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Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy
To Learn More About Mindfulness, Consider These Books
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
What Is Mindfulness?
You've likely heard the expression to be "present in the moment." Mindfulness is about being present in each moment in a particular fashion; to experience each sensation, each thought and feeling and all without judgment.
It's a pretty tall order, at least at first glance. Indeed, Buddhism teaches that to achieve such a level of mindfulness is a lifetime journey, one that is practiced each and every day.
Mindfulness is similar to awareness and yet not the same. You can be aware you are eating, but not be mindful, meaning you are putting food into your mouth and chewing it, then swallowing but doing so without savoring the taste of each bite, its feel in your mouth and how slowly but surely your appetite is being satisfied. To experience eating fully is to be mindful of all these details.
Mindfulness, or being present in the moment, is to be fully present in the only period of time over which any of us have control -- the moment we are in right now. Everything else is either the past, which no longer exists, or the future, which is only imagined.
Mental Health Through Mindfulness Exercise
Mindfulness Based Therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, MBCT, is a meshing of traditional cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the mindfulness-based stress reduction program; Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale developed MBCT based on Kabat Zinn's program.
Mindfulness-based psychotherapy has been shown useful in the treatment of depression -- even in treatment-resistant depression. In fact, it was developed specifically to help people who have experienced repeated bouts of depression.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction technique program is an eight-week program that has proven successful in a range of conditions, from chronic pain, high blood pressure and cancer to anxiety and panic.
Mindfulness and Behavioral Change
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
How Does Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Help with Depression?
The experts at MBCT.com, the website that is home to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy by its creators, explains that when depression begins, individuals tend to develop tunnel vision -- a limited awareness of the world around them, skewing their ability to notice the beginning stages of a downward trend in thoughts and emotions.
MBCT helps to provide more clarity of thought and the ability to begin to notice the patterns of thought and feelings that signal such a spiral is about to begin.
In addition, mindfulness teaches you how to put an end to negative thoughts and feelings that may arise from memories of the past or anxiety about the future. The techniques teach you to develop a perspective in which you are non-judgmental about the world, and most importantly, non-judgmental and compassionate to your own thoughts and feelings.
Resources and References
- Mindfulness Meditation as a Buddhist Practice: Insight Meditation Center
- What is mindfulness? | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn.My own definition of mindfulness is very simple: Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: theory... [Can J Psychiatry. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI
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