“Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we’re adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but also elsewhere.”

Sharon Salzberg

Mindfulness is an approach to freeing oneself from suffering.

Psychotherapy’s ultimate goal is to free people from suffering, and the field of psychotherapy has used many different techniques and tools toward that end. Mindfulness is a natural addition to any therapist’s cache of tools for helping people find a more complete sense of self.

mindfulness in nature

Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation are usually practiced within the context of Buddhism, but psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors are coming to embrace mindfulness as a method for re-training the mind to think and react to events in a different way.

The reason most people come to psychotherapy, in extremely general terms, is that something that happened in their past is affecting, often extremely adversely, their experience in the present.

It’s difficult to be free to live your life as you want to in the present when you are so deeply affected by your past.

Mindful Meditation encourages your brain to resist the temptation to drag the past into the present and focus, instead, on the here and now.

By doing this we’re able to see what is happening in our lives more clearly. We begin to recognise the unconscious habits we’ve developed over time which prevent us from responding in a way that positively affects us mentally, physically, and emotionally. By becoming aware of those habits and recognising them when they arise in the present moment, we are better able to consciously make different, and healthier, choices about how to react.

Mindfulness can’t dissolve the challenges and stresses of life, but neither can anything else. There is no way to eliminate distress or trauma from anyone’s life. Mindfulness simply helps us respond to those challenges in a healthier way when they arise – thus giving us peace of mind and clarity in our lives overall.

Transient

Practicing Mindfulness has a great influence on my approach to integrative psychotherapy, but you can read about my approach as a whole here.