A Mindful Approach to Therapy
Using mindfulness to help increase our awareness of what's going on in body and mind has become increasingly popular as part of an integrative approach to counselling. Mindfulness helps us develop a deeper awareness of what's happening in our body and mind, in this moment.
Many of us develop old, habitual ways of thinking, feeling and reacting that aren’t always helpful to our sense of happiness and wellbeing. A mindful approach to counselling helps us step back and see the unhelpful patterns that keep us ‘stuck’ rather than helping us moving forward. We learn to step back from our thoughts and feelings and observe them objectively, without getting so caught up in them.
Increasing our awareness of our inner experience helps us notice the first signs of stress, anxiety and depression sooner, so we’re able to do something about it before it spirals out of control. It gives us the tools to cope with difficult or unwanted thoughts and feelings, so we feel more in control of our experiences.
Mindful awareness also helps us work out what's really important to us, and identify our own personal strengths, qualities and values. It helps us establish a stronger sense of self and inner stability. It helps us appreciate the things we do have, rather than dwelling on the things we don’t. We learn to value our worth as a human being, which promotes self-respect, ease and wellbeing.
I'm trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which I use alongside Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). There are a number of mindfulness therapies which essentially combine mindfulness techniques with cognitive and behavioural techniques, to help increase our self-awareness of what's going on in body and mind.
Although mindfulness can be part of an integrative approach, the individual is always at the heart of my work. How we work will depend on the client's individual needs, preferences and circumstances. Some clients want to learn more about mindfulness practices and techniques, while others aren't really interested at all!