25 May 2020
Mirror Therapy (MIMT) is a new form of therapy which can help you to look at yourself in a compassionate, benevolent and non-critical way.
Mirrors are very interesting objects. They are often associated with vanity and are often avoided in everyday life while in therapy they are can be used to discover the self!
About a year ago, I attended a conference in London where a new revolutionary therapy, called Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT) was introduced. I was totally fascinated by it and immediately approached Dr Alessandro Carmelita and Dr Marina Cirio (the authors of the MIMT) to ask to train me asap. I have to say that I have never experienced anything like this powerful in my therapy room!
MIMT is an integrative approach and is supported by its theoretical underpinnings, which include not only the most recent research studies in the field of neuroscience, but also a series of effective clinical studies.
In the MIMT, both the therapist and the patient sit in front of a very large mirror and the patient is guided to experience (literally seeing) the emotional&suffering self and the critical self reflected in the mirror. The aim is to add the “missing ingredient” in order to experience a deeper understanding and compassion toward self.
The ability to recognise ourselves develops when we reach around 20 months old. Prior to that, our reflection is perceived as another baby who we want to play with or stay away from (as it might look suspicious!). Given the right conditions, we develop a sense of self through early interactions in which our caregivers mirror our movements and emotional expressions, and respond to us in ways that give us feedback that we are separate from them, and that our behaviour creates a reaction in them. It seems that we need a context outside ourselves to self-recognise - other people reflect us as individuals, and mirrors do too. That’s it, the MIMT helps to develop a(n integrated sense of) self with the support of the mirror and the relationship with the therapist who looks at you and uses of a unique combination of therapeutic interventions.
In other words… In the same way we are very good at understanding our friends’ and family’s emotions just by looking at them (and thus we show love, affection, compassion, empathy to them) the MIMT aims to help people to look at themselves in a compassionate, benevolent and non-critical way. Just as if we were our best friends, the MIMT helps to understand and validate our emotions and experience tenderness and acceptance toward self, as this is a prerequisite for positive change.
Contact me if you would like to know more or to try Mirror Therapy for yourself.
Photo by Johannes Plenio, Pexels