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What is Mindfulness Therapy?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindful Self-Compassion Therapy (MSCT) are counseling approaches that fall under the umbrella of mindfulness therapy. Stemming from ancient Buddhist philosophy, the American professor Jon Kabat-Zinn modernized mindfulness and introduced it to the western world throughout the eighties and nineties. As Kabat-Zinn applied mindfulness to a more scientific and less religious context, he created a model called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. From this, other mindfulness approaches—including MBCT and MSCT—were developed. All forms of mindfulness therapies aim to help clients become more present and aware of thoughts and feelings without judgment. When clients can respond from a place of awareness instead of reactivity, they can function better in all aspects of life.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindful Self-Compassion Therapy (MSCT) are counseling approaches that fall under the umbrella of mindfulness therapy.
Stemming from ancient Buddhist philosophy, the American professor Jon Kabat-Zinn modernized mindfulness and introduced it to the western world throughout the eighties and nineties.
As Kabat-Zinn applied mindfulness to a more scientific and less religious context, he created a model called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. From this, other mindfulness approaches—including MBCT and MSCT—were developed.
All forms of mindfulness therapies aim to help clients become more present and aware of thoughts and feelings without judgment. When clients can respond from a place of awareness instead of reactivity, they can function better in all aspects of life.
Though There Are Different Forms Of Mindfulness Therapy, Each Approach Is Effective
In particular, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction helps clients cope with unwanted or unforeseen circumstances, while Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy can help adjust the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. And Mindful Self-Compassion Therapy is especially useful for self-motivation and self-encouragement in the face of adversity.
Mindfulness practices have been identified as having a range of positive outcomes for emotional, mental, and physical health.
Because it generally enhances awareness, emotional development, and acceptance, mindfulness therapy is used in conjunction with a variety of counseling approaches.
How Mindfulness Is Incorporated Into Counseling Sessions
A foundational principle of mindfulness therapy is that we all have a “monkey mind” that is prone to anxious and negative thinking.
This is part of our evolution as a species because we are wired to combat perceived threats. As such, anxiety is unavoidable, suffering is universal, and neither is our fault.
But mindfulness offers relief from distress where other approaches might fall short. Other therapies teach surface skills for coping with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and unresolved trauma.
But mindfulness—especially Mindful Self-Compassion Therapy—offers tools for meaningfully targeting the shame that keeps us stuck in a cycle of perceived failure and inadequacy.
With the skills learned in mindfulness therapy, we can learn to respond to inner experiences in a meaningful way that will allow us to cope with life’s inevitable pains.
The Therapeutic Process
Usually, mindfulness techniques and Mindful Self-Compassion Therapy are used to overcome the stress and triggers creating barriers to a client’s ability to have empathy for themselves.
Using directives, imagery, physical activities, or other sensation-based exercises, a therapist will help a client increase their awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions at any given moment.
As coping skills develop, clients can apply their skills to more complicated thoughts and emotions—especially as they relate to feelings of shame, anger, and guilt.
Clients can use this insight to see how they contribute to their own distress when responding to unwanted thoughts and sensations.
Not only does mindfulness therapy target “negative” experiences, but it also helps clients motivate themselves with kindness rather than criticism.
In the process, clients learn elements of positive psychology, including savoring the moment, experiencing gratitude, and embracing the good, even in tough situations.
A mindful skillset paves the way for a healthier relationship with oneself and those around them. With new perspectives and an improved mindset, mindfulness promotes a way of living that reduces anxiety, depression, and emotional dysregulation.
Mindfulness Therapy At Eddins Counseling
At Eddins Counseling, mindfulness is an essential element of our therapeutic approach. We incorporate mindfulness skills into our work with clients, and many of the methods we use—including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)—have mindfulness built into their frameworks.
Our approach to mindfulness therapy is a blend of MBSR, MBCT, and MSCT models. However, we maintain a specific emphasis on compassion.
We’ve found that our clients—especially those who struggle with judgmental inner voices—benefit when they can learn to foster self-acceptance and self-compassion.
For this reason, mindfulness therapy can help anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, negative body image, and stress that has become unmanageable.
We focus primarily on a Compassion-Focused therapeutic approach that blends MBSR, MBCT, and MSCT with an emphasis on self-empathy.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy FAQ's
In general, mindfulness teaches self-awareness, allowing you to become more present in the moment.
Mindfulness also encourages intentionality, which can help you engage with life more purposefully and practice kindness toward yourself.
With these skills combined, you will develop self-regulation techniques that can help you overcome uncomfortable feelings and cultivate more peace in your life.
With its emphasis on perception, body awareness, and thinking patterns, mindfulness literally changes the brain’s neural pathways.
As cognitive blocks–which often take the form of anxiety and other mental health challenges–are cleared, clients using mindfulness can escape the patterns and behaviors keeping them stuck.
Meditation incorporates elements of mindful self-awareness, but mindfulness therapy does not always use meditation. Talk therapy draws from a variety of methods to help clients become more self-compassionate, and mindfulness is just one of the tools that cultivates emotional awareness.
Though guided imagery and relaxation techniques may be used in counseling, there is more verbal processing in therapy than in a meditation session.
Self-Awareness Is The Key To Self-Compassion
Therapy is always tailored to meet clients’ needs. Therefore, mindfulness is not always our primary treatment approach, but it’s usually very effective when incorporated.
Through our personal and professional experience with mindfulness, we know firsthand that this skill set is highly beneficial.
When we can learn to accept painful circumstances and embrace ourselves for our strengths and resilience, we can let go of the counterproductive thoughts and feelings that deter our progress.
If you struggle with anxiety, stress management, and an inability to regulate difficult emotions, mindfulness therapy at Eddins Counseling can help.
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What Clients Are Saying
Lauren Has Been Most Helpful
Lauren has been most helpful. She is an excellent listener & validates my feelings. Her insight is accurate & I leave our sessions feeling empowered. Lauren has provided me with more tools & together we come up with suggestions for daily practices to ease stress & cope with conflict. Thank you!