Intimately Mindful

Psychotherapist and social worker Giselle Jones talks about using mindfulness to help people open up.

Photograph by Lever Rukhin

Born in Toronto, to Jamaican parents, Giselle Jones worked as an actress in New York City and Hollywood for 17 years, then served as the education director of a youth literacy group in LA. She’s now a psychotherapist in private practice who treats people with mental health and relationship issues including sexual anxiety, trauma, and addiction.

How did you first come to meditation?

In 2012, while at UCLA getting my master’s degree in social work, I did an internship at a school in the Watts neighborhood. On day one, the school shut down for race-related fighting and thieving of computers, and I had teachers tossing me students. As I got to know them, kids would disclose sexual abuse and other traumatic experiences, and then they would leave the room, and I would hold my head and cry. But as a UCLA student, I was able to attend, for free, a daylong course in mindfulness meditation with Dr. Marvin Belzer at the Mindful Awareness Research Center. And I really fell in love with it. It was delicious for me.

Delicious? Can you explain what you mean?

I got to see how much my body was speaking to me. I’ve always been…

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