Mindfulness therapy and training
28th April, 2009
Mindfulness training is derived from the Buddhist philosophy of mindfulness and meditation. That said you do not need to be religious or of any particular faith to benefit from it.
Mindfulness is a philosophy, a modality of therapy and a method of viewing the world around you. Depending on the client and their needs, work will delve into different levels of the philosophy, sometimes just requiring the basics, sometimes a deeper understanding.
it is not possible to do justice to a definition of mindfulness in just one webpage, so instead the following are a list of the primary features used in therapy:
- Learning to notice our thinking and observe it. Thus no longer being automatons controlled by impulse and immediate thoughts. This permits a level of protection from unpleasant or intrusive thoughts and emotions and leads to greater understanding.
- Meditation or relaxation on a regular basis. This can be formal meditation, or any one of many informal relaxation techniques. This allows the mind time to process and recover.
- Natural meditative behaviour. Many activities can be meditative and we can loose ourselves in the experience, gaining a peace and tranquility. A classic example would be listening to music or walking in a park and REALLY being fully IN the experience.
- Letting go of anger, revenge, frustration, obsession, expectation, accumulation and other unhelpful drives, through specialist mindfulness observation and combined cognitive and behavioural change
- Deliberately making cognitive and behavioural changes to encourage positive drives such as forgiveness, compassion, acceptance and gentle assertiveness
- Balancing self assuredness with avoiding excess ego. Thus being neither a "doormat" nor inappropriately selfish or egotistic.
- Supporting these traits and positive changes with appropriate lifestyle, diet and behaviour. This encompasses elements of life coaching.
Mindfulness is effective for a range of issues including:
- Stopping destructive behaviours like self sabotage and addictions
- Controlling weight more effectively
- Nutrition and exercise management
- Personal Development
- Well being and enjoyment
- Anger and Stress management
- Gaining positive life balance
- Making the most out of what you have
- Happier relationships
- Sales and motivation
- Self confidence and self image
- Managing persistent conditions, illnesses and problems as part of a care plan.
- Goal setting and within reason getting what you want in life.
- Stop being held back by defence mechanisms, toxic thought patterns and old fears.
Mindfulness allows the person to be in a "good place" and allow themselves space to make positive changes that otherwise may not be possible. Often we try to "do the right thing" in life, but our lifestyle may make this difficult emotionally or practically. Mindfulness helps to address this.
Deeper emotional, mental health and behavioural issues
Mindfulness is now being recognised as a useful tool in addressing serious clinical and mental health issues. Naturally this is in conjunction and combination with ongoing medical treatment and supervision. it is not an alternative to appropriate medical support.
Mindfulness can play an important role in managing serious mental health conditions such as:
- Bipolar depression
- Unipolar / clinical depression
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- NEAD (Non-epileptic attack disorder)
- Dyslexia issues such as anger, stress, panic and frustration
- Anger management
- Stress Management
As part of a management plan mindfulness training can help the client to manage and deal with their condition better, gaining an improved quality of life. Certain mental health conditions can not be "cured", but they can be managed in order to enable a happier life.
Mindfulness can be a brief intervention, teaching people the basic principles and techniques and pointing them in the right direction to explore related fields. This applies in non-severe and non-clinical cases.
In more serious cases, such as managing clinical conditions like Bipolar, most clients benefit from initial training and then regular support sessions either monthly or bi-monthly. Sometimes that support is from us exclusively, other times we refer on or cooperate with other providers to ensure the right service for the individual.
We have City Centre bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow and we are considering expanding into other cities shortly.
We are complementary health practitioners, not alternative health practitioners. This means that we work WITH the medical profession. If you have an illness or injury, or if you are going to embark on a new diet, fitness plan or if you have any uninvestigated symptoms, you must consult your medical doctor.
Experience and qualification
Mindfulness is essentially a form of life coaching based on Buddhist or multi-faith philosophy. Therefore it is essential to have a background in three areas: Coaching, Therapy and Spirituality. Even though there is no attempt whatsoever to influence the religious belief of the client, since mindfulness comes from a religious base, the practitioner should have some supporting knowledge!
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