What is Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness therapy is not it’s own therapeutic method or treatment modality. But people think it is and because Mindfulness has become so mainstream. We live in a world that is buzzing filled with to do lists, distractions which often leave us disconnected or stuck.
From a therapeutic perspective, mindfulness represents a conscious awareness of the present moment. It incorporates an open and non-judgmental attitude about your experiences.
Mindfulness therapy or mindfulness based therapies offer techniques to make those stuck moments a pause. The techniques of quieting the mind are appealing! Making people are often looking for therapy that incorporates or uses mindfulness practices.
Mindfulness-based therapies bring awareness to your physical, mental, and emotional condition in the present moment. Mindfulness helps you to become more open to all thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness-based therapies tend to be a more holistic approach to counseling, helping you pay attention to many experiences, from bodily sensations, cognitions, and feelings- without falling into their influence.
There are 4 evidenced based mindfulness-based therapy approaches that were developed directly from Eastern Mindfulness practices:
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
ACT and DBT use mindfulness based techniques to explore and illuminate your individual experience with your thoughts. Thoughts (also called cognitions) include our perception, knowledge, problem solving, judgment, language, and memory. Mindfulness helps to support getting out of thoughts and into our present moment.
MBSR and MBCT use mindfulness meditations to teach meditation and help individuals develop a daily meditation practice. (MBCT) is an evidenced based therapy which has fully integrated mindfulness skills and cognitive behavioral therapy skills. MBCT uses mindfulness meditations to support Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques in order to identify thoughts/cognitions experienced while in a mindfulness state.
Mindfulness techniques are often combined with other treatments like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy). Mindfulness supports the development of objectivity, reduction in negative thoughts can be roadblocks to treatment success and supports psychological flexibility.
Mindfulness approaches in Therapy:
Through the use of techniques like scaling questions, mindfulness practices involve increasing the awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and the action that hinders our personal growth and progress.
Here are a few mindfulness approaches often introduced in therapy:
- Increasing awareness of physical sensations
- Scripted meditations
- Breathing exercises
- Body scan meditations
- Increased awareness of your 5 senses
- Guided Imagery
There are also some Myths about Mindfulness.
#MINDFULNESS MYTH 1
You have to cross your legs and be still
- Well at MUV counseling sometimes we do that but more often than not we use mindfulness techniques while walking or we look to help incorporate techniques into your everyday life whether you want to sit still or move.
#MINDFULNESS MYTH 2
Mindfulness is meditation
- Well mindfulness is more of a relative of meditation not a synonym for meditation. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to your experience, opening your mind and becoming more curious about your own internal experience.
- You do not need to become a hippy, yogi, meditator to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of returning to the present moment.
- That means you can use mindfulness everywhere- walking, eating or while playing candy crush on your phone- It’s just noticing your present moment without judgment. But for some people adding in meditations to their mindfulness practice can be helpful but that’s for you to decide later…
How It Can Help.
Because mindfulness can result in increased self-awareness, relaxation and stress reduction. Mindfulness-based therapy has been proven to help with the following conditions:
stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, psychosis, eating and food issues, suicidal ideation and PTSD.
Mindfulness techniques help build insight into emotions. Daily mindfulness practice helps to build new habits and healing from difficult emotions.
If you need support and are ready to address your struggles from a non-judgmental, holistic perspective, MUV Counseling- Selena Soni, LCSW offers private, in-person counseling in Scottsdale or online therapy for anyone who resides in AZ.