Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions. In Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is utilized to develop self-knowledge and wisdom that gradually lead to what is described as enlightenment or the complete freedom from suffering. The recent popularity of mindfulness meditation in Western culture in the last few decades was due to several influential thinkers, including S.N. Goenka, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Daniel Goleman.

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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a time-limited 8-week group treatment modality used in major depressive disorder. Patients learn to disengage from maladaptive cognitive processes by integrating mindfulness meditation training and positive behavioural therapy techniques. The goal of MBCT is improve clinical outcomes by developing mindfulness, decreasing rumination and worry, developing compassion, and developing meta-awareness.

Mindfulness involves non-judgment, meaning that one pays attention to our thoughts and feelings with the attitude of an impartial witness – without believing them or taking them personally.

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness means being non-judgmental even about judgments
  • Physical visualization techniques include:
    • Imagine cold air coming into your nose and hot air coming out
    • Place your hands on your stomach and try to imagine a balloon that is getting filled and released with air
  • Mindful running without music
  • Breathing exercises - counting breaths from 1 to 8 (if you lose track, start back at 1
  • Describe the experience of being seated, keeping feet grounded