One of the primary approaches utilized in our practice is mindfulness based-treatment.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. This state can be achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Some ways to practice mindfulness includes breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Research has shown that mindfulness helps us reduce anxiety and depression. Mindfulness can also help treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties. Neuroscientists have shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. Mindfulness teaches us how to respond to stress with awareness of what is happening in the present moment, rather than simply acting instinctively, unaware of what emotions or motives may be driving that decision.
Mindfulness-based treatment has been proven to help alleviate symptoms for people with stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Mindfulness-based therapy is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises. Using these tools, I will teach clients how to break away from negative thought patterns so they will be able to fight off depression before it takes hold. By developing a routine meditation practice, clients can use the technique whenever they start to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. When sadness occurs and starts to bring up the usual negative associations that trigger relapse of depression, the client is equipped with tools that will help them replace negative thought patterns with positive.