Mindfulness-Based Approaches

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Mindfulness-Based Approaches

Mindfulness-based therapies integrate mindfulness strategies with other therapy practices. For example, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can help teach someone how to use (left-brain) cognitive techniques and (right-brain) mindfulness meditation to address triggers that can contribute to anxiety and depression.

Through the lens of MBCT, clients learn how to recognize themselves as distant from their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This often provides the space necessary to increase self-awareness and alter negative thought patterns — which can be particularly helpful during distressing or overwhelming situations. Mindfulness-based approaches help clients learn to accept their feelings in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.

We often hear mindfulness associated with meditation. However, mindfulness and meditation are not the same things. While many people do find meditation helpful, it is not for everyone, and by no means required to obtain the full benefits of mindfulness. Often clients find that the most helpful practices are those that are naturally and easily incorporated into their existing daily activities.

When are Mindfulness-Based Approaches Used?

Researchers have found that incorporating mindfulness can be helpful for individuals who struggle with recurrent or treatment-resistant depression. In addition, it may be used for the following:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression linked to chronic health conditions
  • Low mood and unhappiness
  • Depression-relapse prevention
  • Treatment-resistant depression

How/When we Use Mindfulness at Bloor West Therapy?

We often incorporate mindfulness throughout sessions, especially when working with anxiety or mood struggles. Mindfulness can be helpful in teaching clients:

Frequently Asked Questions

MBCT includes components of CBT. CBT involves helping patients recognize certain thought patterns and change them, which then alters their feelings and behaviours. Meanwhile, MBCT builds on this by incorporating mindfulness aspects, such as breathing techniques and meditation.
Yes, mindfulness has been shown to help a variety of mental health issues including depression and anxiety. For example, while CBT can help you change the way you think about situations, incorporating mindfulness takes this a step further by helping you learn to increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings, fully experience the present moment instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, and to direct your attention to what is most helpful in the moment...
Depending on your therapist, there are many different mindfulness-based techniques that are used. These include:
  • Mindfulness practices in everyday life
  • Tuning into your senses
  • Body scan exercises
  • Attuned breathing
  • Mindfulness stretching or physical exercise
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Progressive relaxation
The benefits of mindfulness include helping you become more aware of your internal world, which gives you important information for working through in therapy and is a critical step towards change. Additionally, it helps you view any thoughts without judgement. In many ways, this can provide you with more clarity, as well as allow you to let go of negative thought patterns. As a result, your quality of life improves and you feel better equipped to manage challenging times. Mindfulness can help you quiet your mind, gain mental control and increase emotion regulation.
"Sometimes, talking it out can help reach clarity. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees when you are overcome with emotion or overwhelmed with thoughts. We can help you sort it out."
Dr. Ragne Pajo
Registered Clinical Psychologist
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