About Joe Gilbert
Joe Gilbert, Licensed Professional Counselor
Joe was trained as a Person-Centered Counselor. This approach rests on the foundations of empathy, authenticity and unconditional positive regard in relationship to others. Since then, Joe has received training and peer supervision in other therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Counseling, and Existential Psychotherapy. Joe began his counseling career working as an inpatient counselor at a hospital for people living with alcohol/drug addiction and mental health issues. Over time, he developed a passion for working with people who are experiencing grief and loss, addictions/unhealthy habits (of all sorts), spirituality concerns, and other stressful life transitions. If you are a person who identifies as LGBTQ+, you are safe here and Joe is happy to work with you.
Joe practices Vipassana (insight-oriented) meditation and is a member of a local Buddhist Sangha. He attends insight-oriented meditation retreats annually, and his life and work are guided by his practices in awareness and compassion. Joe finds that his meditation practice continues to unfold in ways that support and strengthen his counseling relationships.
What is Mindfulness?
Joe finds the following descriptions of mindfulness to be helpful:
“Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmental. It is one of many forms of meditation, if you think of meditation as any way in which we engage in (1) systematically regulating our attention and energy, (2) thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of our experience (3) in the service of realizing the full range of our humanity and of (4) our relationships to others and the world.” —Jon Kabat Zinn
“Traditionally called Sati-Sampajenna, or “mindfulness of clarity or purpose,” mindfulness has two aspects: receptive and active. Mindfulness is first a spacious, kind, non-judging awareness of the present. Second, as sampajenna, mindfulness includes an appropriate response to the present situation.” –Jack Kornfield
Another brief description is that mindfulness is remembering to pay attention, with intention.
Before working with Joe, it may be helpful to know that he shares several values and beliefs common in the contemplative counseling and mindfulness-based communities:
- I (Joe) understand that even though we perceive differences, there is an essential unity of all beings.
- I believe it is important to honor our differences, looking closely at our own reactions and judgments in light of these differences, and seeing the suffering that arises when we do not acknowledge the life experiences of people who have been marginalized in our society.
- I believe that resisting pain or making judgments about pain increases our suffering.
- I value the practice of meditation and mindfulness as means for coping with the challenges of life.
- I value the cultivation of self-compassion and self-acceptance: Approaching ourselves and life circumstances with a non-judgmental mind.
- I value the teaching that everything arises and passes away (impermanence), including mind/body states.
- I value the importance of experiencing thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and emotions that arise in the present moment.
Joe is happy to offer instructions, guidance, and support if you wish to begin your own meditation and mindfulness practice. He will begin offering formal trainings (both for individuals and groups) in early 2018.