Mindfulness-Based Therapy

All providers at the Curry Psychology Group specialize in Mindful-Based Therapies given their proven effectiveness with all ages and across a variety of conditions. Evidence-based mindfulness practices can be incorporated into almost any therapy method, but are also the cornerstone of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Therapy (MBRT).

Mindfulness practice utilizes meditation and breathing exercises to improve a person’s way of experiencing emotion. Understandably, most people wish to avoid negative emotions. However, by avoiding the discomfort of emotions, we may fail to recognize negative thinking patterns and opportunities for growth and improved happiness. Sometimes a person feels so pained by negative emotions that they will do almost anything to escape them. In such cases, a person may develop unhealthy and self-destructive habits to avoid pain, including self-harm, disordered eating, substance use, and other high-risk behaviors. Mindfulness is one highly effective method of strengthening anyone’s capacity to tolerate the discomfort of negative emotion, and even to develop a sense of peace and strength in the face of difficulty. Through regular mindfulness practice, a person can change neural pathways so that they will be more likely to experience calmness in the face of difficulty.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a type of cognitive therapy that involves mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises that promote relaxation and well-being. Mindfulness practice and cognitive therapy are complementary to one another. Central to mindfulness is the gentle, non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts. Clients are taught to observe their thinking as if they are an outsider noticing the thoughts pass. This heightened awareness facilitates cognitive therapy, enabling a client to recognize and let go of harmful thinking patterns that would otherwise cause feelings of depression and anxiety. By preventing the thinking from taking hold, the client is able to stave off a period of depression and/or anxiety before either takes hold.

MBCT has been proven effective in treating recurrent depression, unhappiness, anxiety, and in preventing relapse for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. It has also been shown effective in treating depression when it is associated with various medical conditions including vascular disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI).