View Full Version : Mindfulness Integrated CBT


Kunga Dorji
06-18-11, 10:13 PM
The particular method that worked so well for me that I was able to cease medication is called Mindfulness integrated CBT.

The following is a thumbnail sketch of roughly how it works.

It operates through 4 stages
1) Progressive muscle relaxation.
2) Mindfulness of breath.
3) Learning the skill of high resolution body scanning. This trains us to be more observant of the body, and the change in internal states with emotional changes. This stage uses imagined exposure exercises to experience the sensations that arise in anger, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, pain, boredom etc.
The interesting aspect of this is that scrutinising these sensations intensely and using non judgmental descriptive terms to describe them(instead of swiftly reacting to our distress/ discomfort as most people do) causes them to diminish rather rapidly to the point where they are no longer a problem and no longer dominate our behaviour.
You can learn to turn off these distressing situations quite quickly, or even replace them with other sensations by focussing on imagining a better outcome to the situation that is being imagined.
This skill can be just as easily applied to the restlessness or spaciness of ADHD as it can to anxiety or anger.
4) The last stage is the interpersonal stage, where we develop the skills of grounded empathy, appropriate self assertion, and compassion based meditation. These skills allow you to kindly and compassionately deal with the difficult people in your life, in a way that is positive and builds relationships rather than cuts you off from other people.
I have taken this skill to the point where I continually body scan while in most conversations, keeping myself emotionally level, and enhancing my intuitive empathy very greatly ( I didn't even know I had any!). This also has the effect of making it easy to stay on track in conversation and has virtually eliminated my habit of butting in to conversation.

The real point is that this mindfulness tool is meant to be used in real life situations, with a view to producing better outcomes for all involved.
On the face of it - it sounds like a lot of work. However it is not. It is relatively quick to learn, and it produces such an improvement in day to day functioning and in interpersonal relationships that it becomes addictive in the best possible way.

I guess the other point I should make is that this form of mindfulness training is specifically meant to be used at times of high stress as a direct solution to those stressful situations. It is meant to be applied dynamically in live situations, not just something one does alone in a room by oneself.

You can look it up on www.mindfulness.net.au (http://www.mindfulness.net.au/)

The main tool being used to assess its efficacy is a scale called the Mindfulness Self Efficacy Scale, though there is still some discussion as to the best method of quantifying effectiveness in all mindfulness treatments.
If I find an online version of it I will post a link.

Conman
06-18-11, 10:31 PM
nice. i might try that sometime, if i ever can. i usually do regular meditation, or zazen

peanutbutter
06-19-11, 03:23 AM
I've only practiced mindfulness meditation and it did really help calm me to a sense of peace and relaxation. When I started I have a very difficult time trying to keep focus and I always find my mind wandering to other things like work or my family. My mentor says that only by practicing daily will I be able to maintain this focus.