Recognizing Objects


Reference: Mindfulness Therapy

It is much easier to recognize physical objects than the subjective thoughts and ideas. So the person should gradually be brought up to a point that he can recognize physical objects in his present environment. The person’s memory is very fragile so no demands should be made to recall things from the past. All conversation must be limited to simple things in the present.

Get the person to recognize large, simple physical objects first by looking, touching and feeling them. Then give him smaller and more complex objects. Do not ask him to recall or recognize things out of his memory.



Purpose: To get the person to recognize physical objects in his present environment.

  1. If it is difficult to get into communication with the person, imitate his actions. This might get you his attention.

  2. Get the person look at various items in his environment with the following command.  

    “Look at that ______.”

    Acknowledge when he looks as directed by saying, “Good, excellent, wonderful, etc.” Do this action gently, calmly and repeatedly for as long as it is comfortable.

  3. If it is difficult to get the person to look at objects in the environment, then bring items to him that he is familiar with. These could be his favorite toys, or possessions. Have him look at them, touch them and feel them until he can recognize them comfortably. 

  4. If it is still difficult to do step 2, take him to locations that he is familiar with, especially those, which were his favorite. Have him look at things there, touch them and feel them until he can recognize them comfortably.

  5. Once you are able to direct his attention go back to step 2. Get the person to look at items in his environment until he can do so comfortably without resistance. He does not have to identify the items to you. Let him also touch and feel them if he wants to.

  6. Next, get the person to identify items by pointing and asking, “What is this?” If he recognizes the item correctly then reinforce it by saying, “Yes. This is _______.” If he is unable to recognize the item then tell him with mindfulness, “This is _______,” and have him examine it by touching and feeling it.

  7. Get him to recognize large and simple objects first, such as, wall, door, chair, table, etc., and then, gradually, smaller and more complex objects.

  8. Encourage him to use all his physical perceptions. Do not ask anything that may require memory and recalling things from the past.

  9. Continue with this exercise until the person can comfortably recognize correctly the various items in his environment. This exercise may take as many sessions as necessary.

  10. After the person can recognize physical objects, ask him to recognize simple characteristics of those things, such as, number, shape and color. Make sure that the characteristics are obvious, that is, numbers are small, shapes are simple, and the colors are bright. 

  11. Next, get the person to visualize and draw simple objects, such as, ball, table, chair, etc. Never exceed his capability to visualize. If ideas get too complex for him to visualize, then make them simpler until he can visualize them comfortably.

  12. Gradually, get him to visualize subjective but simple ideas and describe them, such as, what it is like to get a haircut. Build up his ability to be mindful slowly and carefully. This itself will prove to be a wonderful therapy.

  13. The above exercise may require many sessions. Use your own judgment as to when to start and end a session.


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  • MarkNR  On January 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Then, through observation, find his gradient and operate accordingly.


    • vinaire  On January 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM



      • MarkNR  On January 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        I simply meant to keep keen observation of the individual and watch for signs of overwhelm, as you already indicated. Just wanted to add grade weight to that point.


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