They’ll Catch Up

My sister visited this weekend and shared something wonderful with me. She recently completed some professional training (she’s a therapist in the counseling field) and was so excited to tell me about “the Merritt thing”. Merritt is the name of the town where I did my 10-day course.

It turns out that the guy presenting at this conference was a Vipassana meditator and it has become a new approach to therapy. People can even get certified as a therapist in this technique (after first doing a 10 day course).

Basically, the client (like most sessions) will talk of some challenge, for example, feeling sad. The therapist will ask, “how do you know you’re sad?” and other questions of this nature, encouraging them to locate the sensations that become interpreted as sadness. How fantastic! The door to mental health via the technique will be opened to more and more people.

I had been forgetting to pay attention to such things and actually have noticed (looking back) a higher number of emotionally disturbed occurrences. The first few weeks after the course I was very aware of those sensations and, as such, they did not bother me.

Staaaaart again, right?


Meditators have known the benefits for centuries. Science and psychology are beginning to run up behind. One day, they’ll catch up.

14 thoughts on “They’ll Catch Up

  1. Lisa Griffiths

    That is good news! I was aware of a branch of psychotherapy called “Body-Oriented or Somatic therapy” that follows the same principal, but I didn’t know there was a type of certification directed connected to our tradition. Do you know the name of the guy who gave the presentation and the name of the school that gives the certification?

  2. conspicuousluminescence

    Sort of; she’s a counselor at UNBC so she does a lot of training and field-related reading. The thing she was at where she met that guy was in Vancouver.


  3. Lisa Griffiths

    Sounds right, it looks like the MiCBT institute is based in Australia but does some workshops and courses with Canadians. Thx for bring it to my attention, I like to stay aware of all the mindfulness-programs cropping up for when I’m done my undergrad. 🙂

  4. Very interesting! My therapist (from a number of years ago) is a Vipassana Old Student, and she did some meditations and guided-meditation things with me in therapy. The talk part was nice and helpful for context, but in the final analysis, it was the meditations that released me from the crap (sankharas!) that was causing my PTSD and depression. I don’t know that she’s used these techniques with others, but she knew that I was a mediator so she asked me if I wanted to do this kind of thing… she’s in Savannah GA.

  5. Lisa Griffiths

    Awesome! were your major releases in your therapy meditation sessions? during 10 days courses or some other time meditating on your own?

  6. Anonymous

    The most curative were in the meditation sessions during therapy. Of course I spent many more hours on the cushion in pretty intense stuff to realize it in my life. This was before I did a 10-day, as I was not really aware of what Vipassana was all about, still doing Zen practice then. But what my therapist did was use the guided meditations to put me in touch with my sensations, talking me thru working with them… maybe I’ll blog about it sometime.

  7. I’m in the middle of following ‘Mindfulness – A Practical Guide to finding peace in a frantic world’ which is based on MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) See for more information and for the US version of the book. These guys started out with the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and have done a lot of work with seriously depressed people. One of the books available is specifically aimed at cancer patients. They seem to have helped a lot of people. I stumbled across the book when I was looking for help in learning to meditate. I am using my blog to document my experiences. It’s been a pretty amazing ride so far. I hope that more people will be encouraged towards mindfulness training instead of being given antidepressants.

  8. Hi! Nice to see your comments here! Hope you find some of this helpful! Don’t hesitate to ask questions and push us! We need to open this up to everyone!

  9. Kristen

    Hi John,

    I’m an old student currently seeking a psychologist who is also a Vipassana meditator, could I contact the psychologist that you saw? Or, if anyone else reads this, does anyone know of one?

  10. Kristen

    Hi meditators,

    Does anyone know of a psychologist who is also a Vipassana meditator? I have been searching to contact a psychologist who practices the meditation that Goenka taught us as I think I would feel more comfortable talking to someone who does not practice other meditation techniques. I am gladdened to know that there is a community of meditators learning and practicing.

  11. Kristen

    Hi Lisa,

    Do you know a Vipassana meditator who is also a psychologist? I am searching to find a psychologist who also practices the Vipassana that Goenka taught.

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