The idea that meditation is good for you is certainly not new, but scientists are still trying to figure out exactly why meditating so reliably improves mental and physical health. One old theory is that meditation is just like exercise: it trains the brain as if gray matter were a bundle of muscles. You work those muscles and they get stronger.
A recent paper in the journal Psychological Science tries to identify brain functions that are actually enhanced by meditating. The study shows that intensive meditation can help people focus their attention and sustain it — even during the most boring of tasks. But while participants who meditated were able to pick up visual cues … Read more »
Prison can be a tough environment for those who work there as well as for inmates. Psychotherapist Steve Bell reflects on a few tough months spent in Rikers Island and realizes how much he learned.
I find myself on Riker’s Island
For four months last year I worked with women detainees on Rikers Island in the Intense Treatment Unit, or ITU. Those four months were an adventure, but I won’t easily forget the trauma and abuse the women reported, and eventually the need to live a simpler life led me to give up working there.
The idea of the ITU was to try and apply the work of Marsha Linehan — who created Dialectical Behavioral … Read more »