Mark Lawrence

August 16th, 2011

Mark Lawrence was our highly respected colleague and our dear friend. He was a gifted clinician and teacher who created a powerful model that, in his words, “ integrates the dynamic concepts and techniques of state-dependent learning, dissociation, hypnosis, imagery, and gestalt therapy.” He kept up with the latest developments in neuroscience and had a brilliant and curious mind. He trained hundreds of therapists and was sought after as a consultant and a therapist.

As our friend and colleague he was a pleasure to work with-warm, funny, generous, accepting, and a great listener. He was consistently upbeat and positive during our meetings and email exchanges and would offer creative suggestions around obstacles. We picture Mark with his twinkling eyes and smile.

We have heard from so many of you who are also stunned by and grieving his death. We envision this blog as a place for all of us to share experiences and memories of Mark and how he influenced our lives. We hope it will help the healing process and join us together as we mourn.

Susan Drobis and Cynthia Margolies

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Mindful Moments of Pleasure

June 12th, 2011

Summer for many people is a great time to become more mindful. Waking up to the changing colors, sounds, smells and touches of summer brings feelings of pleasure and delight into my daily life. We tend to associate Mindfulness with practices such as meditation which do indeed help cultivate and deepen these skills. But there are many other simple ways to bring more mindfulness into your daily life.

One opportunity to bring mindfulness into daily life is to focus on one of the senses. As you walk outside to your car, to the Metro or to run errands, concentrate some of your attention on that sense: the smells, the sounds, the colors, or the air on your skin. Or when you go on a walk for exercise or pleasure, focus on the sensations at the bottom of each foot as it touches the ground. Track each step with mindful awareness and notice when your mind is pulled away into planning, remembering, or judging and invite your attention back to each step. Experience these sensations as deeply as you can.

Thich Nhat Hahn suggests that as we drive, each red light is a reminder to wake up and come back into the present moment. As we look at the light we can use it as an invitation to breathe and smile. Or perhaps look out the window at the pleasures of summer.

When I wake up to the simple moments of potential pleasure in each day, I feel calmer, more centered, and more fulfilled.

Susan Drobis

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