What is Mindfulness Therapy?

Source: Flickr/tussilago-endMany people seeking help for anxiety, depression, stress and other issues are increasingly turning to therapists who incorporate aspects of mindfulness into their treatment. Mindfulness can be a small supplement to therapy or constitute a core component, depending on a person’s therapeutic goals and personal preference.

But what is mindfulness and what does it look like in therapy?

Mindfulness is a non­judgmental awareness of ourselves, our environment, and the interaction between the two. Mindfulness Therapy is a combination of several highly effective and well-researched components: cognitive therapy, meditation and stress reduction. It involves learning relaxation techniques and awareness to focus on and enjoy the present situation rather than on negative ideas.

In mindfulness therapy, you work with your therapist to learn effective meditation techniques and to notice thoughts that distract you from the present moment. For instance, you may be asked to lower your eyes and observe the sensations in your body. Or, you may practice relaxing breathing techniques.

Mindfulness can be useful in dealing with some of the following issues:

>Anxiety

>Depression

>Panic attacks

>Binge-eating

>Sleep problems

>Chronic Pain

>Trichotillomania

>Excoriation

>Parenting Stress

Often the thoughts that cause the most stress, fear, or negative emotions stem from things outside of our control or our current surroundings. Using mindfulness, people are encouraged to recognize the thoughts that pull attention away from the present with acceptance and an open mind. Together, these components form a style of therapy which is present-focused and nonjudgmental.

At the Union Square Practice, Mindfulness Therapy is geared towards teaching individuals skills to make adjustments to their thoughts and actions that result in positive changes in the way they feel.