Austin Counseling Anxiety Addiction

The following mindfulness meditation practice offers a means to cultivate awareness of space (inner and outer) of stillness and silence. Often sex addicts in recovery need to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety after surrendering their addiction. Try these practices with a sense of curiosity and playfulness. You don’t have to make anything special happen or become anyone or anything other than who you already are!

In fact, it is helpful to consider the possibility that you actually already have vast spaciousness and stillness available to you (like the vast ocean depths) and all that is required is to allow space and stillness to renter your awareness. Let the spaciousness and stillness within you “come back in,” so to speak. There is no work you have to do–none whatsoever! Just bring kind attention to what is already here.


Take a comfortable position. Collect attention by focusing mindfully on your breath sensations for a few breaths.

When you feel steady and focused, widen the focus to include all sounds, letting them come to you without adding or subtracting anything. Focus on the direct experience of sound without being caught in the name of story about any sound.

Practice mindfulness of breath sensations and sounds for a few more breaths.

Now bring your attention to the spaces between the breaths, there between in-breath and out-breath, and there, at the end of the out-breath before the next in-breath. Let your attention rest there, in the spaces between each breath. Come back to the space whenever your attention wanders.

When you notice that sounds draw your attention, first notice the sound, then notice the spaces between the sounds. Notice how one sound is louder, another softer, one closer, one farther, and how all have space between and around them. Notice how all the sounds exist within a larger container of space. Let your attention rest in the space that holds all the sounds, allowing them to come and go.

When you wish, open your eyes. Look around at what is before you. What do you see? Objects, of course, but do you see the space between the objects? Look more closely. See the space and the shape of the space between objects near and far. Can you see the vast space that holds all the objects you are viewing? Relax and look deeply.

Whenever you like, practice noticing space, either as a formal meditation practice (as suggested above with breath sensations, sounds, or viewed objects) or more informally, just paying attention in different situations as you go about your day. You may even want to experiment with noticing the space that contains your thoughts and feelings. Can you relax, observe, and allow thoughts and feelings to arise, change, and leave the space of the present moment?

Excerpt taken from “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” by Matthew McKay, Ph. D.