Mindfulness Practices for Working with Fear and Trauma

Mindfulness practices can help us work with fear and trauma to cultivate safety, stability, and a sense of inner relationship. Because fear and trauma both involve turning away from present-moment experience, they present specific obstacles to life and mindfulness. Based on my own experience as a therapist, a meditator, and a survivor of trauma, I’ve put together some thoughts and …

Counselors and the LGBT fringe: My own perspective

I am a genderqueer and nonbinary therapist. I’m also bisexual/pansexual. I am writing this article to articulate my understanding of what’s hard about these identities, and what helps. Being genderqueer is hard because I almost never get read right. Outside of queer circles, most people will call me ‘man’ or ‘sir,’ which I find pretty irritating. Even when I present …

Contemplative Psychotherapy video

In July 2017, I presented at the World Conference of Psychotherapy in Paris. This presentation, “Contemplative Psychotherapy: Integrating Mindfulness, Buddhism, and Humanistic Counseling,” discusses the roots of contemplative psychotherapy and 3 of its core principles: brilliant sanity, maitri, and mindfulness-awareness. The video also includes a suggested reading list and information on where to train in Contemplative Psychotherapy.

Self-Care, Resourcing, and Pleasant Events

©2017 Sasha Strong, M.A., www.brilliancycounseling.com Healing is hard work. Establishing safety, building healing relationships, going through unpleasant feelings and memories, and changing painful patterns all take a lot of energy. People need to create balance in their lives, so that there are plenty of chances to relax, resource, and have positive experiences. Rather than making recovery a 24/7 marathon project, …

Contemplative Psychotherapy

Contemplative psychotherapy is a counseling discipline that integrates Buddhist psychology and philosophy, Western developmental and humanistic psychology, and the contemplative insights of the world wisdom traditions. It includes mindfulness as a practice for both clients and therapists, but goes beyond mindfulness-based appraoches to incorporate the spiritual and existential insights of Buddhism and other wisdom traditions, including secular approaches to perceiving …

Brilliant Sanity

The basic premise or root teaching of contemplative psychotherapy is brilliant sanity: at the most fundamental level, we are basically awake and unconfused. Developing trust in this innate wisdom is the path of recovery and building a life worth living. Brilliant sanity is not something that needs to be created or obtained, but rather is an already-present reality in our …

Why Brilliancy?

Why “brilliancy?” It is a synonym for brilliance, and for instances of brilliance, those moments of luminosity or splendidness that light up our life, as well as the quality of fluid intelligence that characterizes life. It is also a portmanteau of brilliant sanity. Brilliant sanity is the root teaching of Contemplative Psychotherapy, a counseling approach that combines Buddhist and secular …

MBTI Personality Types

Who are you, anyhow? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a popular personality test that can help you understand yourself and other people better. It’s based on Carl Jung’s ideas about introverts and extroverts, and the four functions of thinking, sensing, feeling, and intuiting. Free online test The OEJTS is a free online test that will tell you what your type …