Mindfulness Counselling


Several definitions of mindfulness have been used in modern Western psychology. Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that involves bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis, or involves paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

Bishop,Lau, and colleagues (2007) offered a two component model of mindfulness: The first component involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.(Definition adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_ (psychology).

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since its inception, MBSR has evolved into a common form of complementary medicine addressing a variety of health problems. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction brings together mindfulness meditation and yoga. Although MBSR is training with potential benefits for all types of participants, historically, students have suffered from a wide range of chronic disorders and diseases. The mind is known to be a factor in stress and stress-related disorders, and meditation has been shown to positively affect a range of autonomic physiological processes, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing overall arousal and emotional reactivity.  The MBSR program started in the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 and is now offered in over 200 medical centers, hospitals, and clinics around the world.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

is a form of MBSR that includes information about depression as well as cognitive therapy-based exercises linking thinking and its resulting impact on feeling. MBCT demonstrates how participants can best work with these thoughts and feelings when depression threatens to overwhelm them and how to recognize depressive moods that can bring on negative thought patterns.

Mindfulness and Anxiety

Fear and anxiety are natural states of being human. Often we try to “rid ourselves” of these uncomfortable feeling. Mindfulness teaches us to change our relationship to anxiety rather than attempting to push anxiety away (which often makes anxiety / fear worse). Mindfulness allows control of how we react to anxiety, rather than being controlled.  Mindfulness has roots in Buddhist philosophy, and involves bringing curiosity and compassion the one’s experience in the present moment.

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