|Posted by kevanowen on February 26, 2015 at 12:05 PM|
I recently had the pleasure of leading a series of four Group Guided Meditation sessions for the Friends of the Dyslexia Foundation at their centre at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. This was as part of a Sanctuary workshop programme that also includes other activities such as walks, tai chi, storytelling, painting and drawing. These sessions were designed to provide useful coping strategies in a safe place, to share stories and build networks.
There is growing evidence that dyslexia is linked to creativity. For example, a recent article in Scientific American Mind cited research that reveals that people with dyslexia exhibit strengths for seeing the big picture (both literally and figuratively) and there is a higher incidence of dyslexia among entrepreneurs than in the general population. *
The long list of famous successful and talented people with dyslexia include: John Lennon, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Richard Branson.
In a world that is dominated by information in the form of the written word however, dyslexia presents a variety of learning challenges as well as feelings of self-doubt. This inner tension and insecurity can be an additional source of stress. In designing the guided meditation sessions for the group my aim was to offer a menu of stress-busting strategies for calming the body and soothing the mind. These included progressive relaxation, guided imagery and experiential focussing exercises. Special attention was given to the process of Mindfulness: attending to what is happening in the present moment with an attitude of openness, compassion and acceptance.
As with my one-to one hypnotherapy sessions, participants were asked to complete brief assessments before and after the sessions to measure outcomes. This involved a simple numerical rating of such factors as: “understanding my dyslexia”, “feeling better in myself”, “learning coping strategies”, “sharing stories” and “feeling I can solve problems”.” I’m pleased to say that all of the participants reported improvements in these areas after each of the sessions. In addition I feel that I also learned a lot from the experience of working with this group.
For more information about the Dyslexia Foundation see dyslexia-help.org.
Also the website of Dyslexia advocate Sue Bell at dyslexic.org.
* The Advantages of Dyslexia, Scientific American Mind, Volume 26, Number 1, January/February 2015. Scientific American.com