Mindfulness therapy, also called mindfulness-based therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that uses the practice of mindfulness to promote good mental and physical health.
It can help people with mental health issues like depression, addiction, anxiety, and other mental conditions. It can also help you if you have physical problems that are causing or caused by your mental health issues.
Tiffany and her team focus on types of therapy that rely heavily on mindfulness techniques, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
To learn more, scroll and read about The Soul Compass Mindfulness Services
More about mindfulness therapies at The Soul Compass
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy, teaches clients to learn and use new skills. It is called Dialectical Behavior Therapy because it recognizes and works to increase understanding of change and acceptance and how these opposites interact to bring healing.
Mindfulness exercises help patients become more self-aware. In DBT, the awareness is focused on the thoughts that come to mind at the moment.The goal is to become more mindful, to regulate emotions more effectively, to become more tolerant of stress, and to be able to interact with others in ways that are more rational and effective.
Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)
In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, you learn how to practice mindfulness in exercises designed to foster a greater awareness of your emotions. During these mindfulness exercises, you learn to stay with what is happening in the present moment so that you don't let your life run on auto-pilot.
ACT can also help you deal with pain by allowing you to detach from the thoughts surrounding them. When the thoughts are separated from the emotions, the feelings can subside. You can assess your situation more rationally and make better choices.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is a later development of Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. MBCT was first pioneered by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale as a therapy for people who suffered from recurrent depression.
MBCT uses mindfulness meditation to teach people about the different modes of mind related to moods. You also learn how to change your attitudes towards these modes of thinking. The process starts with simple mindfulness instructions, like eating or walking mindfully. Eventually, mindfulness exercises focused on negative moods are used to promote self-care by giving you access to both your thoughts about what to do about sadness and to information about your present-moment condition.
Mindfulness Therapy Techniques (MTT)
Remember, no matter what you're doing, you can do it mindfully. In fact, the goal of mindfulness therapy is to help you develop an attitude of mindfulness that informs every part of your life. The following are just a few of the techniques used in mindfulness-based therapies. Tiffany and her team at The Soul Compass use a number of different mindfulness techniques, including the following;
Mindful meditation is a method of sitting still and noticing whatever comes to you nonjudgmentally and in the present moment. You may notice feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Memories may come up for you, too.
During meditation, you don't dwell on these thoughts, feelings, or memories. Instead, you just notice them and let them pass. Many techniques include noticing feelings like pain or anxiety and then turning your attention to the thoughts you have about those feelings.
One type of mindfulness meditation is the mindful body scan. This is often done lying down, but it can also be done very effectively sitting or even standing. You start the scan by focusing your awareness on your feet. You notice how your feet feel physically, any concerns you have about your feet, which foot you like the best, and other thoughts and feelings as your therapist suggested. Then, you continue up your body, one area at a time, until you reach the top of your head. By this time, you are calm and focused.
Mindfulness meditation is a calming practice, but it is by no means an inactive one. Your mind is working consistently. It's just working in a way you might not have experienced before.
Breathing exercises can help you settle into a mindful state. By breathing deeply in a controlled way, you focus your attention on your bodily sensations and your emotions.
After the breathing exercise is over, you usually feel increased concentration and mental focus, partly because of the physical effects of breathing exercises, and partly because your mind is relaxed enough to become clearer and less cluttered.
Nearly any physical movement can be done mindfully. For example, mindful walking just means walking slowly, noticing every movement you make in the course of taking a step. As you become more experienced with physical movement with mindfulness, your therapist might prompt you to notice the thoughts and emotions you have about this process of walking and the physical sensations associated with it.
In many of these techniques, the therapist gives you verbal cues to help you direct your awareness to specific aspects of the total experience you're having. These words or sentences help you develop mindfulness skills you can use in your everyday life.
Two guided imagery exercises using mindfulness involve the not-dwelling aspect of the practice. One is to imagine your worrying thoughts as fluffy clouds in a blue sky. Whenever those clouds/thoughts come into view, you notice them and then watch them as they sweep away across the sky.
Another is to imagine your worrying thoughts as leaves gliding down a river with the current. In your imagination, you place a worry/leaf on the river as soon as it appears. Then, you watch as the river carries it away, allowing it to pass freely without trying to hold onto it or recapture it.
Mindfulness Techniques For Couples
Several techniques have been developed to help couples build their connection by being mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in joint therapy exercises. One of these exercises is to look deeply into each other's eyes and focus on sending them loving messages through your eyes. Another involves looking into your partner's eyes and focusing on their needs and strengths.
Bringing Mindfulness To Your Daily Life
Being mindful in a weekly therapy session is a positive thing. One of the greatest benefits of it is that you learn and practice mindfulness techniques until you develop a mindful attitude. Then, you can carry that beneficial attitude into your daily life and put it to work in your relationships.
Benefits Of Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness therapy has many different benefits and can help nearly anyone live a better, more satisfying, happier life.
Stress And Anxiety Reduction
Because mindfulness is a calming practice, you can reduce the stress that's causing you physical and emotional symptoms. Anxiety naturally decreases as you view the present in a nonjudgmental way. The thoughts are still there and can be assessed and dealt with rationally, while the stress and anxiety you feel about your circumstances are acknowledged and experienced fully in the present moment.
The Decrease In Depression Relapses
Mindfulness probably helps people who have never been depressed to avoid depression. What is known for certain is that it can be extremely effective in helping people prevent relapses. Depression is associated with certain thought patterns. Sometimes, you might have these thoughts when you aren't depressed. If you are aware of these thoughts as well as in touch with your memories about how past depressions started, you can work on changing those self-destructive thought patterns.
The awareness that comes with mindfulness practice is in itself an amazing benefit of mindfulness therapy. When you learn to be mindful, you can enjoy every moment of your life to its fullest, including all the sensations and information that are a part of it. If you have bad feelings or negative thoughts, being aware of them in a nonjudgmental way can prevent you from letting them set you on a downward course.
Mindfulness practice can help you with emotional regulation, which is one of the primary uses of it in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. You don't have to be doing DBT to benefit from regulating your emotions better, either. When you notice your emotions and are aware of how they're influencing you before you act, you can make better choices in the way you express feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and pain. Mindfulness therapy can teach you to stop and become self-aware before you react to situations of everyday life.
Increased Flexibility In Responses
No two situations are completely identical. When you go about your life in an automatic, unmindful way, it's easy to rely on familiar patterns of behavior. Mindfulness therapy gives you the tools you need to be aware of new options so that you can become more flexible and respond more appropriately to each present situation.
Increased Clarity And Concentration
Mindfulness techniques, in all their varieties, increase your mental clarity and concentration. These exercises clear your mind of lingering thoughts, doubts, and feelings that are a part of the past rather than the present moment that you're dealing with right now.
Mindfulness for couples is a relatively new field, but researchers have found that couples who are more mindful in their relationship are more satisfied with it. Mindfulness in a marriage has been shown to enhance each of the partner's ability and desire to avoid aggression.
You can start mindfulness therapy right away at The Soul Compass. Once you learn this wonderful practice, you can bring mindfulness you your personal life, your work, and the relationships that mean so much to you.