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Volume 4, Pages 216-227
Research Article

In Search of Inner Wisdom: Guided Mindfulness Meditation in the Context of Suicide

1Department of Social Work, College of Judea and Samaria, Ariel, Israel
2Private Practice in Clinical Psychology, Kfar Yonah, Israel

Received 29 January 2004; Revised 14 February 2004; Accepted 14 February 2004

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2004 Liora Birnbaum and Aiton Birnbaum.


Spiritual concerns are highly relevant, but often ignored, in psychotherapy in general and in suicide in particular. This article presents Internet data and clinical case material bearing on the topic, and describes an innovative therapeutic intervention administered in a group-workshop format with suicide survivors and mental health professionals. The technique incorporates relaxation and mindfulness meditation, with the addition of guided meditation in search of inner wisdom. Results of the group intervention are described and illustrated. Many participants reported a significant positive experience including connection to knowledge that was highly relevant to them in their current state of life. Whether such insights were experienced as coming from within (a deeper part of the self) or from an external source (a guiding figure or presence), indications are that guided meditation can be a powerful resource for therapists and their clients, suicidal and otherwise. Possible applications in diverse populations and settings, as well as the need for further research, are discussed.