anxiety

Mindfulness–Reach Beyond Your Turbulent Mind

We're continuing our discussion of the intersection of spirituality and therapy with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton. Tani is a rabbi and educator whose approaches to therapy and spirituality are relevant for an increasing number of clients and students.

Welcome back, Tani. You are a student of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, whose powerful teachings we have frequently blogged about on the Therapy Soup blog. Can you tell us about the (free) classes you are currently teaching at BreslovCampus.com called The Chassidic Law of Attraction?

I’m giving a course on one of Rebbe Nachman’s famous stories, known in English as “the Sophisticate and the Simpleton."

This story shows us a path towards—and away from—true wealth, joy and growth in the analogy of the main characters, who are simple and complicated, satisfied and restless, joyous and miserable respectively.

The challenge and opportunity for us is that we all have elements of both characters, and, when we can recognize which one is operating, we can readjust and reboot our lives for the better.
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Communication

Therapy and the Soul with Tanchum Burton

We're talking with psychotherapist Tanchum (Tani) Burton, who is also a rabbi and educator, about his approaches to therapy and spirituality.

Welcome. What do you believe is the interface between spirituality and psychotherapy, the spiritual nature of people and their emotional well-being?

It’s harder to define “spirituality” than to define “psychotherapy”; spirituality means different things to different people.

Psychotherapy, on the other hand, has certain basic defined elements, such as Rogers’ six conditions for therapeutic change--unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, communication of that understanding, and the like.

When these are in place, when the human connection between people in a therapy room is one of acceptance, and of a prizing of the individual who has come for help, I think that the groundwork for spirituality has been laid.
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Addiction

Meditation: Benefits…And Dangers?

C.R. writes: A friend of mine's son left his home in Israel to travel through India and Nepal and returned shortly before the recent earthquake. He had trekked with his friends, searching for enlightenment, but returned home with a parasitic infection, feeling weak and also disillusioned.

He described what he saw as the hypocrisy of some of the gurus and yogis he met (he called them "cash-rakers") and told how some of the Westerners who flocked to them seemed to magnify their worst personality traits after time spent following certain meditative practices.

His email to me said: "They become intolerant of anyone who disturbs their "bliss", and they are like addicts being hooked on their drug," he told me. "Nothing bothers them unless it messes with their personal comfort and they seem to become really short on compassion."

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anxiety

If They Don’t Call Or Text You Back, Do They Hate You?

Sometimes it can be hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes and see things from their perspective, especially if it concerns your relationship with them. Here's a thought exercise for those who feel rejected when good friends are too busy to text or call or see them for a short period of time:
Imagine your busiest day ever.
You have to wake up over an hour earlier than normal because you have a big project due at work, which includes making a presentation, something you're not totally experienced at, and you went to bed in the wee hours because you were working on another project.
You don't have time to finish your coffee. (No coffee!)
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Communication

The One Person You Should NEVER Say You’re Sorry To

 C.R. writes:
"Sometimes, on rare occasions, apologizing is the worst thing you can do. It allows a person who is in the wrong to feel superior. It feeds their narcissism."
This doesn't really tally with what I believe—that saying you're sorry, asking for forgiveness, and making peace are literally requirements for mature and moral folks; that even if you're not really in the wrong it's best to swallow your pride and make peace—but something resonated here at a deep level.
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