Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy: Introductory Webinar For Therapists

Bill Gayner
Monday, October 26, 2020

This video from a webinar for therapists provides an opportunity to learn about and experience emotion-focused mindfulness therapy (EFMT), a style of mindfulness meditation that integrates loving-kindness, while cultivating gentle curiosity and self-compassion to help people process their issues and core concerns.

In EFMT, the group leader introduces and models for participants how we can create a safe space for inner work by cultivating self-compassionate awareness. Emotional processing is facilitated by orienting people to attend to their bodies to: become aware of, allow, experience, accept, and transform their emotional experience, both in meditation, and afterwards in further exploration with the therapist. Emotional processing is a combination of attending inwardly to and reflecting on one’s bodily-felt experience and emotions, to address and resolve inner conflicts and core issues, and better navigate life situations. After meditation, participants journal what they recall happened in meditation in order to better acknowledge and deepen their emotional experience. In addition, participants take turns describing their meditation experience, with the therapist listening to their whole meditation narrative and then responding to whatever seems most alive and poignant in the moment, and empathically exploring this with them.

The video includes a 35-minute introduction to EFMT, about 12 minutes of silent meditation, 5-10 minutes of journaling the meditation experience, and a Q&A. The discussion of participants’ experiences is not included in the video. Click here to watch the video:

Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy and Secular Buddhism

Bill Gayner
One Mindful Breath, Wellington, New Zealand
June 19, 2020

I gave a talk over Zoom on emotion-focused mindfulness therapy to One Mindful Breath, a secular Buddhist group in Wellington, New Zealand, at the invitation of their founder, Ramsey Margolis. It was 4 a.m. my time, 8 p.m. theirs. I was labouring under the misconception that they were in Auckland which Ramsey freed me at the end of the session.

Ramsey had asked me to make the talk accessible by keeping it as free as possible of psychotherapeutic and Buddhist jargon. I focused on how emotions are adaptive and how to combine nonjudgmental awareness with responding differentially to emotions depending on whether they are helpful or unhelpful.

This talk is part of a longstanding monthly series. A selection of them including mine will be published as a book by the Tuwhiri Project this year.