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Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy

Updated on April 30, 2013
Unlike this statue, your ideas, beliefs and attitudes are not set in stone.
Unlike this statue, your ideas, beliefs and attitudes are not set in stone. | Source

To Learn More About Mindfulness, Consider These Books

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.

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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 years ago from london

      Mindfulness. A big one and recurring topic recently. I say that if it is helpful to enhance our inner quietude, then why not. Psychotherapy? Just don't know. Peace.

    • profile image

      ColleenDaniels 

      4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this information, very interesting.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      SuzetteNaples I appreciate hearing from someone who has utilized the process and even happier to learn you've found it beneficial, by whatever name it is called.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      This is a very interesting and fascinating process. I listened to the videos as well as reading the hub. Surprisingly, I do this in my relaxation exercises but I just have not called it by the term mindfulness. In fact it is, as it is bringing your body into the moment and mindful of the present. Good presentation and well explained. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      VickiW, I agree with you that all of us could benefit from the practice of mindfulness. Too often we miss what's happening here and now because our focus is on the future.

      Thank you for your read and comments.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 

      5 years ago

      I found this interesting, and can see Tht it would be helpful for depression. Mindfulness is important for all of us though, and makes life so much more wonderful. I think of it as closely tied to appreciation of what we do, and our surroundings.

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