Serge Prengel

Active Pause® Part 2: If the pause is a natural part of the human...

What is that mindful practice? Is it sufficient to just have a ‘mindful practice’, such as mediation, or yoga, or Focusing? It would probably help some, but it wouldn’t be enough to replace the specific practice of inserting the lens. The more intense the potential danger, the more our reactive circuits take over, bypassing the circuits that counterbalance reactivity. In other words: The more intense the potential danger, the more we need to train our mind to recognize that this specific danger is safer than it appears to us. Why am I calling this a ‘mindful practice’, as opposed to just ‘training’?

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Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin

TTR 8: Walking is a great way to support your health and well-being. Research supports walking for overall physiologic, psychologic, and health wellness in older people (Lord & Menz, 2002) as well as younger (Tannahill, 2000).  Sometimes just taking the time to explore another place helps give perspective on life and challenges. As a somatic intervention, walking can offer ways for you to reset and refresh how you see things.  As we move into Autumn, we might also enjoy how the change of the seasons impact our senses. Take a walk today!  More can be found at

Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.


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Michael Ostrolenk is a licensed psychotherapist who completed his MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University and did post-graduate studies in somatic psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies .  He is certified in Spiral Dynamics and Wade Mindsets.  Michael is Head Instructor  for SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind Academy as well as a personal development coach. Michael is also the host of #ORadio , a podcast which explores individual and social transformation.

Speaks with Serge Prengel, LMHC and author of Inspirational Fables: Bedtime Stories for Your Inner Child. Prengel details his experience guiding clients away from operating with a reactive mind, which is a primitive way of responding to stimuli. His view is that the mind can respond in a more positive and constructive way, and the body is involved in the process of response. Prengel discusses examples of relationship dynamics, in which one person plays the role of a pursuer and the other person plays the role of the distancer, which intrinsically involves fear and reactivity. Not only is the mind responding in these situations, but the body is as well. Prengel also details how he supports clients to see these reactive patterns and the steps towards change, which must involve an environment of safety.


Life Notes: The Yoga of Midlife

The trick in midlife is to keep moving, to breathe through it, allowing the muscles to soften, the mind to begin to rest, and the heart to begin to open. Keep practicing. As I dedicated more and more time to my own practice, sadness began to move through my body and into consciousness with each hip opening. Fear fluttered in my belly as I kicked my legs up the wall in my first handstand since I was 12. And joy! So many moments of joy as my body had another “aha moment” of recognition. Asanas, the funny shapes we make in yoga, were a secret portal. Yoga had invited me to feel all my feelings, and here they were. I didn’t have to talk for hours; I didn’t have to “share.” I owned my experience, embodied my feelings, maybe for the first time in my life.

Salutogensis and Well-Being

Today the Body is cast by neuroscience, to put it phenomenonologically, in Life's project, in all its visibility and evidence, so as to be revealed to prevailing disembodiment, in a liquified society at risk of rarefaction, by the acceleration of external cognitive time, with the consequent theft of people's internal, affective, relational time. It is a society which, absolutely, must meta-communicate with its own dominant Trait Mind (as defined below) about the role of mankind and our place in existence.

Moving Towards Freedom: Effecting Optimal Health Through Reichian Inspired Exercises

Wilhelm Reich is an important influence in what I am about to share so all aspects of our being are part of the process. The gentle movements that I’m writing about help me feel present in my body and ready for the day before I even step out of bed. They loosen segmental blocks that have occurred and continue to occur during my life and keep me lubricated and open from the inside out.

The Embodiment of Primary Respiration: Order, Organization and Transparency

I want to share my perception of PR within the context of what I call the Long Tide Model of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. I teach several biodynamic sensory awareness principles regarding PR. These principles transform into stages of sensory exploration. The first basic principle of sensing PR: It is the highway upon which embodiment of the whole moves.


When I talk about mindfulness, I’m talking about everyday mindfulness as opposed to something esoteric: Mindful as the opposite of mindless. Doing something mindlessly means your mind is not engaged in it: there is a mechanical, or a passive quality to it. It’s not that “mindless” is synonymous with “passive” and “mindful” with “active”. It’s more like giving a sense of some broad circles of meaning, with one that encompasses notions like “active”, or “engaged” (the “mindful” concept), and another that encompasses notions such as “passive” or “disengaged”.

Embodied Awareness – Balance

Built into our biology are mechanisms of mind which continuously assess value (+ or -) to our experience. The biological necessity of such mechanisms is obvious: we are designed to survive. To assign value (+ or -) allows us to make decisions in childhood, (the most vulnerable time period) that support our physical or psychological survival. For example, Mom is angry.


Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Active Pause® Part 1- Featured Article

I am inviting you to look at the pause within the context of the process through which we interact with our environment. I am going to use a metaphor to make this more concrete. Let's imagine that the flow of information that comes at us, as we interact with our environment, is represented by the metaphor of a mighty river. Please see my series in the Featured Article Area of the website.


Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW – The Little Book of Being

Winston’s new guide offers helpful advice for both novice meditators and experienced meditators looking to improve their practice. The concept of "natural awareness" can seem vague at times, and Winston repeatedly defines it throughout the book. However, her “glimpse” exercises and anecdotes help the guide feel more engaging and the concept of natural awareness to feel more accessible.

Trauma and the Unbound Body

Written by Judith Blackstone, PhD Reviewed by Nancy Eichhorn, PhD “Wholeness is not a vague ideal, but a lived experience. It is a potential, inherent in...

Power of Attachment – Review

Heller provides a clear discussion to help readers understand attachment theory in general and the different attachment styles, noted as secure, anxious, ambivalent, and disorganized. At the end of each chapter there are questions to help readers assess which style they may align more with. I appreciated the direction to answer the questions, twice. First, when you are imagining a relaxed situation and second when you are tense, feeling defensive, upset. The results are indeed different. I also thought it wise to let readers know that our attachment style is not fixed in one category or the other. Our attachment style is individualized, and fluid, flexible. In some relationships we may have a sense of a secure attachment while in another we might feel more avoidant or ambivert.


The Power of Attachment – Author Reflections

When I began speaking with Sounds True about a written book following my audiobook, Healing Your Attachment Wounds: How to Create Deep and Intimate Relationships, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I have always considered myself more proficient with the spoken than the written word. Nevertheless, we started the journey to The Power of Attachment, which I actually started over 12 years ago, but somehow, it never felt finished to me. I found that progress often stalled with new research and trying to contain everything about attachment theory between the covers of a single book.


Dr. Jacqueline Carleton

Jacquie’s Pick of the Month

Dr. Jacqueline Carleton has guided interns in the art of literature review and academic critique for decades, and SPT Magazine has thankfully shared their reviews with our readers since our inception 8 years ago. It’s a pleasure to write with up-and-coming psychologists and researchers, to share in their discoveries and their opinions regarding books that are ‘hot-off-the-press’, the ones we prefer to publish. Older books, however, those published two years ago or more, have not been shared with the thought that they’ve been reviewed by many others that it was redundant news. Until now.

Shift into Freedom – The Science and Practice of Open-hearted Awareness.

Shift into Freedom by Loch Kelly is a great primer on mindfulness. Surprisingly, he doesn’t rely on the cache of overused words like meditation, mindfulness, or awakening to legitimize his approach. While the western world often uses words like awareness and attention interchangeably, he defines attention as using the mind to focus, while awareness is a heart-centered way to experience life.