Mindfulness Contra-Indications: When something so good can be bad

We know of all the wonderful effects that a mindfulness meditation practice can have on our health and the health of our patients, but mindfulness isn’t appropriate for everyone. sometimes mindfulness can be bad Or maybe I should say, certain forms of mindfulness aren’t appropriate for everyone.

We recently launched a Mindfulness and Psychotherapy distance learning class with Ron Siegel, PsyD. The class is now closed for registrations, but we thank everyone who has expressed continued interest in it.

In preparation for the class, we put together a video with Ron talking about some situations where mindfulness is not advisable. We’ve been getting so many requests and emails from people who want to see it one more time, that we’ve decided to re-release the video.

In this video, we talk about:

o How the right practice at the wrong time is the wrong practice o When you should and shouldn’t use mindfulness o When inner focus techniques should never be used o How to create safety and stability with mindfulness

You can view it by clicking here. We’ll leave it up until Friday.

We’ve also reposted the case study video, “Mindfulness in the Arctic” and as well the free report on mindfulness and anxiety, “Befriending Fear and Darkness.”

If you’ve already seen the videos or the free report, please leave a comment about how this information was useful for you in your practice.

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22 Comments

  1. Christopher K. Johannes says:

    If this class opens again, please let me know!!! I would love to sign up for this one.
    Yoroshiku onegaishimasu,
    Chris

  2. Lyse says:

    Hi I don’t have any problems with the volume of emails, I find them interesting and I most enjoy the clips we get every so often.

    What I have a bit of a peeve with is that video clips get “taken down” after so many days. Dr. Siegel’s clip on when mindfulness is not a good thing was a brief and clear explanation of when mindfulness can be contraindicated. I don’t see why this would have to be removed because registration to Psychotherapy and Mindfulness is closed. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I know I probably will not get a response from the administrator but still wanted to put this out there.
    I love the work you do, I’ve ‘purchased’ a number of webinar courses and will keep doing so when I can. Thanks

  3. Maura Kelsea says:

    Today the link to still see the Ron Siegal video brings up the message that the course is closed. Perhaps you can repair this as you have said it will be up till Friday. I couldn’t watch prior due to heavy duties here, but could now. Thank you.

  4. Bill Spawton says:

    I was a little put off my NICABM’s marketing strategy when I first subscribed to the emails. I wrote to Ruth to express my discontent and opted out.Since thenI have started the online Mindfulness and Psychotherapy course with Ronald Siegal and am so impressed by both the course content & the professional and responsive way the course is administered. The product is good so I’ve come to accept that this is probably the way things are marketed in the good old U.S of A.
    PS I’m a Welsh ex-pat in Oz

  5. Tanya says:

    Ruth and NICABM – keep up your good work. I appreciate your e-mails; I appreciate variety of material and variety of delivery ie. free or pay to receive. I select to read what I have interest in and have time for. We all have choices; save for later; read now; delete; unsubscribe; or don’t even turn on the computer, he he he . Thanks.

  6. Ivan says:

    I have learned a lot via NICABM. However the reality is that there is a significant marketing component and I’ve had thoughts/concerns at times as to whether I was being “set up”. I have taken the approach that I would endeavour to make a mindful choice rather than react to any hype. From the courses in which I chose to register, I have gained much useful knowledge. I did not register in the Ron Seigel offering as it seemed expensive and I wasn’t sure that it would yield enough new information. I must say that I have integrated mindfulness into so much that I do in therapy and it does really help.

  7. Jeri says:

    I found the letters above very interesting, and some even enlightening. I often find marketing in general somewhat boring and off-putting. That’s in general. I just delete most of it. Marketing from NICABM AKA Ruth is valuable to me. I don’t participate in everything offered simply for logistical reasons. I would never want to miss any emails of the offerings. I can pick and choose.

    I thank you, Ruth and NICABM, for your good work and wonderful courses, and for your generosity and persistence. As you have probably noticed, you have much support and appreciation. Please continue.

