In search of inner wisdom: guided mindfulness meditation in the context of suicide

Author: Birnbaum L//Birnbaum A
Department of Social Work, College of Judea and Samaria, Ariel, Israel.
Conference/Journal: ScientificWorldJournal
Date published: 2004
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 216-27 , Word Count: 158

Spiritual concerns are highly relevant, but often ignored, in psychotherapy in general and in suicide in particular. This article presents Internet data and clinical case material bearing on the topic, and describes an innovative therapeutic intervention administered in a group-workshop format with suicide survivors and mental health professionals. The technique incorporates relaxation and mindfulness meditation, with the addition of guided meditation in search of inner wisdom. Results of the group intervention are described and illustrated. Many participants reported a significant positive experience including connection to knowledge that was highly relevant to them in their current state of life. Whether such insights were experienced as coming from within (a deeper part of the self) or from an external source (a guiding figure or presence), indications are that guided meditation can be a powerful resource for therapists and their clients, suicidal and otherwise. Possible applications in diverse populations and settings, as well as the need for further research, are discussed.