A form of psychotherapy, mindfulness therapy focuses on learning to be more aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, external surroundings, and situations and how to reduce automated responses, such as judgment or stress.
It is a talk therapy used for several years in religious practices, eastern medicine, and daily life. Mindfulness promotes physical and mental well-being and helps anyone dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, addiction, and more.
Also, other practices like yoga, including mindfulness techniques, don’t qualify for mindfulness therapy because it doesn’t have psychotherapy with a mental health professional.
However, some mental health professionals may include meditation in psychotherapy. This article will explain mindfulness in detail, including the types and training required, the types of professionals who provide the therapy, and what it accomplishes.
What Does Mindfulness Therapy Involve?
As discussed earlier, mindfulness is a type of psychotherapy, a conversation-based intervention with a mental health professional who assesses, diagnoses, and treats dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors.
In mindfulness therapy, this intervention is carried out by incorporating awareness in a person about their thoughts, emotions, feelings, and situations. And this is done by a professional who talks with a person to develop understanding, which helps them avoid destructive behaviors and automatic responses.
Types of Professional Who Provides Mindfulness Therapy
Anyone from psychologists, therapists, and licensed professional counselors to licensed clinical social workers can provide mindfulness therapy to patients. However, the types of sessions delivered depend on the individual.
For example, addiction therapy sessions can be one-on-one or in group settings in an office or via video conferencing.
Conditions Treated in Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness therapy can be used for medical conditions such as:
- Chronic illness
- Chronic pain
- Bipolar disorder
- Anger management
- Diabetes mellitus
- Emotional regulation
- Cognitive function and flexibility
- Autoimmune disease
- Side effects of cancer
- High blood pressure
- Immune disorders
- Fears and phobias
- Life benefits
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Mental illness
- Substance abuse
Types of Mindfulness Therapy
Different types of mindfulness therapy include mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (MBSR).
Mindfulness therapy may also be used or incorporated into other therapies for addiction.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
In mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT, mindfulness practices are incorporated with cognitive therapy.
Cognitive therapy involves identifying dysfunctional or destructive thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and choosing the right ones, called cognitive restructuring.
In MBCT, cognitive restructuring and mindfulness meditation are applied together to treat an individual. One of the standard MBCT techniques is a three-minute breathing space. During this exercise, an individual is asked to follow three simple steps:
- Ask yourself how you are doing and focus on the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arise after that.
- Breathe with all your awareness in mind and sit with it.
- Assess the physical sensations in your body and how they are affecting you.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MBCBT)
In mindfulness-based CBT, mindfulness practices are used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, a talk therapy that focuses on how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors influence one another.
Also, “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” and “mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy” are sometimes used interchangeably.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy (MBSR)
Mindfulness practices and stress management techniques are incorporated together in mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy.
In this therapy, a mindfulness protocol is explicitly created for stress. MBSR also improves chronic physical and mental illness by helping people overcome symptoms and clinical problems.
Note: Many mindfulness practices, such as breathing techniques, yoga, visualization, and meditation, do not involve therapy. You can perform these therapies for addiction at home without needing professional help.
Benefits of Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness therapy is effective in treating both mental and physical medical conditions and also addresses life concerns. A few health benefits of mindfulness therapy include:
- Improved memory and focus.
- Increased emotional regulation.
- Reduced stress.
- Reduced depression and anxiety.
- Increased relationship satisfaction.
- Better physical health.
- Cognitive improvement.
Mindfulness Enhances Overall Quality of Life
Mindfulness therapy teaches people to be more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions and keep their automatic responses in check. A type of talk therapy and psychotherapy, mindfulness therapy is a set of practices that enhances the overall quality of life.
Provided by psychologists, therapists, and other mental health professionals online and offline, mindfulness therapy helps people overcome depression, anxiety, emotional stress, and other mental health conditions.
Also, mindfulness therapy can be used in conjunction with other interventions to help people cope with the side effects of mental conditions. If you think mindfulness therapy is the right kind of addiction therapy for you, talk to your healthcare provider today.
As a result, you will enjoy the benefits of mindfulness therapy, including better physical health, improved symptoms, and reduced stress.