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Mindfulness Therapy

”Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” –Victor Frankl

Does It Sometimes Feel Like Life Is Happening Too Fast?

Do intrusive thoughts occupy space in your mind that distract you from the present moment? Are you prone to impulsive or unhealthy behaviors, such as anger or addiction? Do you wish there was a way to maintain a healthy distance between you and your thoughts so you could establish a sense of peace and calm?

Life happens fast. And while it’s speeding along, our brain has to keep up with processing all of its five senses, the internal sensation of our emotions, and the constant barrage of our thoughts. On top of that, our brain always assesses safety and danger by comparing current stimuli to the past. Much of this happens outside of our conscious awareness.

With so much going on internally and externally, we may live in a constant survival mode that makes us prone to the fight-or-flight response. When we are under stress or have experienced trauma, we often experience anxious thoughts, addictive impulses, and emotional dysregulation.

Mindfulness therapy is all about slowing things down and noticing one aspect of the experience at a time. At its core, mindfulness is the act of bringing all of our awareness to a particular experience, whether that experience is a thought, feeling, image, sensation, or belief.

What Is Mindfulness Therapy?

Mindfulness involves becoming fully aware of the “right now” without dwelling on the past or forecasting the future. Mindfulness therapy involves a heightened awareness of your immediate and direct sensory experience, such as noticing your breathing, feeling your body’s sensations, and listening to sounds arise and pass. Through this careful and sustained attention, you will experience the ever-changing flow of the mind/body process. This awareness makes it easier to fully accept the ups and downs that life has to offer—and will always offer. As your practice and insight deepen, you will develop greater emotional balance in the face of change, difficulties, anxieties, and stress.

How Are Mindfulness Interventions Incorporated Into Therapy Sessions?

Focusing on knowledge, comprehension, and application, you will be guided to various mindfulness-based interventions throughout counseling. Each intervention is structured to deepen your understanding of heart practices and develop compassion toward yourself and others.

Because we often identify closely with our thoughts, an underlying principle of mindfulness is the practice of cool distancing. This pertains to how we disengage from thoughts and feelings and take a more objective, observational view. Cool distancing creates a barrier so we can observe our thoughts and emotions from a distance while maintaining a level of balance.

Slowing down and cultivating awareness allows you to examine and label underlying feelings and emotions that perpetuate negative thought patterns, as well as identify how these emotions are connected to bodily sensations. With practice, you will learn to change the channel in your mind, identifying and disengaging from unhealthy coping strategies that perpetuate negative patterns, such as anxiety and addictive behaviors. Some mindfulness interventions include:

  • Breathing strategies that break the rumination cycle
  • Guided meditations to disempower intrusive thoughts
  • Grounding exercises that help you get back to the present moment without suppressing thoughts
  • Somatic experiencing is where you learn to connect more deeply with your body and get out of the headspace where anger, fear, and anxiety reside. Once grounded, you become more receptive to body signals and can learn to make the shift for yourself
  • Trauma-based Interventions to augment Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Guided visualizations that lower the stress response

Who Can Benefit From Mindfulness-Based Therapy?

Oftentimes, we are unaware or disconnected from our bodies, feelings, thoughts, and surroundings. This sense of disconnection is often caused by unresolved trauma. As a result, we may experience:
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleeping and diet disturbances
  • Emotional overwhelm
  • Personal identity issues, including questioning our sense of self or place in the world
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Headaches, stomach distress, and other stress response symptoms
  • Worry or anxiety
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
  • Substance abuse, depression, and self-esteem issues
Mindfulness is an approach to therapy that helps you pay more attention to your inner life and maintain a deeper sense of present-moment awareness. The mindfulness-based interventions learned in counseling sessions help teach you how to connect with the world around you by using one of the most powerful tools you have—your mind—to heal yourself and effectively manage your challenges. By learning mindfulness interventions in counseling, you can:
  • Pacify the anger response
  • Curtail common anxiety symptoms, such as brain fog, task paralysis, and restlessness
  • Interrupt the habit loop of addiction
  • Break the rumination cycle and disempower Intrusive thoughts
Additionally, utilizing mindfulness can help reduce environmental queuing—restimulating experiences brought about by places or events that remind you of previous trauma—cravings for substances, and psychological stress. By soothing the nervous system and encouraging a parasympathetic response (peace and pause) rather than a sympathetic one (stress and cortisol release), mindfulness therapy can help you maintain a cool distance when confronted with environmental queuing and avoid emotional dysregulation.

Mindfulness Meditation

One intervention in particular, mindfulness meditation, can provide you with many benefits that can improve your overall mental health and well-being. People who meditate not only experience a reduction in stress, but they also report emotional improvements such as:

  • Improved sense of positivity
  • Increased confidence
  • A greater ability to give and receive love
  • A reduction or elimination of anxiety, depression, irritability, and panic attacks
  • Improved memory as well as enhanced creativity and cognitive function
  • Resolution of addictive behaviors
  • A more positive outlook overall

Mindfulness meditation is a focused, non-judgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment. With mindfulness meditation, we look at the whole range of experiences—the pleasant, the unpleasant, and the neutral—as we attempt to create and sustain non-reactive, investigative attention.

Why We Incorporate Mindfulness Therapy Into Our Practice

Trauma Resolution Therapy (TRT) offers mindfulness, forgiveness, and compassion-centered approaches to help address underlying causes of trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, and addictive behaviors. TRT includes practical and experiential techniques so you can integrate the mindfulness interventions taught during counseling sessions into your daily routine. Through homework, instructional handouts, and guided meditations, each of our mindfulness counselors offers recommendations for making these practices a habit.

With over 20 years of integration of mindfulness and Eastern contemplative practices, TRT therapists also have specific training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Trauma Resolution Therapy Group also offers Rebel Dharma, an online guided mindfulness meditation group open to anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of insight meditation practices and Buddhist psychology.

Learn How Mindfulness Therapy Can Help You

With counseling, you can incorporate mindful living practices into your life and find solutions to your challenges. To find out more about mindfulness therapy with Trauma Resolution Therapy Group, please visit our contact page.