Elisa Pearmain, LMHC


Mindfulness Based Therapy and Self-Compassion

Mindfulness is a technique of meditation and a practice for daily living that helps us to pay attention to our present moment experience with curiosity and compassion for what we experience and without judgment. It increases self-awareness so that we can choose to respond rather than react to life, to our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness involves anchoring our attention to the present moment through one of a number of activities such as: watching our breath, sounds, the sensations in our bodies, counting, or doing one activity at a time and giving it our full attention. It is not about emptying our minds, but observing and noting our thoughts and feelings as they come and go, and choosing to come back to the present. Consciously developing a stance of friendly, curious, compassion towards what we observe helps us to grow in self-acceptance, forgiveness and appreciation for our humanness, and of others. Elisa will teach and lead short exercises geared towards your needs and learning styles if it is therapeutically appropriate and if you wish.
Compassionate Mindfulness helps us to sit more easily with difficult emotions rather than pushing them away where they may manifest as anxiety or health problems. It helps us to calm anxiety as we more quickly identify the thoughts behind our emotions and relax our bodies. Compassionate Mindfulness helps us to create a different relationship with our bodies so that it is easier to manage and decrease pain. It improves how we handle stressful situations in our lives and to turn around patterns of chronic stress that have built up over the years. It helps us to befriend and soften our inner critics. Elisa will lead short exercises in compassionate mindful awareness, and provide resources for meditations to practice with if you are interested. She can also assist clients in following the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy protocols.
If you are interested in taking the full MBSR course you can find more information at the U. Mass Worcester Medical Center website or mindfulness@umassmed.edu.
Resources: Any books by Jon Kabat-Zinn, or Saki Santorelli, Thich Nhat Han or Pema Chodran
Meditations: Insight Timer, CALM, and others.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

MBCT combines the meditation techniques of MBSR with cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals who have suffered from depression to decrease the frequency and severity of relapses. MBCT helps us to recognize the early signs of depression more easily, and to sit with them differently and compassionately so that we do not get caught in panic and negative thinking and spiral down. Cognitive Therapy helps us to recognize our patterns and habits of negative thinking, to question them and to come up with more balanced thoughts and stories.
If appropriate, Elisa will lead short mindfulness exercises, offer education and CBT journaling exercises to help you manage difficult emotions, thoughts and symptoms of depression.
For courses/groups in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy please contact https://www.accessmbct.com/ or Tom Pedulla, LICSW at 617-803-0951 or at tpedulla@comcast.net

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

IFS is a transformative, evidence-based psychotherapy that helps people heal by accessing and loving their protective and wounded inner parts. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. Just like members of a family, inner parts are forced from their valuable states into extreme roles within us. Examples of parts that have taken on extreme roles are: inner critics, bossy managers, addicted parts, fearful parts, and exiled parts that are holding fear and shame from trauma. We also all have a core Self. Self has the qualities of: calm, curiosity, compassion, creativity, courage, clarity and connectedness, and is at the heart of each of our beings. It can’t be damaged, but it can be blended with parts that make it harder to access.
By learning to first access Self energy, we can better understand and heal our parts. IFS creates inner and outer connectedness.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is now posted on The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) as an evidence-based practice.
As a clinical treatment, IFS has been rated effective for improving general functioning and well-being. In addition, it has been rated promising for each of: improving phobia, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms; physical health conditions and symptoms; personal resilience/self-concept; and depression and depressive symptoms."

Forgiveness Work

Through extensive research, training, and clinical practice I have developed my own methods for helping individuals and couples to heal from wounds and to let go of grievances. Forgiveness is not about condoning someone's behavior or even necessarily seeking reconciliation. Forgiveness is about letting go of the wounds that bind us to the injury, letting go of our identity as victim, understanding and moving beyond our anger, and in most cases forgiving ourselves for being in a position to be hurt in the first place. Forgiveness involves a process of looking at a situation from more perspectives, grieving our losses, understanding what we are getting from staying angry, forgiving ourselves, and seeing ourselves as better in our process to move on. The forgiveness process can take minutes, days or years, and can be done regarding someone who has died. People often experience personal, emotional and physical improvements and or spiritual growth as they learn to forgive themselves, and others.
Resource: Double CD - Forgiveness: Telling our Stories in New Ways (2013) Pearmain. Click here to learn more about purchasing this CD.