by Elise Labbe New Harbinger, 2011 Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Nov 29th 2011
Elise E. Labbé is a professor of psychology as well as a clinical psychologist. Grounded in theory and knee deep in practice, who better to experiment with mindfulness-based techniques for treating clients plagued by depression and anxiety? This very convenient book comprises both a brief primer of the results of the theoretical research, which has placed meditation and other mindfulness practices at the forefront of primary care approaches to holistic health, and a practical guide for psychologists, who wish to integrate mindfulness techniques into their clinical practices.
Short, concise, and lucid, this convenient guide begins from the distinction between trait mindfulness (a person’s general tendency toward everyday mindful living) and state mindfulness (the variable states of a person’s mind over time in response to the fluctuating events of her life). This distinction will prove helpful for beginning practitioners who are oftentimes frustrated by the lack of immediately discernible concrete benefits of their practices sessions. The contrast between a short-term view of the calmness of mind and body achieved in the immediate session with a broader overview of the cumulative longer-term effects of mindfulness practices as they seep into daily ways of being and create a more general sense of well-being may encourage novice practitioners to stick with their regimen with patience and non-judgmentalism as their abilities slowly evolve.
Labbé begins by providing a grounding of theory, outlining what the practitioner and the clinician can expect from introducing mindfulness practices into their lives and their clinical practices, summarizing the research findings resulting from the abundant studies conducted over the past thirty years. The remaining chapters build upon the first, unfolding precise methods for including mindful practices in the office setting and offering a variety of mindfulness based techniques, based upon the methods of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Labbé explains simply and clearly the formal mindfulness practices of body scan, various sitting meditation styles, metta meditation, and walking meditation, as well as offering a host of suggestions for introducing informal mindfulness practices into daily activities to enable the practitioner to move from state mindfulness in the direction of a more lasting trait mindfulness that informs their post-meditation lives.
Psychology Moment to Moment will prove a useful guidebook both for beginning practitioners and for clinicians desiring to integrate mindfulness techniques into their clinical practices as a support resource for their clients. It will also provide a helpful refresher course for more seasoned practitioners. Labbé adds nothing new to the field of mindfulness studies and introduces no new techniques with this book, but she does collect the existing knowledge and body of practices into a convenient primer that is easy to follow and inviting for use.