Mindfulness Therapy for Mental Health Problems
Mindfulness Therapy is a combination of conventional forms of therapy mixed with the Buddhist traditional philosophy of ‘mindfulness’.
It is most frequently encountered today in the form of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT or as a stand-alone form of therapy in itself.
Mindfulness therapy has been shown to be highly effective both in conventional person-centered therapy as well as in Forensic settings where it shows promise for reducing recidivism (or re-offending).
The principal concept within mindfulness therapy is that rather than grabbing for things we desire or pushing away against things that we fear or don’t want (for example feelings of Anxiety) that we should allow all of these feelings and thoughts to simply be a part of who we are as individuals, to accept them and to ‘go with them’.
By doing this we can learn to cope with them much more effectively.
Only NOW is Real
We use many of the concepts of mindfulness therapy here at Tranceform Psychology when helping people to understand their ‘thinking’ processes and behaviours in relation to many common psychological problems.
We do this by helping people to think about the ‘ideas’ of Past, Present and Future from a mindfulness therapy perspective in the following way:
The past no longer exists, as humans our existence is only ever actually experienced in the reality that is NOW, so although we may have a sense that the past is real, it is only ever a ‘construction’ within our minds rather than being ‘real’.
This is a significant point as many people believe that events and experiences that happened to them in the past somehow ‘determine’ how they experience life today. If the past no longer exists how can something that no longer exists continue to determine how we experience life today?
Well, it can’t!
What CAN happen is that we can ‘think’ about past events and experiences in such a way that we believe that they continue to influence us, but this is what we are doing today (thinking at any moment) and so it’s not really the past, just HOW we are remembering the past right here and now in the present!
Frequently, people who tend to spend a lot of time thinking about (or trying the ‘change’) the past experience the associated feelings of Depression rather than Anxiety, which is worrying about what ‘might’ happen and so is situated in ‘the future’!
You cannot change the past but you can think about it differently.
The Present (Now)
Only NOW, this singular moment in time, is actually real and by the time you get to this point in the sentence, the time that you started this sentence is now the past and no longer exists!
When we focus our thoughts and attention on THIS very moment we ‘fully inhabit’ the moment and are aware of what is happening around us, this might be our breathing rhythm or feedback from our bodies about other sensory input.
When we experience the moment itself we generally do NOT experience either Depressive or Anxious feelings which arise by either ‘dwelling’ on the past or ‘worrying’ about what might happen in the future respectively.
The future does not exist and in fact remains a mental construction forever because as we move into the ‘future’ it becomes the present and the future once again becomes a time that has not happened yet!
The future is always the ‘fantasy’ of what will happen ‘next’ after the present moment passes – which of course is always the forward moving experience of ‘now’.
You generally cannot experience the feeling of depression about the future because it’s not happened yet and you cannot be ‘down’ about some thing that doesn’t exist.
By worrying about the future and thinking ‘what if’ our minds explore the range of possible scenarios that ‘could go wrong’ (which of course contains infinite possibilities as it has not happened yet) and as a result tends to result in Anxiety.
Anxiety is an emotional response to something we fear might happen. We cannot be anxious about something that has ceased to be and is in the past, that is, unless we think about those things (right now in the present) and ‘create’ the feelings of anxiety.
You cannot change the future as it doesn’t exist.
Mindfulness Therapy can be very effective in helping people to realise that spending lots of thinking time ruminating about the past or worrying about the future is really highly unproductive as the chances of changing either of them is zero.
If you are able to spend the greater proportion of your conscious moments dealing with exactly what is happening to you RIGHT NOW then you are likely to be happier and free from either depression or anxiety which are firmly situated in these mental constructions we call the past or the future!
Joan’s Complete Wellness Programme
Joan offers mindfulness therapy as a component element within her Complete Wellness Programme which you can read about here.
Initial Consultations for Mindfulness Therapy
Joan offers all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your problems and how mindfulness may be right for you.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
You can get in touch with her on her mobile: 07434 776504
or e-mail her on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a suitable time with her.
During this consultation sh will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.