Cognitive Therapy based on Mindfulness: what is it?
Mindfulness is considered a third-generation psychological therapy , and one of the best known programs is the MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction program) or Stress Reduction Program based on Mindfulness, considered one of the most effective treatments to treat stress.
But in recent years, another program based on Mindfulness is gaining popularity in the treatment of various disorders, such as depression or anxiety. It is the MBCT (Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) or Cognitive Therapy based on Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not a matter of doing, but of being
Actually, the practice of Mindfulness, more than a set of techniques to be in the present moment, it is an attitude towards life . You could say that Mindfulness allows you to acquire a series of healthy habits, it is a style of coping that promotes the personal strengths of each one and helps in adapting to the modern world, because it favors the welfare of individuals in a society that tends to detract the genuine identity of people, and helps connect with oneself.
To acquire the Mindfulness mentality it is necessary to carry out a training. The Mindfulness training consists of a series of exercises that allow us to pay attention to the present in a non-judgmental way . Even so, it is not a matter of doing, but of being. In other words, it is to be with the five senses without evaluating the internal or external experience.
Mindfulness is a state of self-regulation of one's attention, so that the will of each one becomes essential for their practice. Curiosity, openness and acceptance are part of being conscious.
The applications of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has proven useful for the treatment of different phenomena, including:
- Emotional problems
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Disorders of mood: depression, bipolar disorder
- Personality Limit Disorder
- Somatic problems: psoriasis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain
Cognitive Therapy Based on Mindfulness: what is it?
There are different Mindfulness programs. One of them is the MBCT of Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, who It was originally developed as a treatment program for emotional stress and anxiety , and as a relapse prevention program in patients with depression.
The program combines Mindfulness meditation with the acquisition of practical skills that characterize cognitive therapy, such as the interruption of thought patterns that lead to depressive or anxious states.
The program lasts eight weeks
There are several studies that have been carried out to test the effectiveness of this treatment. The results show that the vast majority of people who use this program improve their quality of life and experience less depression, anxiety and emotional stress.
To benefit from the benefits of this treatment, daily meditation practice is recommended for at least eight weeks . Cognitive Therapy Based on Mindfulness includes the body scanner, Mindfulness stretches, some yoga exercises, Mindfulness breathing and other practical Mindfulness exercises.
How does Mindfulness affect Depression?
The different exercises proposed by the Cognitive Therapy program based on Mindfulness they change the way of thinking and interpreting the facts on the part of the patient . The benefits are:
- Help to focus on the here and now
- Improves concentration
- Less rumination of thoughts by the patient
- Separation of harmful thoughts
- Greater self-pity and love towards oneself
- Greater self-knowledge
Mindfulness: Connecting with yourself again
Self-pity is one of the basic pillars of Mindfulness, and i it is to be warm and compassionate towards oneself . It refers to the acceptance of the way of being and the thoughts and emotions that arise from ourselves without judging or criticizing them.
Mindfulness is useful in the current context because it reeducates you. We live immersed in a culture and a society in which capitalist and consumer values triumph: money or image have more value than human beings themselves. In this environment, everything has a price, be it dignity, self-love, pride or honor, everything becomes merchandise, even interpersonal relationships. Mindfulness helps to find oneself again with oneself, far from the influence and pressure of this society that seriously harms the emotional balance.
Mindfulness applied to therapy: double effect
This type of therapy takes advantage of the beneficial effect of Minfulness and applies it to situations in which stress and anxiety play a very important role. Keep in mind that high levels of stress have a chain effect on both the nervous system and hormonal regulation, so that curbing this constant state of alert alleviates many of the symptoms for which patients are going to query.
On the other hand, Mindfulness also has a beneficial effect on emotional regulation, something that positively affects many aspects of quality of life. In addition, improving the emotional aspect allows you to get more out of the therapy, something that unfortunately not all patients get, a phenomenon that explains in part why there are people who abandon the treatments to which they are being subjected.
In this way, from the Minfulness a double effect is achieved: the quality of life is directly improved, and the treatment is facilitated.