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
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between CBT and MBCT?
Do mindfulness-based approaches actually work?
What techniques are used with mindfulness-based approaches?
- Mindfulness practices in everyday life
- Tuning into your senses
- Body scan exercises
- Attuned breathing
- Mindfulness stretching or physical exercise
- Progressive relaxation