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  • Inquiring Deeply: Finding the Opportunities Within Problems with Marjorie Schuman, Ph.D.

Inquiring Deeply: Finding the Opportunities Within Problems with Marjorie Schuman, Ph.D.

  • 08 Apr 2016
  • 5:15 PM - 7:00 PM
  • The Home of Dr. Deborah Schiller
  • 2


Registration is closed


During the past decade, mindfulness has entered the mainstream of psychotherapy.  Many clinicians have come to recognize that mindful awareness is itself a mechanism of therapeutic action, one which transcends both diagnosis and clinical approach and is an active ingredient in most psychotherapies.   

This presentation addresses the broad framework of mindful psychotherapies by considering several basic questions: what is a wise relationship to problems?   And how can we help patients find the opportunities embedded within them?

Problems are the leading edge or horizon of change in our lives.  Before real change is possible, we first have to see, feel, and understand what is.  What is the source of the reactivity we are encountering in ourselves?  What do we perceive to be at stake?  What assumptions are we making?  What representations of ourselves and others are involved?

Finding the opportunities for growth within problems is possible only when we can learn to look at them in a way that reveals what we most need to see.  There is intelligence in the ways that problems are constructed in the mind. This idea is expressed in the image of a lotus flower with its roots in the mud and beautiful blossom above.   Metaphorically, this evokes the possibility that the mud of our struggles can give rise to growth in the sunlight of awareness. 

This presentation describes a psychotherapeutic approach, “Inquiring Deeply”, for finding the wisdom embedded in problems.  Inquiring Deeply is a mindfulness-informed, relational psychotherapy which blends the wisdom of Buddhism with the understanding of psychoanalytic theory into a framework for working with the difficulties and challenges of everyday life.  It incorporates the self-reflective methodology of Buddhism – mindfulness, investigation, and inquiry— to amplify psychological experience, to deepen self-awareness, and to gain a grasp of the mind’s potential. 

Participants will learn the differences between mindfulness as a cognitive behavioral intervention and mindfulness as a self-reflective practice.  They will learn how the method of “inquiry” – intuitive awareness grounded in the immediacy of embodied experience – can be used to investigate problems both in psychotherapy and in meditation practice.  And they will learn why “awareness practice” is effective as a clinical frame in psychotherapy.


At the conclusion of this program, participants will

1)   Distinguish between mindfulness-informed and mindfulness-based psychotherapies;

2)   State the defining characteristics of ‘problems’ as a point of entrée into psychotherapy;

3)   Describe the relational field and its importance in psychotherapy;

4)   Explain the concept of  ‘self-reflective awareness practices’ and how they can be used as clinical interventions.

Timed Outline:

5:15-5:30 pm: Greet, sign in and socialize

5:30-5:35 pm: Introduction of speaker and opening remarks

5:35–6:45 pm: Presentation focusing on the above objectives

6:45-7:00 pm: Q&A and Evaluations

Directions to venue will be emailed with Registration.

1.5 CE's available for California-licensed Psychologists, MFTs and LSCWs

CPA is co-sponsoring with the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. 

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 1.5 continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.


SBCPA Continuing Education Committee

Attendees will be able to:

  • 1.   Identify ways to be active participants in their patients’ primary health care teams, being attuned to key preventive health strategies and learning ways to legally and ethically communicate with other healthcare professionals with this goal in mind.  
  • 2.   Become familiar with the biopsychosocial model of medical illness and develop a working understanding of the impact illness/injury can have on the individual and family.
  • 3.   Demonstrate specific ways in which inner strengths, resilience, and acceptance can be fostered in patients facing life-altering physical diagnoses through evidence-based psychotherapy.
  • 4.   Consider personal countertransference issues with respect to end of life issues and explore how these can be recognized and used in individual and family therapy.

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