Basic Goodness of Mental Illness

May 19th—December 20th (2017)

Date details +
    Room: Tantra Shrine Room

    The Basic Goodness of Mental Illness: A Supportive Study Group for Mental Health Professionals Meets once monthly: 4th Friday with the exception of May, 19th
    from 6:30pm - 8:00pm

    After several months of inspiring discussion, this group has relaxed suggested prerequisites* and coursework** and encourages attendance by any and all mental health professionals interested in building confidence, deepening compassion, and developing supportive connections in their professional lives.

    The secular Shambhala buddhist teachings on basic goodness are, we think, relevant to the serious suffering of mental illness. At the heart of the clinical application of theories and protocols in work with diagnosed mentally ill clients are important contemplations for mental health professionals, such as:

    Can we as clinicians, trained to support mental health, trust that there is fundamental sanity at the heart of mental illness? How might meditation practice and study of basic goodness support this realization?

    What do we do when we can't find anything “basically good” about serious suffering? How do we reconcile that conflict such that we are able to bring authenticity, fearlessness, integrity, and compassion to our treatment of challenging clients/patients?

    Compassion fatigue occurs in our field. Where is there discrepancy between the care we afford our clients and the care we afford ourselves? How can we use the basic goodness of our own serious suffering to wake up?

    It is hoped that participation in this group of professional counselors, social workers/clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, and psychiatrists, etc. will promote the following: study and reflection around mental illness and the Shambhala principle of basic goodness (aka inherent sanity), regular meditation practice, authentic speech and deep listening, respected and protected sharing, and professional networking between meetings as appropriate and desired.

    Jen Erickson is coordinating the meetings. Please email her at [email protected] with any questions and/or to add your email address to a contact list if you’d like to receive information relevant to meeting topics and any schedule changes.


    *Though not required, participants will ideally (1) be licensed in their field or working toward such and therefore familiar with specialty-relevant ethics and best practices; (2) be intrigued by how knowledge of the Shambhala principle of basic goodness might enrich personal well-being and professional skill; and (3) have a meditation practice and/or be curious about meditation in the Shambhala tradition.

    **Recommended courses include Shambhala Training Levels I and II. Recommended readings include Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and The Shambhala Principle, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.