Cleo Haber, BSW, MSW, RSW

Cleo Haber, BSW, MSW, RSW
Registered social worker

Cleo Haber is a registered social worker. She has been practicing for over 15 years specializing in mental health. She has certification in Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy (EFMT) and has conducted clinical research. She is the retreat manager at the annual EFMT meditation retreat and has been meditating for over 10 years. She presents at conferences nationally and internationally.

Meditation and Empathic Exploration in Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy
Saturday, May 2, 2020 — 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

In this workshop, we will introduce Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy (EFMT; Gayner, 2019) meditation and how EFMT therapists empathically explore clients’ meditative and current experiencing, comparing and contrasting this with meditation and mindful inquiry in mainstream Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs). MBIs emphasize attending to present-oriented experience in a non-judgmental way and decentering from and letting go of distractions from this, such as difficult thoughts and feelings about the past or future. This creates optimal conditions for experiential and emotional processing, however, MBIs neither specify nor encourage this. In contrast, EFMT integrates experiential and emotional processing into mindfulness meditation and how therapists explore clients’ meditative experience.

EFMT emerged out of research into how to integrate self-compassion more deeply into MBIs to better address issues associated with internalized stigma and high levels of adverse childhood events (ACEs) in HIV+ gay men, such as harsh self-criticism, shame, challenges in interpersonal relationships and complex trauma. EFMT integrates MBIs into Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) to target internal conflicts and unfinished business, navigate issues in daily life, and cultivate growth and flourishing. EFMT clinical groups are being run for HIV+ gay men, psychiatric outpatients, family medicine patients and an artists’ health centre and has been adapted for hospital employee wellness and is used in various settings in individual therapy.

Participants will come away with:

  • Experience and discuss EFMT practice and be able to describe key differences between this and MBI meditation
  • Learn how EFMT therapists/trainers explore meditators’ practice using EFT empathic communicative attunement
  • Begin exploring and integrating experiential and emotional processing into their own meditation practice on their own