Analysis Paralysis

I’m doing an online course in mindfulness and wellbeing at the moment and have been fortunate to spend all of the day going through the next module, which has been discussing, amongst other things, the merits of whether mindfulness teachers need to be qualified or regulated in some way, and whether attending an 8 week intensive mindfulness course is sufficient for someone to set themselves up as a mindfulness teacher. Don’t panic, I’m not going to be opening up a clinic any time soon.

Being scientifically objective about mindfulness is difficult in that it is difficult to measure one person’s experiences against another’s.  We all come pre-programmed with inbuilt prejudices and life experiences that cause us to be open or judgemental about ideas.  We all have unconscious biases that impact our opinion as to whether a therapy has been helpful or not.

Connection to a teacher is important.  Without a rapport and mutual understanding student and teacher may not settle into a place of trust.  People attend mindfulness based stress relief (MBSR) or mindfulness cognitive behavioural therapy (MCBT) for a multitude of reasons, but it is important to recognise that many of them do so because they have been referred as part of a treatment therapy for depression or stress/anxiety, trauma or PTSD. However, even those of us who are seemingly quite resilient and able to cope with most things could end up being triggered by regressing into something that we had long ago put away, dealt with, coped with or moved on from, as part of mindfulness practice.

Is someone who has been on an 8 week course sufficiently qualified and experienced enough to handle that?

If I were in the situation of needing support to such a level, I would be wanting to find out more about the person delivering the sessions.  In a business environment we are taught to use the PESTLE analysis tool to investigate the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental aspect of a business before investing or setting up a new business.  If I were looking for a teacher who was going to be helping me explore the deeper parts of my brain, and help me find ways to cope and recover I would want to know that the teacher had done those same sorts of analysis on the subject of mindfulness and not just got a certificate of attendance.

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