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Using Embodied Pause to explore embodied experience and mindfulness in psychotherapy

Like breathing and yawning, pausing is a natural human process. As therapists, we are not trying to teach people "a better way to pause", or to de-skill them by implying that they don't do it right.

Instead, we want to notice this natural process when and where it is occuring naturally. We want to gently and sensitively support this process in our clients, in such a way that they experience it as their own natural process, not as a procedure they have to follow mechanically. Our goal as therapists is to help people find their own unique ways to use this natural integrative process in their life.

So Active Pause is not a replacement for the natural pause. It is a tool for exploration. How it is used depends on both the therapist, the client, and the session.

This section provides a 45-minute video about using Active Pause in therapy. For ease of use, the Video is divided into several short clips. A list of all the clips, with links, is below the video screen.

Note: - Some of the therapists who participate in the pilot study are sharing their observations informally in the "therapists" section of this site.

The following video clip is the first one of the "Introduction & general comments" section of the video ("Introduction").

This video clip lasts 3 minutes.

Next videoclip

The above clip is part of a video made up of the following clips:

(1) Introduction and general comments:

- Introduction (3 min)

- About mindfulness (4 min)

- Working with clients (3 min)

- Introduction to embodied experience (2 min)

(2) Specific ways to use Active Pause in therapy:

- At the beginning of a session (2 min)

- As a way to interrupt automatic pilot (3 min)

- Active Pause vs the natural pause (7 min)

- As a resource to deal with nervous system activation (4 min)

- To provide containment and structure (5 min)

- To explore embodied experience (5 min)

- To process embodied experience (3 min)

(3) What next? (3 min)

See also: Therapists talk about how they use Embodied Pause with clients

From Mindless To Mindful: Active Pause
Mindless vs Mindful
Demystifying Mindfulness Active Pause Newsletter


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