Mindfulness-based therapy approaches promote a focus on awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
Mindfulness approaches emphasize a present-moment focus for individuals. When people are practicing mindfulness, they discover how to pay attention to thoughts, feelings and body sensations that arise in the present moment. In doing so, mindfulness-based approaches teach individuals to be both present and nonjudgmental of their current thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. This can be challenging to do as we may encounter thoughts, feelings and behaviours that we do not always want to experience.
When taking a mindfulness-based approach we can learn that thoughts and feelings do not have a permanence to them. We can let them come and go without needing to change them or make them different. During these interventions, people learn mindful breathing, body scan, mindful walking, mindful eating and the ability to do other routine activities with a mindful stance. These skills allow individuals to ground themselves in the present moment. Through this type of work, individuals are able to accept thoughts and feelings as they are and let them pass through their mind without judgment or evaluation.
There are different types of mindfulness-based approaches that are practiced. For example, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy incorporates both cognitive behavioural strategies as well as mindfulness skills. This treatment approach has demonstrated excellent effectiveness for individuals experiencing a range of issues, including depression, anxiety and OCD. Mindfulness work can also be integrated into other approaches. Overall, individuals benefit from the incorporation of mindfulness into their treatment as these skills allow for one to let go of intrusive thoughts, ruminations and pervasive anxiety.
Our associates at FTPS use mindfulness-based approaches for a variety of clinical issues. We deliver it as stand-alone intervention as well as an important skill during other approaches that can be used to develop a different relationship to one’s thoughts and feelings. We use mindfulness approaches in our individual work as well as in group-based treatment.