I recently came across an interesting mindfulness technique that could be very useful in doing defusion work.
“Echo Talk” is on Shinzen Young’s website, which has a lot of interesting content related to vipassana meditation. I was lucky enough to help out with a terrific multi-day presentation that Vijay and Anne Shankar conducted at last year’s ACT Summer Institute that was all about the important connections between ideas in vipassana meditation and ACT. I will write more on this in another post, so check back!
For now, take a look at the two page instructions on Shinzen Young’s “Echo Talk.” There are several things I really like about this exercise in the sense of how well it dovetails with ACT methodologies of defusion. The idea of listening to the sound rather than the meaning of thoughts, and the idea of “coexistence” with thoughts/judgments the mind has about thoughts, letting the mind “do its thing” as you continue with the exercise. Wow, what a nice way to articulate defusing from verbal content. In the “Effects” part at the end, he notes one of the effects is a new sense of “distance” from the mental chatter, that the mental talk seems easier to observe. And finally, and perhaps most profoundly, this exercise implied for me a close connection between the vipassana practitioner’s experience of “equanimity” and what an ACT clinician might conceptualize the present moment experience of psychological flexibility.
It seems to me that “Echo Talk” could be a great exercise to teach clients in session during the course of defusion work, then assign them to practice regularly at home. Who knows? It could even help lay the groundwork in certain clients for developing a mindfulness meditation practice.
Take care, everyone. Here’s the link: