At Wasatch Crest Treatment, our mindfulness therapy is somewhat of a hybrid, merging cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness. Since this month’s first blog delved into the basics of mindfulness therapy, let’s get into how we add in cognitive behavioral therapy in November’s second blog.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is short- to medium-term talking therapy between the client and the therapist with the goal of changing the way the client thinks (cognition) so that those changes can impact the way the client then acts (behavioral).
CBT looks at negative spirals where dysfunctional thoughts lead to feelings and physical sensations that then lead to actions. By changing these patterns of thinking and then acting, the client is able to deal with anxiety and feelings of oncoming depression. CBT helps the person manage his or her problems by identifying and changing unhelpful or destructive thinking patterns.
What is mindfulness therapy?
Mindfulness is a mental state and therapeutic technique that the person attains by purposefully focusing awareness on the present moment. The person calmly acknowledges feelings, thoughts, and body sensations without judgment. Mindfulness was developed in the 1970s to manage anxiety, stress, and chronic pain. In the 1990s it was further developed to help fight depression.
What is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy?
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines the best aspects from both CBT and mindfulness. Research in the 1990s found that the mind had two main modes, the “doing” mode and the “being” mode. The “doing” mode is goal oriented and is triggered when the mind sees a difference between how things are and how it wants them to be. The “being” mode isn’t focused on achieving specific goals but rather accepting and allowing what is.
This research showed that the “being” mode was the mode that led to lasting emotional changes. The conclusion was that effective cognitive therapy would have to promote not just cognitive awareness as in CBT, but also the “being” mode of the mind found in mindfulness. The result is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
What should I expect from mindfulness therapy at Wasatch Crest?
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) builds upon the principles of cognitive therapy by using techniques such as meditation to teach our clients to consciously pay attention to their thoughts and feelings without placing any judgments upon them, or without getting caught up in what could have been or might occur in the future. This gives our clients clarity of thought and helps them easily let go of negative thoughts instead of starting them back down the road to depression.
Our MBCT sessions at Wasatch Crest utilize our surroundings for a unique approach to mindfulness. Our sessions may include snowshoeing or hiking in the nearby Wasatch Mountains, river rafting or tubing on the Provo River or stand-up paddle boarding on the Jordanelle Reservoir. We include different activities by the season that bring into play our unique and beautiful surroundings both on our nearly nine-acre campus and the natural areas all around.
By taking clients completely out of their former surroundings and set ways, we are able to help them develop their meditation and other skills more easily and effectively for long-term change.