Mindfulness is a way of being in the world, a way of living life, that allows us to feel fully alive and helps us work with psychological suffering. Mindfulness is tuning into the experience of the present moment, allowing it to be just as it is, without over-thinking it, judging it, or reacting to it. The greatest impediments to change and to growth are habits of behavior, mind, and heart. Mindfulness allows us to examine these habits and to consciously behave in a new way. It offers a way to “be with” difficult emotions rather than reacting to them and ultimately being ruled by them.
For both clients and myself, meeting together in therapy is an invitation to mindfulness. Showing up in the present moment opens me more fully to my client’s struggles and joys. Two people communicating with each other from a state of mindfulness creates a potent source of healing and new possibilities.
Mindfulness based therapies are scientifically supported for treating a variety of psychological disorders including addictions, emotional dysregulation, recurrent depression, stress, and chronic pain. As a psychologist, I frequently use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Though many religions include contemplative practices and mindfulness based techniques, mindfulness itself is not religiously based, but rather is simply a way of being