Loss, death, passing, in the Western world do not have a good name. We try our best to put off thinking that our time is limited and that loss is inherent in life; we lose beauty, health, friends, relationships, career opportunities, fitness, and ultimately life.
While in a consumerist society we can find ways to escape from this topic, in the work of a therapist it is impossible to escape from it.
Therapists involved in their work often experience very strong emotions in contact with the patient. Just like anyone who comes into contact with suffering. In the case of working with addicts, terminally ill patients, self-mutilating, suicide attempts, emotions are very strong and mostly negative. It is also a job in which you can rarely talk about success in the Western sense of the word, you can rarely „achieve” something. For therapists, especially young and inexperienced, this is frustrating and contributes to burnout.
Therapists are under the delusion that the so-called „failure” (a situation when a patient drops out of therapy, makes a suicide attempt, dies) is only the result of their mistakes, their incompetence or a marginal phenomenon that in the so-called „correct psychotherapy” is not present. Such an attitude leads to frustration, strengthening the not necessarily correct belief about deficiencies in one’s own education, skills or abilities, and in the long run to professional burnout.
Transience and dealing with loss and suffering is a central concept in Buddhism. Loss is seen in Buddhism not as an „accident at work” but as an immanent feature of reality.
In our trening we share how meditation and Buddhist values can strengthen therapists’ resources and contribute to increasing competence and compassion, thanks to which therapists will be able to care for, accompany, alleviate suffering and treat patients more effectively.
At the same time, meditation and mindfulness have been part of many mainstream psychological services in Poland for about ten years which makes meditation already known tool.
We conduct the project co-financed by the Khyentse Foundation, which consists of 11 group meetings from May 27, 2023 to March 23, 2024. You can find the project schedule here.
- lecture on the usefulness of the Buddhist worldview and values for strengthening the resilience of therapists in therapeutic work;
- meditation instruction;
- seminar: we look at publications on the undesirable effects of meditation, related to the volitional activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. We discuss the topic of defenses launched by meditators in the service of the pathological superego and not wisdom and compassion (the so-called spiritual bypassing – when control over the autonomic nervous system is taken over not to calm and regulate anxiety, contain complex emotions and accept passing and loss, but to „distance yourself”).
- psychotherapy supervision: to look at one’s own experience in working with a patient, with particular emphasis on the possibility of accompanying in suffering, compassion, containing one’s own difficult feelings and counteracting professional burnout.
- Michał Czernuszczyk (lecture, workshop, supervision)
- Magdalena Kotyza (supervision)
- Agata Sobiecka (seminar)