Mindful Inquiry

The Primary Tool of Core Belief Restructuring

Awareness is a powerful transformer. When we’re aware we notice what’s working and what’s not. By using the tool of Mindful Inquiry (MI) we can adjust our beliefs and our behavior naturally.

At The Exclusive, Mindful Inquiry sessions will be a major part of your recovery process. In these sessions a skilled Mindful Inquiry counselor will use questions to help you discover your own answers. The questions are asked in a non-judgmental and caring way. During these sessions you will uncover core beliefs that have fueled your addictions and life-long struggles.

You will develop the skills to change these self-defeating thoughts and therefore create new empowering beliefs that will lead to self-trust, greater clarity, and joy. Mindful Inquiry will be the catalyst for permanent change from living a life of substance abuse to a conscious continuum of empowering choices.

I enjoyed learning the Mindful Inquiry process. Although it took me a while to get into it, once I picked it up, it became a very useful tool for evaluating problems and particularly the toxic shame issues that were problems in my life. It helped me to work through them in a logical manner to figure out the underlying causes and not just the surface issues involved.

You will have several one-on-one Mindful Inquiry sessions every week. You will become continually more aware of the power of this work, as you experience shifts in your thinking and your interactions after accessing your core beliefs.

Mindful Inquiry is an experiential way of learning and helps you deeply anchor and retain your newly gained knowledge. Within Mindful Inquiry sessions you will likely experience genuine laughter or surprising shifts in your understanding ― these are very powerful “aha!” moments of awakening and breakthroughs.

Objectives of Mindful Inquiry:

  • To change your programming by asking questions.
  • To study and reflect on your personal stimulus/belief/response mechanisms that are deeply ingrained in you.
  • To bring awareness to your belief systems and discover how they are holding you back and causing suffering in your life.
  • To question your thoughts and behavior, so that your mind doesn’t run your life on autopilot.
  • To help you learn to let go of beliefs that do not serve you.
  • For the counselor to guide you in the exploration of your own beliefs.
  • To coach you in Mindful Inquiry so that you can apply inquiry successfully when you leave the program. This will be an invaluable tool for maintaining sobriety.

Stimulus/Belief/Response Coaching


Together with the counselor you will do extensive therapeutic work in understanding the Stimulus/Belief/Response seemingly automatic programming that exists for you as part of your individual conditioning.

The brain is like a giant filing cabinet where we store our beliefs. We adopt beliefs in order to take care of ourselves. For example, if your dad yelled at you to stop singing as a kid; you may adopt the belief that you’re a bad singer, and you store this input so you won’t be tempted to sing and will avoid being yelled at. Beliefs are a strategy that we use to take care of ourselves.

The problem is that most of the beliefs were adopted a long time ago at a time when our consciousness wasn’t as developed as it is today. So, when we don’t question our strategies and beliefs, we end up using the same ones we have used before, regardless of how well they truly fit the situation.

For example; today a friend invites you to join the choir. Immediately you feel angry,  sad and depressed but and don’t know why. You say ‘No, I can’t do it.’ The reason is that you’re still thinking that you’re a bad singer and even though it doesn’t seem not necessarily rational, you’re embarrassed and afraid that you might get yelled at.

Unless you question this belief, you will continue to believe that your old, stored-up emotions are an accurate response to any current or future situation that involves singing.

The Storyteller vs. The Observer

There are two basic ways we think as human beings. The first way (storyteller) is to listen to the mind and believe what the mind is saying without questioning it. The second way (observer) is to question and be in dialogue with the mind to verify the accuracy of what it is saying. Both of them operate from a ‘core belief’ point of view. The storyteller voice believes that the cause of any problem comes from the stimulus (events & people). The observer voice believes that the source of all problems is caused by the perception of the beholder and that the stimulus, in itself, is always neutral.  That is, the stimulus is simply what’s happening—with no pre-determined meaning.

You will experience powerful breakthroughs when you master being the observer and let go of the storyteller.

Mindful Inquiry in Addiction Recovery

Experience powerful breakthroughs as you uncover core beliefs that have fueled your addictions.

Mindful Inquiry Therapy Sessions

You will find that the process of practicing Mindful Inquiry is extremely powerful. The experience of sharing your reasons for thinking and behaving a certain way without being judged is deeply moving and allows you to step into vulnerability and away from shame.

During these sessions you will come to realize that you have all the answers and solutions to your dilemmas within you. These sessions are self-explorations where the counselor assists you by asking questions.  Questions are aimed at understanding your core beliefs. The counselor will question feelings and behaviors as these are the doorway to your belief system.

There are no right or wrong answers, because there is no judgment (good or bad; everything just is). Both you and the counselor will be in full acceptance of what is.

You are the explorer and you are also the subject being explored.  The counselor holds the lantern for you. The counselor has no agenda about the answers you give. The counselor is absolutely non-judgmental and in complete acceptance of your answers and beliefs.

Mindful Inquiry is based entirely on respect for your own innate wisdom, therefore, the counselor will not offer advice. Trust yourself that you have the answers within you. No one knows you better than you know yourself.

The Difference of Mindful Inquiry

What makes Mindful Inquiry different from other forms of therapy is that it has no agenda and it doesn’t give advice. It doesn’t seek to tell you that there is something wrong with you or offer a solution for what to do about it. It asks the question why, which other therapists or counselors are often trained not to do.

Learn To Let Go of Beliefs That Don’t Serve You

The attitude of Mindful Inquiry is that your belief system is creating a lot of suffering and we want to help you to become aware of what belief you have adopted and then you can decide if that belief serves you or not. Then you learn to actually let go of beliefs that do not serve you, as you become aware of what is happening, but you can’t change without becoming conscious of the beliefs from which you have been operating.

Mindful Inquiry Training as a Tool for Clients

Not only do we use Mindful Inquiry in our small group and individual therapy sessions, we also teach you the process of inquiry, so that you can begin to shift from being trapped in the constant chatter of your mind to questioning your thoughts and responses.

Most people simply follow the stream of thought that arises in their minds; at The Exclusive we train you to question where these thoughts are coming from and decide if you should even listen to them.

We believe that the impact and power of inquiry by itself is so immense that if you mastered only this part of the program, your addiction patterns would be shaken up. You will receive a book, The Exclusive Guide To Becoming Deeply Happy, that gives clear examples of how inquiry is applied in real life situations.

The Challenge of Mindful Inquiry

Mindful Inquiry is rooted in a non-judgmental attitude which is absolutely crucial to the process. The challenge of Mindful Inquiry is that for most people a non-judgmental attitude has to be cultivated. Most of us have learned to distrust questions (inquiry), because oftentimes questions that we received when we grew up were perceived as statements of judgment.

For example –

Why didn’t you do the dishes? I am a bad for not doing the dishes.
Why did you wash your hair in the kitchen sink? I am stupid for washing my hair in the sink. What sort of a person would do that?
Why didn’t you do your homework? There is no excuse for not doing homework. Everybody should do their homework. I am so ashamed. I am bad.

With Mindful Inquiry there are no judgments; there are questions, but no judgments. We simply want to explore the WHY (the belief that is driving the response). Consider, for example, why some people get upset when they get cut off in traffic, while others don’t.

Cut off in Traffic Anger We ask questions so we can find out the belief that the person may hold about getting cut off in traffic.
    Many people get cut off in traffic and don’t get upset or angered by the event. And others do.
Our program is based on asking questions, instead of giving advice.
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