What is Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy?
What is mindfulness based psychotherapy?
By Susanna Hoare
The main form of communication in psychotherapy is talking about ourselves, our feelings and our situation and in particular our difficulties and concerns. There are times when it is helpful to have a protected space where you can talk confidentially about the things that matter to you.
Core Process Psychotherapy is an established mindfulness based psychotherapy. Mindfulness is bringing awareness to the present moment while both acknowledging and accepting thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Awareness is a way of just being with your experience as it is with kindness, curiosity and free from judgement.
Awareness in the present is integrative and inherently healing and invites the possibility of new choices. With awareness we can deepen into our experience and uncover layers that include painful and inhibiting patterns from the past as well as develop and deepen our capacity for joy.
What is there to be aware of?
- Of our breath
- Of feelings
- Of how feelings feel in our bodies
- Of patterns of reacting
- Of listening to the words we use to describe our experience
- Of the physical experience of the impact of our words, that place of tension, pressure or pain in our bodies
Awareness helps us to listen in and notice the many layers and subtleties of human experience. By slowing down and being present to all of our experience we can increase the depth and range of feeling so that we really get to know ourselves and understand ourselves and how we create or let go of our suffering.
Embodied awareness is paying attention to our feelings in our bodies and the physical sensations that accompany them as well as our thoughts and the words we are using to describe our experience. When we are fully present whether it be with suffering or joy we connect more deeply with ourselves and with those around us.
When we are talking about a situation, an issue, a memory we move to the reactions we have usually had based on past experience. As we begin to notice what we are thinking, feeling and sensing inside us in the present we begin to relate in a more spacious way which increases our ability to see clearly and be compassionate towards ourselves.
Mindfulness is a way of becoming more aware of what is going on inside your mind and body and so makes it easier to respond calmly to our difficulties which helps our heart, body and mind.