What is mindfulness therapy?


Mindfulness is being aware of internal thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as the environment and external situations, without automatic responses such as judgment or stress. Mindfulness therapy is a type of talking therapy that aims to learn to be more aware and reduce automatic responses.

This article will explain what mindfulness therapy involves, the types of professionals who provide it, and the training required for providers. We will also discuss the different types of mindfulness therapies and their uses.

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What it implies

Mindfulness therapy is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy. Psychotherapy is a conversation-based intervention provided by a trained mental health professional to assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors.

Mindfulness therapy achieves this by incorporating awareness of thoughts, emotions, feelings, environment, and situations. It involves conversations with professionals who help a person become more aware of their thoughts and the world around them. This heightened awareness helps them avoid destructive or automatic reactions or habits.

Types of professionals who provide it

There are different types of professionals who can offer mindfulness therapy, including psychologists and therapists. Other health care professionals, such as licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical social workers, may also incorporate mindfulness.

Sessions can be delivered one-to-one or in groups and in an office or virtually via video conference.

Mindfulness techniques vs therapy

Although other practices such as yoga and meditation include mindfulness techniques, this is not considered mindfulness therapy as it does not include psychotherapy with a mental health professional. However, some mental health professionals incorporate meditation into psychotherapy.

Conditions addressed and concerns addressed

Mindfulness therapy is used to treat a variety of different medical conditions, both mental and physical. Plus, it can help with life issues that are not limited to medical conditions. Some examples of the health and life benefits of mindfulness therapy include decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, improved focus and memory, less stress, more relationship satisfaction, and better quality. overall life.

Mindfulness therapy can be used to:

Types of mindfulness therapy

Mindfulness therapy is a type of psychotherapy. There are also different types of mindfulness therapy, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy ( MBSR). In addition, mindfulness can be incorporated into other forms of therapy.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or MBCT, is a type of psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness practices with cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy, or CT, is a type of talking therapy that involves identifying dysfunctional thoughts and learning to choose different thoughts instead, called cognitive restructuring. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can include this technique of cognitive restructuring as well as mindfulness meditation or other mindfulness practices.

The three minute breathing space is a common MBCT technique. In this exercise, you are asked to complete three one-minute steps:

  1. Ask yourself, “How am I doing right now?” »Focus on and identify the thoughts, feelings and sensations that may arise from this question.
  2. Bring your awareness to your breath and sit with it.
  3. Evaluate your physical sensations and how they affect the rest of your body.

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based CBT

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, or mindfulness-based CBT, is a type of psychotherapy or integrative therapy that integrates mindfulness practices with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a type of talk therapy that combines cognitive therapy and behavior therapy, focusing on how thoughts, emotions and behaviors relate to and influence each other. others.

The terms “mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy” and “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” are sometimes used interchangeably.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy or MBSR

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy, or MBSR, is a type of psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness practices with stress management techniques. This creates a mindfulness protocol specifically for stress, as opposed to practicing something else that has the added benefit of stress relief.

The MBSR has also been shown to be effective in improving chronic illnesses, both physical and mental, helping people cope with symptoms and clinical issues.

Other types of mindfulness training

In addition to mindfulness therapy, there are other mindfulness practices that don’t involve therapy. These include techniques for breathing, visualization, yoga, and meditation. They can be learned at home without professional help. This is different from mindfulness-based therapy options, which require the support of a mental health professional.

Education, training and certifications

Since mindfulness-based therapy is a type of psychotherapy, it requires training and certification to facilitate. Specific education, training and certification are vendor dependent.

For example, psychiatrists get a doctorate in medicine (MD), psychologists get a doctorate (Ph.D), while therapists and counselors usually have a master’s degree in their respective fields. They may receive specialized training and certification in specific mindfulness techniques and practices in addition to their education and licensing requirements. There are also training and certifications available to learn how to teach other mindfulness-based practices such as yoga and meditation.


Mindfulness therapy is a type of talking therapy that aims to learn to be more aware of thoughts, feelings, emotions, environment and situations, and to reduce automatic responses. It is provided by psychologists, therapists and other mental health professionals through conversations in the office or virtually by video conference.

Mindfulness-based therapy can treat a variety of physical and mental health issues and improve daily functioning and overall quality of life.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy (MBSR) are all types of mindfulness-based therapy. consciousness. Mindfulness-based therapy providers, such as psychologists and therapists, receive master’s or doctoral level training and may hold additional mindfulness-specific certifications.

A word from Verywell

Mindfulness-based therapy can be an effective treatment for many health problems. Plus, it can be used along with other interventions to help deal with side effects of medical conditions. If you think you might benefit from mindfulness-based therapy or mindfulness practices, talk to your health care provider. You can reap the benefits of improved symptoms, better health, and better quality of life.


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