Mindfulness is a practice that cultivates some specific qualities of mind that can increase general well-being, as well as being very useful in psychotherapy to facilitate healthy desired change. Therapy is a process of discovery as well as a process of implementing change.
… to reside as best one can from moment to moment in awareness with an open heart, a spacious, non-judging, non-reactive mind, and without trying to get anywhere.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is multifaceted and broad-based. Different aspects may be stressed more than others when needed throughout therapy. This may lead some people to conclude that there are different types of mindfulness. I view mindfulness as a whole from which we choose and use the aspect that is pertinent to the task and purpose at hand. Whether for improved well-being or gaining awareness for change and implementing change.
How does one practice mindfulness? Most people first think of a formal sitting meditation practice. Mindfulness can also be developed using an informal mindfulness practice. Either or both can be useful. Your therapist can help you develop a mindfulness practice that suite your preferences and usefulness.
Mindfulness has been around for a long time, reportedly dating back to 500 BCE. More recently, it has been “rediscovered” by therapy researchers and individual psychotherapists. Today it is used in psychotherapy to help one make positive healthy change. Mindfulness Meditation, Guided Mindfulness Meditation, and several mindfulness-based therapies are frequently used. Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned and practiced. William Roderick, LCSW teaches mindfulness skills and is experienced in using a range of mindfulness based therapies.
Mindfulness-based therapies include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Mindfulness meditation is a formal activity that one practices. Meditation can help promote general wellbeing. Mindfulness meditation helps us train the mind so that we are better able to consciously choose where we place our attention. This has great value in therapy since our thoughts affect our mood and behavior. Learning how to better shift our attention provides the opportunity for change to occur.
Guided mindfulness meditation is an exercise led by your therapist. An audio recording can sometimes be used for guided meditation. Guided mindfulness meditation is used in therapy for several purposes. It can be used to learn mindfulness meditation and some ways of using mindfulness in your daily living. Guided mindfulness meditation can also be used by your therapist to help you calm the body and mind. Reducing stress and calming the body are common benefits to both.
Speak with your therapist about how mindfulness can be used within your treatment plan to achieve your therapy goals.