Turning the Mind Week begins Monday, Feb. 18 at Brookhaven Retreat. This week, the ladies in its program will practice the dialectical behavior therapy skill of turning the mind away from denial and toward acceptance.
When women have experienced intense pain and suffering, the mind wants to reject reality and seek comfort in denial. Feelings of denial amplify suffering because they prevent the possibility of healing and may lead to dangerous coping behaviors. Though at first acceptance seems like the more painful path, women practicing DBT learn to pave the way for the release of suffering and completion of healing process.
Turning the mind toward acceptance can be difficult. It is a skill that must be practiced over and over. However, it is a habit that, over time, becomes ingrained. Women use the earlier principle of mindfulness to notice when something is not being accepted, then make the commitment to accept. Every time thoughts of denial and rejection crop up, women again commit themselves to the path of acceptance. With this comes the development of self-love and empowerment, so that suffering becomes less intense and gives way to acceptance and peace.
To travel from non-acceptance to radical acceptance, women must turn their minds through a process of constant repetition. The reward, decreased suffering, helps women best handle their emotions, heal from emotional suffering and create lives worth living.