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What Really Helps: Using Mindfulness and Compassionate Presence to Help, Support, and Encourage Others

Overview

Most of us, at one time or another, would like to help a friend, family member, or acquaintance through a challenging time. But do we really know how to give meaningful support and guidance? And why do our best efforts at helping others often come up short? Here is a practical guide that will be of special interest to helping professionals—and anyone who wants to make a positive difference in the lives of people they care about.

To be truly helpful to others, Karen Wegela ...

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What Really Helps: Using Mindfulness and Compassionate Presence to Help, Support, and Encourage Others

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Overview

Most of us, at one time or another, would like to help a friend, family member, or acquaintance through a challenging time. But do we really know how to give meaningful support and guidance? And why do our best efforts at helping others often come up short? Here is a practical guide that will be of special interest to helping professionals—and anyone who wants to make a positive difference in the lives of people they care about.

To be truly helpful to others, Karen Wegela explains, we must begin by focusing on ourselves. We must develop greater awareness, steadiness of mind, fearlessness, and self-compassion. Only then can we extend these qualities to the people we’d like to help. Drawing on her experiences as a psychotherapist and on her longtime study of Buddhist meditation, Wegela emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness, or learning to become fully present in our moment-to-moment experience. Through mindfulness we develop a fearless, compassionate presence in our daily lives—and we become better listeners, take wiser actions, and give more valuable, effective guidance to the people we’d like to help.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A step-by-step handbook on becoming present to oneself so as to be able to offer meaningful help to friends, relatives, and clients in distress. Written in simple, direct language.”—Publishers  Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590308806
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 935,373
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Kissel Wegela, PhD, is a psychotherapist and professor of contemplative psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. A longtime student of Buddhism, she speaks to professionals about the connections between Buddhism and psychotherapy and writes a popular blog at psychologytoday.com. She is also the author of The Courage to Be Present: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Awakening of Natural Wisdom.

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Table of Contents

Foreword David Richo ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Part 1 Cultivating Openness

1 The Discovery of Space and Brilliant Sanity 13

2 Being Present 20

3 Sitting Meditation 26

4 The Spectrum of Brilliant Sanity 37

Part 2 Appreciating the Richness of Experience

5 Touch and Go 51

6 No Strings Attached 60

7 Friendliness without Limit 66

Part 3 Seeing Clearly

8 With the Best of Intentions 79

9 If I'm Brilliantly Sane, Why Am I So Confused? 87

10 The Light's On, but Nobody's Home 95

11 Gateways between Confusion and Brilliant Sanity 104

Part 4 Expressing Genuine Relationship

12 Hospitality 115

13 Open House of the Heart 127

14 Generating Compassion 136

15 Being a Good Listener 144

16 That's a Good Question 151

17 Giving and Receiving Feedback 157

Part 5 Taking Action

18 Simple Helping Actions 171

19 Untapped Resources 182

20 Mindful Companionship 188

21 Teamwork 197

22 Body-Speech-Mind Groups 205

23 Coming Back Home 215

Appendices

A Seeking Additional Help 223

B Contemplative Psychotherapy Training at Naropa University 229

C Meditation Center Information 233

Index 235

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