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PATRICK NITCH

Mindful Therapy Nashville
Mindful Nashville Leadership Team
/ Facilitator

What does mindfulness mean to you?

Mindfulness means practicing being a kind, compassionate, and loving friend to myself. This is not always easy, but mindfulness practice starts here—cultivating curiosity about our present internal and external experience, and meeting that present moment reality with compassion, loving-kindness and acceptance. This allows us to enter into moments with others with that same curiosity, compassion and loving-kindness.

What initially led you to begin your practice? 

I was not always a kind, compassionate, loving friend to myself! I developed quite an elaborate system of avoiding my pain and suffering by staying busy with building an identity of who I thought I “should be”, meanwhile neglecting myself and my actual needs, desires and values. After college, I spent some time at a Bhakti Yoga meditation center in California that introduced me to what it was like to be in my body. It is through that practice that I discovered mindful movement, and ultimately mindfulness meditation. 

How do you incorporate mindfulness into your counseling and recovery work?

When we are caught in a cycle of suffering, the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is reach out for support. Healing does not happen in isolation, but in community. And as a therapist, I can serve as a companion on the path into a community and into healing. So the same presence of curiosity, compassion and loving-kindness that I practice cultivating within my own experience, I help others cultivate in their experience. One of my intentions is often to bring a lightness and sense of humor to what is often quite heavy and quite serious. Therapy can quickly become an art. Every person is different and yet the same. We are all headed in a similar direction towards freedom from suffering, but our paths are often quite different, and we often need different directions to navigate towards that liberation.