Saybrook University Mind-Body Medicine faculty member Dr. Donna Rockwell has conducted mixed-method research on the affect of mindfulness practice on graduate students in a clinical psychology program, and has seen in the outcome data the profound influence that mindfulness can have on psychotherapists, both in the work they do with clients and patients, as well as on their ability to implement self-care. Her research thesis was, “If I can’t sit with myself, how can I sit with another?”
Now Dr. Rockwell will be appearing on the Katie Couric show on ABC-TV on July 8 to talk about mindfulness, its value, and why it seems to be a current craze.
Mindfulness is hot news these days. From the cover of Time magazine to talk shows, to hospitals and other medical institutions and psychological clinics, seeing the importance of not only teaching mindfulness to patients, but to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, as well, everyone is talking about mindfulness.
Dr. Rockwell, who teaches a course entitled “Mindfulness, Meditation, and Health” for Saybrook University, will appear with meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg, as well as J. G. Larochette, founder of the Mindful Life Project, integrating mindfulness into school systems. On the show, Dr. Rockwell will explore the science of mindfulness, explaining how through mindful meditation practice, the brain learns how to tamp down overstimulation of the amygdala and the ensuing fight or flight response, and instead, allow for activation of the prefrontal cortex, where our executive functioning and wise decision making originates. Since mindfulness was such a life changer for her personally, Donna is excited (as she always is) to share with all the TV viewers of Katie’s show, the value of simply learning how to cultivate personal stillness, following one’s breath as an anchor returning awareness to the present moment from discursive thinking, and letting go of fixation on past regrets or, alternately, catastrophizing about the future. Sadly, if we are not mindful, this is how we unconsciously spend most of our lives.
As a co-teacher of Mindfulness and Meditation in Health in Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, Dr. Rockwell is happy to see mainstream media focusing on the importance of developing a mindful approach to living. As a powerful tool for information dissemination, it is nice to see valuable, person-centered interventions for mental health and well-being being discussed on broadcast TV, the Internet, and through social media outlets. Such dialogue and exposure to enlightened ways of being-in-the-world can only help bring more peace to a world that is hungry for understanding of what makes up “the good life,” and help to eradicate the emotional and physical affects of not paying attention to the present moment on purpose, without judgment, because the quality of our lives does, in fact, depend on it.
Please tune in. Check local listings for the time “Katie” is shown in your area.
For more information on Dr. Donna Rockwell’s research and professional work, visit her website at: donnarockwelll.com and read her blog Mindfulness in Everyday LIfe at huffingtonpost.com