The Yoga Therapeutic Relationship

My medical practice is based on a holistic, mind-body medicine and yoga therapy approach. This is a relationship-centered approach that creates a foundation for a healing partnership.

The aim is to create a therapeutic relationship, one that takes the time required to examine not just the illness, the negatives, but also to take into consideration the positives, the strengths that people bring into a therapeutic environment. This creates a healing space and gives us the opportunity to choose the approach that best suits each individual.

The aim of this approach is to use all the resources available to us, physical, energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual. The foundation of this approach is a combination of my expertise as a medical professional and yoga therapist with the patient’s wisdom based on their experience and understanding.

Yoga and meditation are the foundations of a more conscious therapeutic relationship.

Relationship-centered care

Most people are over-focused on external issues and have not been trained to access their own inner resources, skills and abilities. This can create a feeling of being disempowered that drives people to over-dependence on the doctors and other professional as the source of all the answers.

Recognition of the role of the patient empowers them to be more involved and to access their inner resources, rather than becoming dependent on the therapist as the “all-knowing, wise being” who is going to fix them.

Meditation enables the patient to recognize their inner power and develops intuition, a grounded sense of what is right for them.

Self-empowerment

Anxiety about health issues can drive people to continually seek out experts and solutions, only to discover that there are many approaches to their problem, and that there is no shortage of experts to consult and books to read.

While professional advice and support is essential, of equal importance is the need to learn the skills to make your own decisions based on what you feel is right for you. Since life is rarely ever problem-free and each problem usually requires a decision, you need a personal toolkit that you can carry with you all the time.

Make good decisions

In order to know what is the right thing to do you need two things:

  1. Gather as much relevant information as you can that is based on evidence, experience and intuition.
  2. See your choices from an objective point of view so that you make decisions without becoming entangled in confusion and worry, a skill that is cultivated through meditation.

Meditation activates the inner decision-maker, and in doing so, brings the strength and the confidence to deal with both the joys and pains of life.

Awaken the intuitive mind

The key to this process is the development of mindfulness and witness consciousness. Witnessing strengthens our inner ability to focus internally and to clean out the old mental patterns, the thoughts and emotions that get in the way of our ability to be spontaneous and creative.

Anxiety, lack of self-confidence and confusion often result for an over-active thinking mind. We become caught up in thoughts and emotions when we become disconnected from the higher intuitive mind, the part of us that is linked to consciousness. Meditation awakens this part.

Combine knowledge and practice

Meditative practice alone is not enough. This gives us direct experience of our mind. However, once we face our mind we need to know what to do. In the same way that we need theory before we drive our car on the freeway, we need theory to know how to manage and cultivate the mind. This education process empowers you to become autonomous and able to better look after yourself.

For 35 years I have been teaching my students and patients yogic and meditative theory, and skills that assist them in developing self-awareness, objectivity, pragmatism and confidence; that awaken their higher intuitive mind. The knowledge and skills derive from a process that integrates Yoga Psychology, Mindfulness Training, and Western Psychotherapy.

In recent years, Jayne Stevenson and I have formulated much of this process into a structured series of online courses. Now we can share many of the key elements of my medical and teaching approach with you, no matter where you are in the world.

The combined knowledge and techniques is the foundation of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It is a step-by-step awakening and enlightenment process that enables people to connect with who they really are, their essence, and what they really want their lives to be about, their purpose.