Sunday, April 19, 2009

A little info on Contemplative Psychotherapy

There is an article here about Contemplative Psychotherapy, which is the MA that I (Tristin) will be working towards for the next three years. It is the best description I have come across, and it should answer any questions that people might have (Thanks to Jennifer Patsy for the link).

In a nutshell, Contemplative Psychotherapy is the lovechild of Buddhist philosophy and Western Psychology. It is based on the assumption that we are all sane, brilliant individuals that suffer from a lack of clarity. This viewpoint is in opposition to the prevalent Western assumptions that everyone is broken at the core and inherently evil. When a Contemplative therapist looks at you she sees a shining soul rather than a bleeding heart. Mental health is often just a blink away rather than a million hours of therapy away.

I love the Contemplative approach to psychology for several reasons. One of the reasons is that it jives so well with the LDS belief in the wise soul. While church doctrine states that the natural man is evil and the flesh is subject to temptations of all kinds, the soul within has a desire to do good and--in its natural state--is happy. The less-than-ideal events of life and our failures to be honest with ourselves culminate in a perception of existence that is inaccurate and unhelpful. A person with such a perception is considered ill. The truth is that they simply need some help shedding the layers of garbage to see clearly again.

Granted, there are cases of severe mental illness that can be attributed to genetics and brain chemistry. There are some cases of severe mental illness that (possibly) cannot simply be fixed with a 50-minute conversation. I'm not talking about those cases right now. I'm talking about unhappy people who have complete control over their ability to be happy and need to take responsibility for that control, which is somewhere between 90-99% of humanity.

Hopefully I just cleared up more questions than I created. When I feel the urge I'll post some more about what I'm learning and my own personal thoughts about what it all means.

Cafe Rio Dressing-Yum!

Yesterday Tristin and I went to hang out with some of his old high school friends. Whats really convenient is that among him and his 3 really close friends, all the wives get along really well too so it always works out and we never get bored. and I'm NOT just saying that because they read this (I really mean it girls). So yesterday we had a BBQ to get together for possibly the last time because we then move in less than 6 weeks.
Well our assignment was to make the salad for the BBQ so we though, "what salad is just AMAZING and that everyone will love? CAFE RIO's SALADS!"

Well the salads turned out to be a HUGE success. We made the tortilla's from SCRATCH (WOW-that's definitely NOT like me to make stuff from scratch) as well as the creamy cilantro-lime dressing which was just AMAZING! The famous Cafe Rio dressing is by far best salad dressing I've ever had at any restaurant! I had a few requests for the recipe so I'm going to share it because we could all do with a little bit more salad in our lives, right? And salad is SO much better when you have a yummy dressing on top of it. So here it is............. ENJOY!

Café Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 tomatillos (Green tomato-like vegetables with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green tobasco for the jalapeno.)

Blend everything together in a blender and there you have it!

So cut up some lettuce, dice some tomatoes, cook some rice (of your preference. We used Mexican rice) and add black beans and you have a very yummy Cafe Rio salad!

Here's the recipe for the tortillas we made as well. They take a little longer to prepare than the dressing but are OH SO GOOD!

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup warm water (I heat mine up in the microwave for about 30-35 seconds)
And that's all it takes. Now for making them.
Add flour, salt, and e.v.o.o. Mix until it makes little clumps (it makes a big difference if you have a Kitchen Aid over a hand mixer). Slowly add warm water, and mix until dough forms. Break into 2 inch sized balls. Flatten and cook in a skillet on medium to high heat until golden brown. That's it! Super easy, and super quick! It should make about 12 tortillas, but they're pretty small. So if you'd like to make them bigger for burritos or something then just make your dough balls bigger.

Happy salad making everyone!