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Hello Dr.

First I would like to thank you for letting me ask you for advice. My name is Michael. I am 17 years old and I live in Toronto. You see when I was around 10 or 11 I had a sexual experience with my younger sister who at that time must have been 8 or 9. So stating from the age of 13 I have been having issues of guilt and self blame. Just about a year ago I became very depressed and sought medical help. So a year later I finished psychotherapy and I am no longer carrying this guilt with me. However, my therapist introduced me to some mindfulness exercises that helped me deal with stress and anxiety. These were techniques like deep breathing, and focusing on different parts of your body, plus contracting and relaxing these parts which seemed to have helped a lot. But I would like to ask you if you know of any other exercises that would be useful in my situation.

Thank you,


ask dr-robert

Hello, Michael--

You seem to have gotten off to a good start. Now that you have learned to relax and get out of your obsessive thoughts and back into awareness of your body, you might like to practice the two exercises I recommend on my website for the purpose of expanding spiritual awareness. (By the way, for the materialists out there, when I use the word "spiritual," I am not necessarily referring to the kind of thing spoken about in doctrinal religious discourse, but rather the possibility of becoming aware of a certain quality of mind which is always there, but often unnoticed. With practice one may be able to increase awareness of this quality, and to enjoy it.)

Write again and let me know how those two practices are working for you.

Be well.

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page last modified November 4, 2008

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