Mindfulness is the awareness of internal thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as the environment and external situations, without automatic responses such as judgment or stress. Mindfulness therapy is a type of talk therapy that focuses on learning how to be more aware and reduce automatic responses.
This article explains what mindfulness therapy includes, the types of professionals they provide, and the training required for providers. We will also discuss the different types of mindfulness therapy and their uses.
What does it involve
Mindfulness therapy is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy. Psychotherapy is a conversation-based intervention provided by a trained mental health professional to assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors.
Mindfulness therapy does this by incorporating awareness of thoughts, emotions, feelings, surroundings, and situations. It involves conversations with professionals that help a person develop a greater awareness of their thoughts and the world around them. This heightened awareness helps them avoid destructive or automatic responses or habits.
The types of professionals they provide
Different types of professionals may provide mindfulness therapy, including psychologists and therapists. Other health professionals, such as licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical social workers, may incorporate mindfulness.
Sessions can be delivered individually or in a group setting, in an office or virtually via video conferencing.
Mindfulness Techniques vs. Therapy
While other practices such as yoga and meditation include mindfulness techniques, this is not considered a mindfulness treatment because it does not include psychotherapy with a mental health professional. However, some mental health professionals incorporate meditation into psychotherapy.
Addressing Conditions and Concerns
Mindfulness therapy is used to treat a variety of different medical conditions, both mental and physical. Additionally, it can help address life concerns that are not limited to medical conditions. Some examples of the health and life benefits of mindfulness therapy include reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, improved focus and memory, reduced stress, increased satisfaction with relationships, and an overall increased quality of life.
Mindfulness therapy can be used to:
Types of mindfulness therapy
Mindfulness therapy is a type of psychotherapy. There are also different types of mindfulness therapy, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (MBSR). Additionally, mindfulness can be incorporated into other forms of therapy.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT, is a type of psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness practices with cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy, or CT, is a type of talk therapy that involves identifying dysfunctional thoughts and learning how to choose different thoughts instead, which is called cognitive restructuring. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may include this cognitive restructuring technique in addition to mindfulness meditation or other mindfulness practices.
A three-minute breathing space is a common MBCT technique. During this exercise, you are asked to follow three 1-minute steps:
Ask yourself, “How do I do now?” Focus on and identify the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that may come from this question.
Bring your awareness to your breath and sit with it.
Evaluate your physical sensations and how they affect the rest of your body.
Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, or mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, is a type of psychotherapy or integrative therapy that integrates mindfulness practices with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of talk therapy that combines cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy, focusing on how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors relate to and influence each other.
The terms mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy are sometimes used interchangeably.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Relief Therapy, or MBSR
Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy is a type of psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness practices with stress management techniques. This creates a stress-reducing mindfulness protocol, rather than practicing something else that has the added benefit of relieving stress.
The MBSR program has also been shown to be effective in improving chronic diseases, both physical and mental, by helping people cope with clinical symptoms and problems.
Other types of mindfulness training
In addition to mindfulness therapy, there are other mindfulness practices that do not involve therapy. These include breathing techniques, visualization, yoga, and meditation. It can be learned at home without professional support. This is in contrast to mindfulness-based treatment options, which require support from a mental health professional.
Education, Training and Certifications
Since mindfulness-based therapy is a type of psychotherapy, it requires training and certification to facilitate this. The specific education, training and certification depend on the provider.
For example, psychiatrists earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD), psychologists earn a Doctorate (Ph.D), and therapists and counselors generally earn a master’s degree in their respective fields. They may receive specialized training and certification in specific mindfulness techniques and practices as well as education and licensing requirements. There are also training and certifications available to learn how to teach other mindfulness-based practices such as yoga and meditation.
Mindfulness therapy is a type of talk therapy that focuses on learning how to be more aware of thoughts, feelings, emotions, surroundings and situations and reduce automatic responses. It is provided by psychologists, therapists, and other mental health professionals through conversations in the office or virtually via video conference.
Mindfulness-based therapy can treat various physical and mental health conditions and improve general daily functioning and quality of life.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (MBSR) are all types of mindfulness-based therapy. Providers of mindfulness-based therapy, such as psychologists and therapists, have a master’s or doctoral level education and may hold additional certifications specific to mindfulness.
Word from Verywell
Mindfulness-based therapy can be an effective treatment for many health conditions. In addition, it can be used in combination with other interventions as a way to help deal with the side effects of medical conditions. If you think you might benefit from mindfulness-based therapy or mindfulness practices, talk to your health care provider. You can enjoy the benefits of improved symptoms, increased health, and an improved quality of life.