and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles. He is a prolific writer. Most recently, in January, he published a book called Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, and even more recently than that, a book called The Mindful Therapist.

The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine www.nicabm.com

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Thats what were going to focus on today: how the mindful therapist can really make a difference in our work with patients. And Id like to expand that: Its not just going to be for therapists, because we have doctors and nurses, who dont work off a 50-minute hour, and well be looking at your work as well. Dan, welcome to the call and thanks for joining us today! Dr. Daniel Siegel: Thanks, Ruth! Its a pleasure to be back with you. Ruth: Lets jump right in and talk about why mindfulness can make health and mental healthcare practitioners more effective. Theres more and more science coming out about that all the time. Can you just give us some of the highlights?

The Scientific Evidence: Why Mindfulness Can Make Health and Mental Health Practitioners More EffectiveDan: Well, there are a number of reasons why learning to be mindfully aware helps a practitioner of any kind of clinical intervention be more effective. On the basic level, the studies have now shown that if a primary care physician learns to develop mindful awareness (which well define in a moment), that individual will be less likely to burn out. Theyll be more likely to maintain a state of empathy, which now studies are showing as one of the key ingredients for any kind of clinical encounter for a patient or a client to heal and to respond positively to therapeutic intervention.

If a primary care physician learns to develop mindful awareness, that individual will be less likely to burn out.

So, you keep a clinician feeling well themselves; you keep a clinician passionate about their work and you allow them to actually have the very ingredient of interpersonal compassion (empathy) that is needed for effective therapy in any kind of medical or psychotherapeutic encounter. In all these ways science has now shown that teaching mindfulness to clinicians would be a very important basic step in helping everyone involved in the clinical experience. Ruth: Particularly for therapy, it seems like the science recently is saying its not so much the intervention we use or the theoretical position we take, but the presence of the practitioner that seems to be the overall healing ingredient across so many schools of thought. I know you meant that in your book about family physicians as well.

Teaching mindfulness to clinicians is a very important basic step.

Dan: Right. When we look at the broad notion of clinician, when we say a clinician is working as a nurse or as a physician with people with medical conditions, even though clearly it matters which medications you prescribe, which surgeries you perform, how you bandage a wound all those things really matter for medical encounter but even with those important physical aspects of treatment, the interpersonal aspects are vital.

The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine www.nicabm.com

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One research study showed that even if someone has a common cold, they will actually get over their cold faster, theyll have improved immune function, if the clinician they see was actually empathic with them, was concerned not just about the physical aspect of their medical condition, but what the inner mental experience was the feelings, the thoughts that go along with it, the frustrations, the expectations that were dashed. All the different ways in which a medical illness affects our minds are important for an expert clinician to tune into.

Even if someone has a common cold, theyll have improved immune function, if the clinician they see was actually empathic... even in the medical world empathy and presence are really important.

For those patients who were fortunate enough to have an empathic clinician, their immune system got boosted and they got over their colds faster. So even though it was a viral illness, we can say that empathy actually helps the immune system function better. So there you see that even in the medical world empathy and presence are really important.

The most important impact is the ability of the therapist to be empathic to the internal world of the client.

For the psychotherapy world its exactly like youre saying. What the studies show is that, in fact, we can try all sorts of therapeutic strategies, which have an important impact to a certain degree, but the most important impact is the presence of the therapist, the ability of the therapist to be empathic to the internal world of the client or the patient, and for that therapist to actively seek feedback on how therapy is going and be open to what that feedback is, rather than being defensive.

John Norcross, one of the scientists who studied this, has shown in metta analysis of psychotherapy that, in fact, these aspects of the therapeutic relationship are the most vital for positive therapeutic outcome. Ruth: I havent read of any research being done on empathy and an effective empathic response for physical therapists or occupational therapists. If anybody is listening and you know of something like that, please put it on the comment board tonight after the call, so we can all see it. But I would bet that if we are finding this with family physicians, and we are finding this with psychotherapists, then it would make sense that it would matter for a patient whos seeing a physical therapist or an occupational therapist as well. Dan: I think youre absolutely right, Ruth. One thing just to keep in mind is that as human beings we have a whole system of neurons (that we could talk about later on) that are detecting the intention of another person. Part of what happens with empathy is that not only is one person trying to sense the inner world of another person and then really understand that world (so sensing is one thing, understanding is another, but both of those are parts of empathy), but built into the empathic interaction is the intention of one person to actually care for and be concerned about the other.

Built into the empathic interaction i