  8. Gisèle Cyr says:

    Dear Ruth,

    I am conscious of all the energy you spent to offer very good material. Sometime too much email bugs me. But for all I received I understand the necessity to make money somewhere to continue to give.

    I listen to all the conferences I can and I enjoy and learn so much through your webinars Thank you so sincerely for this incredible resource that you offerto everybody, yes it is available even free of charge.

    continue your marvellous work. I am sure it help the humanity to grow intellectually and spiritualy.

  9. eva saphir says:

    As I experience it, there are three rules for life: 1. you don’t hurt yourself. 2. you don’t hurt another 3. you don’t hurt the planet. Also I subscribe to NICABM and have purchased merchandize, so I get your emails. I read the title and then decide to erase or read further. According to my experience you have not contravened any of the 3 rules. I suspect that some of the writers here may have…

  10. I love reading e-mails, especially when they are delighting. It’s just like walking through a trade show. Some of the booths are entertaining, informative, beautiful, resourceful, beneficial and have wonderful people in them. Some booths have only people who are disinterested, discouraged, just putting in their “marketing” time waiting for “quitting” time and I tend to avoid or “delete” them. The ones, however, that really ratchet up my interest get more of my attention. Think “Trade Show” when reading e-mails and you will find the perfect match for you, your business, your career, your education, your well-being and the list goes on. Look for and see the good and notice that the bad just disappears.

    “Confronted fear disappears.” ~ Mark S. Wardrip

  11. Marelon says:

    Hi Ruth I was born in England, moved to Canada as a child. Having been back to England and visited the US frequently I can say that the English are ruder and blunter even than the US folks. As for the emails – they are just the new junk mail with some great opportunities in the mix. Email IS marketing : take what you need and leave the rest. Marketing practices are not going to change because you feel offended by them. Being offended by things in the external world is not mindfulness.
    Glance at an email and if it is pure marketing that you don’t want, delete it. For myself I value more than half the emails from NICABM and I especially value and appreciate that most of their courses offer the opportunity to listen for free – very nice for those of us on limited incomes who still want to learn!
    I applaud NICABM for bringing us wonderful course content and am well aware they couldn’t do that if their email marketing did not bring in the dollars to pay for the technology and high quality speakers. Keep up the great work, Ruth! Marelon

  12. Heather MacPhail says:

    I do feel bothered by the marketing techniques. However my irritation is not directed at NICABM!
    Marketing techniques that are available to us are unfortunatley not in keeping with Mindfulness and our aspirations for a mindful society.

    The challenge would be to seek out a whole other approach that would be more inclusive, available to those who do not have much money, and yet profitable to NICABM at the same time(one does need to make money).

    I have heard of countries where the tax system is simple – you drop off in cash a certain percentage of your income into a box! No records, no receipts, no paper work. Reportedly it works! If an honour system won’t work it says more about all of us than it does about NICABM.

    I wonder what would happen if you offered a course where anyone could register without paying a fee but by making a donation of a minimum amount specified by you. Some could make a bigger donation to absorb the cost of those who are unable to pay at this time…. a kind of honour system if you will. And at the end of the course you could let us know if WE are ready for an honour system!

    We don’t have to be victims of the times we are living in – we can can shape the times we are living in….

    Thank you for the work you do.

    Heather MacPhail MSW-RSW
    Social Worker

  13. This information is very useful as many people feel they can do no harm using using mindful exercises. I recall reading a study years ago that looked at utilizing meditation (sorry I don’t recall specifically what type of meditation) in people with clinical depression, and found that it was not at all helpful. The use of hypnosis however, faired much better in the study. Hypnotherapy is much more directive than meditation and I suppose the imagery they likely used focused subject’s attention to things outside themselves. (Sorry I can’t seem to get into my medscape account to find the details) I appreciate how you have made it your mission to have NICABM share this information across the globe.

  14. Martin says:

    How about a little middle ground?

