Bryan Nixon – Founder of Mindful Counseling GR (www.mindfulcounselinggr.com)
Therapy is a sacred encounter where the pain, suffering, and challenges we face can be met with presence, love, grace and space to explore within a therapeutic relationship. It can be a wonderful journey towards growth and liberation from the patterns and emotional wounds that you may have carried around for as long as you can remember. Bryan Nixon is a psychotherapist and the founder of Mindful Counseling GR. Bryan brilliantly shares about how exploring our inner story can help us to have the insight, healing and transformation that all of us are longing for.
4:41 – Religion and rigidity became very disorienting for Bryan, causing him to have many doubts and questions.
5:43 – The initial appeal of having the answer to everything, all of the dos and don’ts of life.
7:12 – Something must be wrong with me because I don’t have all the answers.
7:45 – He started to feel anger, depression and anxiety about not knowing what to do with it all. Bryan began to feel less and less of an appeal to go to seminary.
9:30 – Disillusionment with Christianity – there has to be more!
10:45 – Seattle School of Theology – putting a high premium on asking questions and really wrestling with doubts, fear and the tension of not knowing.
11:52 – A sense of life returns to Bryan, knowing others are wrestling with the same things. An open and inviting space where it is ok to not have it all figured out.
13:58 – You cannot take people to places that you have been before inside of yourself.
15:40 – Practicum – deconstructing your story and the beginning of healing – a deep dive into intimate spaces.
16:58 – Nine other people are offering a mirror to you about you; how are you really showing up in your life?
18:10 – Becoming aware of the things we are completely unaware of.
19:17 – Bryan’s shadow side – I’m going to make you comfortable enough to talk about you, so I don’t have to talk about me.
19:30 – At the core of who I am, I just don’t matter.
21:20 – Bryan talks about one of his core childhood memories that made a massive impact on him.
22:50 – My tears don’t matter, I don’t matter and even worse, I am a burden to other people.
23:52 – Many people are led to believe that the past doesn’t matter or make a difference because it is in the past. The past is critical to healing, it is alive and well in the present moment.
25:05 – The emotional past manifests itself into the physical body with physical health problems.
27:45 – Bryan shares how releasing the past emotionally literally can health the physical body.
30:15 – What is mindfulness and why is matter so much?
31:15 – The shift in therapy has moved away from a relational model and more into a cognitive behavioral.
32:25 – Moving away from the therapist as an “expert”.
33:10 – Mindful Counseling requires vulnerability from the therapist to show up authentically in each session for their clients.
34:21 – Learning about mindfulness from The Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness.
35:45 – Mindfulness isn’t a tool, but is a promise that the therapist will fully show up for every client. What do I feel as I hear your story?
37:18 – I might be sad, happy, angry, frustrated or any other emotion as I hear your story. How being present is key to what that is and what it means for both people.
38:44 – We can pause from the content of a conversation to discover how each person is really encountering the other on an emotional level. Giving voice to the context of each conversation.
40:35 – Bryans favorite question – “How is your body telling you that you are feeling ______ (insert emotion)?
41:51 – Bryan thinks it is so critical for the therapist to always continue to do their own inner work.
43:40 – Bryan is constantly honored by how willing his clients have been willing to share and work through their stories. This constantly helps him to grow, often times unknown to his clients.
46:30 – The client is always the authority on their own experience.
49:19 – Many times a client will give so much power to the therapist about what they should do with their life. Together they can explore why they might gives away their power so easily.
50:15 – Why do most people suffer today?
54:45 – What people and books had profound changes on you?
57:22 – I and Thou by Martin Buber. Bryan has wrestled with this book frequently in his life.
58:31 – David Benner – Spirituality and The Awakening Self
58:55 – Karen Maroda – The Power of Countertransference
1:00:35 – Exploring the “I/Thou” relationship, attending to the “space between” two people.
1:03:35 – Therapy for the person that doesn’t feel like they “need” therapy. Therapy is for everyone.
1:04:35 – Therapy is for insight, healing and transformation.
1:08:35 – Bryan gives some insight for those who struggle with the traditional religious experience.