Constructive Psychotherapy: A Practical Guide

By Michael J. Mahoney | Go to book overview

APPENDIX F
Relaxation

Begin by inviting yourself to gently close your eyes and to center your attention in this moment and in this exercise. Take a comfortably deep release breath, inhaling slowly until your lungs are full, and then gently releasing the air at your own pace, neither rushing nor holding back. Let yourself make the sound of a sigh as you release the air (sigh). Do this several times, slowly, inviting yourself to relax and to let go even more with each breath that you release. Gently letting go of time. Setting aside any worries or plans, and trusting that you can pick them up again when this exercise is finished. Invite yourself to set aside this time as time out from everything else and a special time with yourself and for yourself. Quality time devoted to relaxation and rest…. Be gentle with yourself and your way of relaxing…. Be aware of the shifts in your attention back and forth between my voice and the music, your thoughts, and your breathing…. Simply witness and accept the wandering of your attention…. Simply notice and honor the feelings and sensations that flow through you…. Inviting yourself to relax more and more deeply as I count slowly from 1 to 10: 1, letting your shoulders drop; 2, allowing the muscles in your jaw to relax; 3, relaxing your forehead; 4, letting the muscles around your eyes relax; 5, breathing slowly; 6, gently moving your fingers; 7, relaxing the muscles around your mouth; 8, letting the muscles in your legs relax; 9, gently stretching your ankles and toes; and 10, allowing yourself to be deeply relaxed.

Respect any requests that your body may now be making for a shift in position, for a gentle stretch, for any movement that would feel more comfortable and comforting. Be gentle with yourself, inviting but not forcing this experience; accepting whatever is happening for you at this moment to be as it should

Copyright 1998 by Michael J. Mahoney. Audio available from www.lima-associates.com.
From Constructive Psychotherapy by Michael J. Mahoney. Copyright 2003 by The Guilford
Press. Permission to photocopy this appendix is granted to purchasers of this book for per-
sonal use only (see copyright page for details).

-247-

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