    Yes, I subscribe to NICABM for the informative content–sometimes great content. And, yes, the e-mail marketing can be over-the-top. The most bothersome messages are the ones that repeat themselves or warn that something is almost closed and then are (surprise!) extended another day etc.

    These are classic web/e-mail hard sell techniques that, as Ruth has said when I mentioned it in a huff once, work. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t use them (in other words, we’re reinforcing this stuff). So we have to choose which lists we keep and put up with the little annoyances of the internet age, I guess. It does diminish the respect I have for their marketing gurus a bit, but “at the end of the day” (sorry, couldn’t resist!), I appreciate the work that NICABM is doing and will stay on their list.

  15. Pauline says:

    I also appreciate each and every tid bit that you send. The offers you give for acquiring CEUs are available and when the time is right one can join in or not. Keep sharing your passion.

  16. Ali says:

    I’m in the UK too and really do appreciate Ruth and NICAM. I’m able to scan your emails to see if there is anything that I am interested in and mostly there is. Thank you. I have also purchased several of your seminars and listen in my car as I travel long distances. Your speakers inform my practice and I also have incorporated several aspects. Its good that we all have different ways of looking at situations and good also that we have free speech. I feel that all of us are ‘right’ with our opinions and all of us are different and come to thoughts and decisions at different times as we journey along.
    Thanks for providing such rich information and speakers Ruth.

  17. Duncan says:

    I too am from the UK. I do not find your material a ‘hard sell’. It is informative and helpful and I look forward to receiving your emails because there is usually something interesting re mindfulness.
    Keep it up.

  18. Claire says:

    I would also like to take the time out to make a couple of suggestions to Suzie et al:

    1. Filter your emails to go into a folder then you can peruse them at your leisure.

    2. At the bottom of the emails is a link to unsubscribe from the emails if you wish.

    3. Please do not assume that you speak for everyone in the UK.

    4. In terms of mindfulness – the meanness you’ve shown in the comments above aren’t exactly in the spirit of mindfulness.

    5. I do not think that I am bombarded with emails from NICABM – in fact I look forward to receiving them, simply from an informative viewpoint, it certainly give me food for thought as well as enjoying the videos.

    6. However, I do appreciate the way that your comments show the zenophobia that seems to be in the UK at present.

    7. Hard selling is everywhere – not just in the US, maybe it’s a little like when we complain about what’s on the T.V. – just switch it off surely!!!

    I’ve really enjoyed the pdfs and videos and have integrated some of the learning from this into my practice already, so thank you very much for this incredible resource that you’ve made available; free of charge I might add, to everyone who wishes to access it!

    • warren says:

      You said:

      ” In terms of mindfulness – the meanness you’ve shown in the comments above aren’t exactly in the spirit of mindfulness.”

      Then say:

      “However, I do appreciate the way that your comments show the zenophobia that seems to be in the UK at present.”

      lol!

    • Christopher K. Johannes says:

      Well said!

  19. Suzie, and Ruth et al at NICABM, I wish to simply contradict the above message, on evidence of several years acquaintance with NICABM by paid subscription as well as the no obligation listen-for-free service, highly productive message boards and free pdf transcripts of seminars I feel privileged to have heard.

    I concur with the view that some US selling practices are not always acceptable to UK sensibilities but I have been struck by how NICABM’s marketing is – relatively -different. We learn from criticism, however, so perhaps Suzie’s mesage will be more instructive than were she to have said nothing or offered only selective praise.

    Yes it sells books and advertises conferences but it does so by providing contact with and access to cutting edge thinking in our fields. Can’t fault its generous intentions, myself. I am a big fan of NICABM.

  20. Suzie says:

    This is some feedback from UK colleagues to whom I have given your website details:

    ‘horrid pushy way they bombard you with emails

    nasty blackmailing way of saying ‘only up/available until……’ with material which could/should be generally available on a site

    pushy typically american way of hard online selling-yuk’

    All the above, in my opinion, are not in the ethos of ethical, mindful living, and I’m afraid you are losing fans over here FAST….DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER !!!

    Suzie

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