Have you tried breathwork and meditation? Can you offer these as tools to your clients? How can you tell whether or not a modality will be well-suited to a client’s healing journey?
In this podcast episode in the New Year, New Habits series, Joe Sanok speaks about how to add transcendental meditation and breathwork to therapy with Keli Carpenter.
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Meet Keli Carpenter
Keli is no stranger to mind, body, and spirit awareness, having been introduced to transcendent meditation at 6 years old. With well over 20 years of experience, Keli is a Chopra Certiﬁed Transcendent Meditation Teacher, Breathwork Facilitator and Trainer, Conscious Relationship, Parenting and Uncoupling Coach. She has studied with Gabor Maté, and spoken alongside Peter Levin and Deepak Chopra. Keli is the founder of “The Other Side of Average– Therapy for the Soul and The TOSA Method.Keli’s goal is to help conscious souls learn and master the three most essential tools that help align you with your soul’s purpose — your essential nature and the truest expression of yourself — all whilst healing and transcending past resentments and stories that have kept you stuck and in pain. It’s then that you experience the miracles and fulfillment of life in every moment (especially during life’s inevitable obstacles).
- How to know if you’re meditating right
- Offering meditation and breathwork in therapy
- Deconstructing breathwork
- Keli’s advice to private practitioners
How to know if you’re meditating right
What happens when we sit in meditation is that we have to sit with ourselves, and for some of us that can be really challenging if we have a lot of stuff that’s still held in the body or trapped in the mind. (Keli Carpenter)
Many people that are brand new to meditation or breathwork may feel like it isn’t doing anything, or that they can’t feel a change except just “sitting there”.
As such, it can be easy to cast aside and move on to the next thing. However, there are some things that you can focus on to track whether you’re “doing it right” or not so that you can give it the best shot before calling it.
Keli discusses three categories of meditation:
- Focus: you are focused on an audio, a candle, a breath pattern, or something that you are specifically holding your attention to
- Observant: you are observing what is present without manipulation or change, like your thoughts, sensations, or feelings within the mind and body
- Transcendent: transcendental meditation is through the use of a mantra, and it’s used for its vibrational quality or as a tool for the mind
Whichever one we’re doing … Oftentimes I say, “We are practicing the practice when we’re implementing it”, and as long as we are focused [on the modality] … That is enough. (Keli Carpenter)
You are doing it “right” when you are doing it intentionally, and whatever happens, is meant to happen.
Offering meditation and breathwork in therapy
What you need to do first and foremost is to practice it yourself!
I always say to my student facilitators [that] we can only lead people as far as we’ve gone. (Keli Carpenter)
Not only should you pursue the correct and sufficient training to offer these extra modalities, but you should practice them yourself as well.
Breathwork is an incredibly effective and versatile tool to use, both for yourself in your personal life and to teach your clients, because even though you might feel like you don’t have a moment to meditate, you always have a moment to breathe.
Becoming aware of your breath and breathing in a certain pattern can have an immediate effect on calming yourself down, feeling grounded, and reconnecting with the present moment.
Our breath only lives in the moment … The more that we bring breath awareness into it where the body and the breath intersect … it’s an access point, actually, to that inner resourcefulness, that place of stillness. (Keli Carpenter)
Different modalities will work for different people at different times. There is no one-size-fits-all.
Some therapists or clients might pull away from things like meditation or breathwork due to a poor understanding of what it is or how it can be used, but don’t let misconceptions keep you away from a tool that could potentially be positively life-altering.
However, it will be your responsibility to decide whether or not a modality will be beneficial to a client.
I’m the first one to say; “I don’t believe breathwork is for everyone”, and I’ve had people come to me for breathwork and I have turned them away because one of the things that breathwork does is that it opens up the feeling body … and sometimes people have avoided pain and vulnerability in their body for so long that that is incredibly challenging. (Keli Carpenter)
Keli recommends that therapists use a therapeutic and holistic approach to breathwork to support their clients to come back to a place of safety in their bodies, and to gain deep understanding so that they can achieve a fully integrated healing experience.
Keli’s advice to private practitioners
I appreciate you, and the work that you are doing! From my experience, I would want you to know that your clients do have answers that they might not know. Help bring them home to themselves and these answers.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit The Other Side of Average and connect on Facebook and Instagram.
- Save the date for Level Up Week: March 11-14, 2024!
Email Joe at [email protected] to suggest guests for the show
Check out these additional resources:
Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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