Grip video: Exploring embodied experience in therapy

The following 3-minute videoclip (“Introduction”) is the first of the video clips that make up the 25-minute video about working with an embodied mindful pause in therapy. See transcript below the video.


We are going to be talking about using Active Pause in therapy.

To do this, we’re going to use a little stress ball. You know, something like this that you can squeeze. And if you don’t have one, you can use a tennis ball, or you could use a rolled-up newspaper, or socks, or any kind of small object. Ideally, it’s something that you can kind of squeeze, that’s not too big, but something that gives you a sense of, essentially, having a hands-on experience.

I’m making a pun about “hands-on”, and a pun about “get a grip”… but this is essentially what it’s like. We’re going into the physical experience of touching something. Actually, when I say “the physical experience of touching something”: It’s not so much the something that you’re touching. It’s actually what it feels like to be touching it. You know, what you’re experiencing in your hand as you feel your hand around the ball, and as you feel the hand squeezing… Squeezing a little less, squeezing a little more. What it feels like as you shift the ball from one hand to the other.

You give clients simple instructions about what to do. You’re not expecting them to necessarily “do it right” the first time. It’s not about doing it right It’s just about introducing the element of experiencing. So, the simpler the instructions the better.

Sometimes, it happens that clients are staying with one hand during the whole minute of Active Pause. They didn’t get the part about shifting the ball from one hand to the other. And that’s OK. Again, it’s not something that has to be accomplished in a certain way. It’s a vehicle to get into the experience, paying attention to the embodied experience.

So, as I am giving you these instructions, if you have the ball in your hand, you’re following me. So just hold the ball, and squeeze a little with one hand. Close your eyes. Shift to the other hand. Feel it in your hand. You might give it some kind of a gentle squeeze, and then go back to the other hand, and so on, and so forth.

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