When first learning skills taught in Mindfulness- and Compassion-Based Programs (MCBPs), highly distressed people can encounter difficulties exhibiting “the power to choose…” mindful and compassionate responses. This is because such choice relies on top-down information processing and inhibitory responding that is degraded for new skills in conditions of high stress. In contrast, bottom-up behavioral approaches to skill implementation are available for navigating the floods of intense emotion that fill the “space between stimulus and response”. Imaginal rehearsal strategies can be combined with Relational Mindfulness Practice (RMP) as part of a treatment plan that supports even highly distressed people in strengthening and implementing the adaptive responding developed in MCBPs.
The Mindfulness Out Loud (MOL) practice is a relational contemplative exposure therapy practice (Molnar, 2014) that facilitates Interpersonal and Emotional Processing (IEP: Newman et al., 2015). It requires deliberate adherence to guidelines that cultivate compassionate relationship with intense emotion and the elements into which it can be deconstructed. With MOL, practitioners deliberately cultivate a wide field of both internal and external attention with eyes open during speaking, listening, and reflecting. A series of contemplation topics serve as both an attentional anchor and support in deconstructing intense emotion into its mind, body, and behavior elements. The MOL practice is especially suited to the needs of those with insecure attachment histories who experience challenges with silent internally focused meditation practices. It enhances secure adult attachment (Benjamin, 2018) and supports generalization of mindful and compassionate responding in everyday life.
To support generalization of MCBP skills the covert imaginal rehearsal strategy called Take-Two Re-Cue Practice (T2RP) is taught. In T2RP, a variant of Self-Control Desensitization (SCD: Goldfried, 1971), early elements of maladaptive emotion spirals are linked to new intended responses. The T2RP relies on classical and operant conditioning principles to link early elements of “downward emotion spirals” with the adaptive “upward spiral” responses described by both MBCT developers (c.f., Segal et al., 2013) and Fredrickson and her colleagues (2018). New responding is then cued automatically when most needed in the context of future intense emotion states.
At this virtual workshop attendees will first observe how MOL and T2RP are implemented by presenters with clients. Attendees will then practice in break out rooms while role-playing a specific challenging client or contemplating a self-care concern related to such a client.
CE Learning Objectives
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:
- 1. Describe and experientially practice guidelines for the Mindfulness Out Loud relational exposure therapy practice.
- 2. Observe presenters modelling how to guide the Take-Two Recue Practice (T2RP) that, with deliberate practice, cues automatic adaptive responding during high distress conditions.
- 3. Practice mindful listening and / or speaking in response to a peer role-playing a challenging client or contemplating a self-care concern related to such a client.
Chris Molnar, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and clinical investigator, founded Mindful Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and Psychological Wellness Center (META Center) in 2007. She completed post-doctoral fellowship training in traumatic stress, neuroscience, and psycho-physiology and is an expert in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, emotional, and stress-related conditions using evidence-based practices. She has completed training to teach both Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She has adapted Relational Mindfulness Practices (MBPs) to the needs of highly distressed and stressed people in both individual and group therapy settings. At META Center, she offers integrative interventions grounded in findings about the brain, emotion, and learning to facilitate mental and behavioral habit change, even in the face of severe distress. Before founding META Center, she served as a clinical investigator and therapist supported by grants from the National Institute of Health and other agencies. She is also on the editorial board of Behavior Therapy and serves the public in many ways, through professional presentations, workshops, publications, and affiliations.
Lynne Siqueland, Ph.D. is a psychologist at the Children’s and Adult Center for OCD and Anxiety and has been specializing in treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents for over 25 years. She has extensive experience working with children of all ages beginning in the preschool years with a special interest in transition into adolescence and young adulthood. Dr. Siqueland received her Doctoral Degree in the Temple University Clinical Psychology Program under the direction of Dr. Philip Kendall where she was part of the initial treatment manual development and clinical trials of the CBT treatment of child anxiety disorders. Her early career was as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Center for Psychotherapy Research for 8 years before entering private practice full time in 2001. Dr Siqueland's clinical work and research publications focus on integrating individual CBT approaches with family work. She has a special interest on collaborating with parents to guide their children to cope with their anxiety, to develop competence and autonomy, and to improve family connection and communication. Dr Siqueland also thoroughly enjoys providing training and consultation for professionals on the treatment of anxiety and OCD and for parents locally, nationally and internationally.
This presentation is intended for licensed mental health professionals and advanced graduate student trainees seeking licensure and with some clinical experience. The instructional level of this presentation is intermediate.
Note: This workshop does not require attendees to have a formal mindfulness practice.
- Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists*. Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- This program provides two (2) hours of CE credits.
- PBTA is also an authorized provider of CE credits for Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
- Full attendance with video display is required to obtain CE credit for this program. APA guidelines do not permit PBTA to issue partial CE credits. No refunds are provided for CE programs. No exceptions allowed.
- * PBTA does not currently offer CE to practitioners licensed in the state of New York.