What is Mindfulness Based Therapy?
Mindfulness Based Therapy is a type of psychotherapy geared toward becoming more aware of yourself and your environment. The goal is to notice your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in a nonjudgmental way. Mindfulness has been used in Eastern medicine, religious practices, and daily life since ancient times.
Why Mindfulness Based Therapy?
Research has demonstrated that Mindfulness Based Therapy decreases rumination of negative thoughts and enhances attention capacity. Mindfulness Based Therapy has also been successful in reducing stress through its focus on present functioning and using skills in the moment to direct attention. Benefits to working memory have been demonstrated with a mindfulness approach to allow individuals in treatment to increase their ability to multi task and problem solve with greater success.
We want the individuals we serve to have a clear idea of what we are doing and why we are doing it in therapy. While everyone has thoughts, feelings, and behaviors it is far easier to identify, explore, and modify one’s thoughts and behaviors. This is not to say that emotions are not important for they are perhaps most important in the grand scheme of things. A Mindfulness Based Therapy approach to treatment simply takes a look at an individual’s experience through the lens of their thoughts and experiences to help them narrow down what they are focusing on in order to control their responses more effectively. Entering therapy can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The ease of learning and practicing skills associated with Mindfulness Based Therapy can be applied to many different issues a person is experiencing.
This may just be a personal preference of ours, but we value practicality. Mindfulness Based Therapy as a cognitive behavioral approach has a well-researched theoretical base, but in treatment what takes precedence is what is currently taking place in an individual’s life and what can be done to make desired changes. Achieving greater insight is a worthwhile pursuit, but we’re more concerned with helping people put that greater insight to use.
We believe in the adage, “It is a therapist’s goal to work themselves out of a job.” At Mindly, we understand that the reason why people come to therapy is because they are looking for help in escaping some sort of distress. We want to help you feel better as soon as possible while also setting you up for long-term success.
At Mindly, we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we know how to solve every problem that our clients experience or that we can somehow lead an individual down a path towards “enlightenment” or “self-actualization” (think Gandhi). Instead, we strive to assist individuals to overcome specific obstacles that may be in their self-defined path towards whatever larger end they choose to pursue. Why? Self-actualization is life-long process, whereas therapy shouldn’t have to be. Mindfulness Based Therapy skills can be utilized with many concerns to increase functioning and satisfaction with life.
Mindfulness Based Therapy works well within a problem-solving/coaching framework and is not just for treating mental illness. We believe that while there is such a thing as mental illness, most of the distress and dysfunction that people (including those with a mental illness) experience is the result of ineffectively utilized mental and behavioral responses to environmental demands. In this sense, mental illness becomes just another obstacle to overcome in pursuit of one’s goals. Because thoughts, emotions, and behaviors underlie all human conscious experience, Mindfulness can be useful in a wide-range of human pursuits including improving physical health, mental focus, and even spirituality.