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Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Overview

Mindfulness-based therapy involves bringing attention to what is happening ‘right now’—thoughts, feelings, physical sensations—with an attitude of acceptance rather than judgment. The definition of ‘mindfulness’ is: “the non-judgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal and external stimuli as they arise.” This involves stopping, paying attention, becoming aware of present-moment realities, and not judging whatever is happening as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ In other words, mindfulness is about paying attention to whatever is happening, being aware of the experience in the present moment, and not thinking about the past or the future.

Rooted in the Buddhist tradition, the practice of mindfulness teaches us to sustain our energies with balance even when our lives present us with challenges, ultimately allowing us to uncover true purpose and meaning in our lives. Observing thoughts, sensations, and emotions in this way allows us to create some distance between ourselves and the troubling thoughts or emotions we experience. Thoughts, feelings, and sensations are allowed to arise while maintaining an unattached, accepting, and non-judgmental stance. This practice also allows for the deeper recognition that thoughts and feelings are nothing more than “mental events” and may not be accurate reflections of reality. By observing thoughts and emotions in this more distanced and accepting way, an individual can approach a stressful situation with a ‘mindful response,’ rather than automatically reacting in ways that actually increase their distress. 

Skills & Benefits

Many people go about their days on ‘auto-pilot,’ still suffering from experiences that have happened to them in the past or from experiences anticipated to happen in the future. Mindfulness-based therapy is not interested in pushing away these painful experiences but rather changing our relationship with them. Mindfulness is a skill that allows you to respond, rather than react, to difficult situations and emotions. Mindfulness not only works to reduce overall suffering but also to increase overall well-being. As you begin to have more control over your choice about whether you want to continue engaging in specific emotions and behavior patterns, a sense of confidence, freedom, and joy begins to emerge.

Potential skills that you will learn in mindfulness-based psychotherapy:

  • Distress Tolerance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Attention Regulation
  • Body Awareness
  • Relaxation
  • Mental Flexibility
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Patience

Potential benefits of mindfulness-based psychotherapy:

  • Increased Self-Compassion
  • Unraveling Of Old Patterns
  • Improved Relationships
  • Higher Levels Of Responsibility
  • Greater Experience Of Control
  • Increased Clarity Of Mind
  • Reduced Stress, Tension, Or Physical Pain
  • Reduced Symptomatology Of Depression And Anxiety

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