FAQ: How do clients take to the embodied mindful pause?

This 3-minute video clip is part of the FAQ on the embodied mindful pause. See transcript below the video.


Now let’s say you do Active Pause* with a client. Let’s say the client is more or less enthusiastic for doing it, and does it. At the end of the minute, you tell them: “OK. So what has it been like? What did you notice?”

The client looks at you and says: “Uh. Oh. This is wonderful, you know, I actually had a very nice experience of relaxing. Before that, I was all scattered, now I feel relaxed.”

Or: The client tells you: “You know this is kind of like yoga, I’m paying attention to my breathing, and it’s helping me relax and it makes me more present. “

And you’re going to probably have, in most cases, some very positive reactions, in terms of them coming back into a grounded state. You’re also going to have, at least with some people, something to the effect of: “You know your thing there really doesn’t do anything for me, What is it supposed to be like?”

Or you could have clients who are saying: “Um hmm maybe there’s something I’m not able to do.” Or: “I’m not good at paying attention”. Or: “I’m not good at mindfulness”. Going into self-blame.

Or you’re going to get the blame directed at you for using something that is kind of stupid.

So all of these reactions are OK. They’re part of what we’re doing. Because what we’re doing is, basically, observing experience. So it’s not that there is one way in which it works, and people have to be relaxed. Of course it’s great if they are. But if they’re not, you’re still observing what’s happening, and you’re helping them have a direct experience of observing what is happening.

So, for instance, if a person is telling you: “You know, I’m noticing nothing. What is this about? And why are we doing this?” You could possibly say something like: “You know this is something that works for some people. And what it does, is: By paying attention to some things that are pretty subtle, it helps some people notice some little changes, and it helps therapy go a little faster and a little deeper. It may not be working for you. Maybe that’s something we could revisit another time. Maybe you can be a little curious as I tell you that it works in subtle ways.”

And so all of what happens in sessions can be processed in the way that you would process things with this client. About what your general orientation is, the way you do therapy, and the way you do therapy with that specific client. It’s not that there is a method of how to use Active Pause*. It’s an experience that you and the client have about that moment of mindfulness and embodied experience, and how to process it.

* Please note that, at the time the video was made, I was referring to the Embodied Mindful Pause as Active Pause.