What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the general term for becoming more aware of what is happening inside of you within any given moment – the practice of becoming more present – and allowing your present reality to be what it is without judgment.
Mindfulness practices are as old as time, but in recent decades, mindfulness-based psychotherapeutic interventions (such as mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) have been studied and shown to both alleviate distressing symptomology and improve mental health overall.
How does mindfulness in a therapy session actually work?
A therapist who incorporated mindfulness into their therapy sessions can pull upon a diverse and wide range of creative interventions to foster presence and awareness for their clients.
Some interventions may include body scan meditations, breathing meditations, loving-kindness meditations, observing thought meditations, acronym exercises, and walking meditations.
A therapist will skillfully weave these mindfulness exercises into a clinical therapy session to support a client’s emotional regulation, distress tolerance, skills building, and more.
Why is mindfulness an effective part of trauma treatment?
Mindfulness, by its very nature of becoming aware of what is and accepting and tolerating the present reality, can support a client to increase their capacity to tolerate more difficult emotions such as anxiety and depression – feeling states that traumatic experiences often generate.
Mindfulness can also help clients identify and observe their thoughts without attaching to them – a process known as cognitive defusion which can help alleviate distress.
Finally, mindfulness can help foster compassion for one’s self and one’s experiences.
The combination of these impacts – facing reality, increasing distress tolerance, generating more mental flexibility, and cultivating more self-compassion – are all effective in treating trauma whether single incident or complex.
What issues can mindfulness help treat?
Mindfulness can be effective in treating a broad range of issues including:
- Attachment Trauma
- Betrayal Trauma
- Birth Trauma
- Childhood Trauma
- Complex Trauma
- Developmental Trauma
- Eating Disorders
- Emotional Abuse
- First Gen Trauma
- First Responder Trauma
- Grief and Mourning
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Medical Trauma
- Military/Combat Trauma
- Narcissistic Abuse
- Pre- and Post-Natal Trauma
- Racial Trauma
- Relational Trauma
- Relationship Strain
- Religious & Spiritual Trauma
- Sexual Trauma
- Vicarious Trauma
- And more...
FAQ’s about mindfulness:
A therapist trained in mindfulness won’t necessarily treat your therapy session as a meditation session (unless that’s an explicit request of yours). A therapist will weave mindfulness interventions into the rest of the clinical treatment plan to support you.
Mindfulness is only part of your overall treatment plan and it’s not possible to guesstimate how long clinical treatment will take without insight into your case. That’s why it’s best to schedule a complimentary 20-minute consult call with our clinical intake coordinator to get matched to a great fitting therapist who can offer more insight into your question about the treatment timeline after they get to know you, your case, and your goals better.
What if I’m Not Ready?
If you don’t feel quite ready to book a complimentary consult call yet, that’s completely fine.
We don’t want you to feel pressured and we know that the choice to seek out therapy can feel difficult.
Part of you wants to do it, and another part of you is, perhaps, scared to begin because of the feelings you might have to finally feel.
Or a part of you questions whether or not you can even be helped at all.
Whatever the reason, no matter how ready or not ready you feel to begin therapy, we want you to have the information you need to make an informed choice.
So, to that end, please explore the additional information below to learn more about us and how we can help you.
We’ll be here whenever you’re ready to reach out for support.