email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A.M. EnergyAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAlready FreeAlternative Medicine?Anywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBethenny's Skinnygirl WorkoutBody By BethennyBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBreath-Centered YogaCalm Body Clear MindCalm Focus JoyCardio for Beginners with Petra KolberChakra MeditationsComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCultural Healing and Belief SystemsDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Yoga House CallEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExercise for Mood and AnxietyExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Fit Through GardeningGet Ripped & ChiseledGet Stronger Bones: 3 Workouts For OsteoporosisHandbook of MindfulnessHappy Yoga DVDHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing through ExerciseHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealing, Hype, or Harm?Healthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?In Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangIntegrated YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKripalu YogaKundalini Yoga : DVDKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga MeditationKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLetting Go!LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLunar Flow YogaMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMeditations for BeginnersMindful AmericaMindful ColoringMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness for CarersMindfulness for TwoMindfulness in Plain EnglishMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1Natural FlexibilityNew Good FoodNew VegetarianNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthPain Free at WorkPeace Is Every BreathPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPower Yoga: Strength and FlexibilityPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodRadiant Heart Yoga DVDReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRelax Into Yoga for SeniorsResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSelfless InsightSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStress Relief to GoStretchStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift Surf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Zen Tummy TonersThe 6 Qualities of ConsciousnessThe Accidental VeganThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Light of DiscoveryThe Mandala of BeingThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Mindful Way through DepressionThe Perfect ExerciseThe Psychology of LifestyleThe Qi Healing KitThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Science of YogaThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Spirit of Tibetan BuddhismThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Yin Yoga KitTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Cardio Dance FlowTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Visitor 2008Viniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck and ShouldersViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWeight Watchers: Ultimate Belly SeriesYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYoga - Philosophy for EveryoneYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga as MedicineYoga Bliss HipsYoga BodyYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Emergency DVD: PregnancyYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for FitnessYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for Your WeekYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga Quick FixesYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga, Karma, and RebirthYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Brain on YogaZen Encounters with Loneliness
As a psychologist as well as an avid yoga practitioner, I eagerly awaited the publication of this book. Being a therapist working in a college counseling center, I was already incorporating some yogic strategies into my practice, including providing clients with breathing (pranayama) instruction and offering suggestions for very simple yoga postures (asanas) to address symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia. However, I was hoping that author Amy Weintraub's Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management would both expand my repertoire of techniques as well as increase my proficiency with presenting these methods to my clients.
Weintraub teaches her own brand of yoga called LifeForce Yoga, which she describes as "hatha yoga plain and simple" (Page 1). She maintains that yoga can facilitate therapy in many ways which do not involve the yoga mat at all, particularly creating the therapeutic bond, increasing a sense of safety within the client's body, working to still and focus the client's mind, and finally, releasing tension stored in the body-mind. Weintraub cites several recent, research-based studies in which yoga was found to have various health benefits, such a reduction in cortisol, a stress hormone, and an improvement in mood/GABA levels for those suffering from chronic conditions (including diabetes, low back pain, cancer, and heart disease).
Prior to discussing specific techniques, Weintraub spends time briefly reviewing a few basic yogic principles, specifically as they pertain to the healing relationship. She also talks about a therapist's preliminary preparations prior to initiating yoga into therapy. First, she suggests establishing one's own practice, at the very least to become more confident in teaching these tools to one's clients. Second, she offers a few suggestions for how to introduce yoga to clients. Chief of these is the idea of establishing a "safe container," thus providing clients with a ritual for centering at the start of each session. I found this section a bit disappointing, as I was hoping that Weintraub would talk more about clients who are resistant--for example, those who fear trying anything "new age," those who maintain that "breathing doesn't work for me," etc.
With respect to the skills themselves, Weintraub starts with the breath, or pranayama. She explains the role that the breath can have on mood and how this can be of benefit to clients--and to therapists themselves as well. Weintraub also emphasizes the importance of matching the breathing strategy with the client's presentation. Therefore, she details both calming breathing practices for anxiety and more energizing practices for depression. Some of the techniques incorporate sounds, mudras (hand gestures), or larger movements. Weintraub delves more deeply into the use of both sounds and gestures in separate chapters on use of mantra, particularly as associated with the chakras, and mudras--used for both calming and energizing, and optionally combined with mantra as well.
In the remaining chapters, Weintraub reviews skills that are somewhat less unique to yoga. The first of these is the combined use of imagery and affirmation, known in yoga as bhavana and sankalpa. This section includes two different guided scripts with therapists can use with clients, either in an individual or group setting. The closing chapters cover yoga nidra and self-exploration, respectively. Yoga nidra is a deeply restful, meditative state. As Weintraub explains, it differs from other forms of meditation in that it is guided, generally practiced lying down, and invites conscious awareness of opposite states. Weintraub introduces a yoga nidra protocol known as iRest, developed by psychologist Richard Miller, and she offers a similar script based on her own studies with Miller. The last skills-based chapter addresses svadhyaya, or self-inquiry. Here Weintraub talks about how importance increased self-awareness is to the healing process. She reviews the role of yoga and offers simple instructions for facilitating this process of self-inquiry.
Weintraub concludes the book with additional resources. First, she provides a short summary of assorted yoga styles in order to assist therapists with offering referrals to clients. She also mentions a variety of supporting materials, including her own CDs and DVDs, Breathe to Beat the Blues (CD) and Life Force Yoga to Beat the Blues (DVDs; Levels 1 & 2). Finally, she includes information on trainings, suggested readings, and a glossary of terms.
In Yoga Skills for Therapists, Weintraub has effectively provided tools which counselors can incorporate into the practice of psychotherapy. It is important to note, however, that her use of "yoga" here reflects the traditional eight-limb path of yoga described by Patanjali's in his Yoga Sutras. In other words, the techniques which Weintraub offers do not center solely around the most well-known limb, asana (physical practice); rather, they incorporate several of the other limbs, including pranayama, dhyana (meditation), and svadhyaya (one of the five niyamas, the second limb). In fact, Weintraub specifically notes that teaching therapeutic use of postures would be beyond the scope of this work. I found this somewhat disappointing, as I would have liked to have seen some basic poses incorporated along with the other strategies. Still, Yoga Skills for Therapists provides plenty of useful information; I am confident I will use these skills with my own clients, and I would not hesitate to recommend this book.
© 2012 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.