Mindfulness-based interventions have been used for decades to help provide symptom relief from an array of conditions. This powerful approach can encompass other evidence-based therapeutic techniques and combine them in a way that produces effective results. These interventions organically promote comprehensive healing and holistic health. Before examining the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions, it is important to discuss what they are and how they work.
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are treatment techniques that are based on the practice of mindfulness. These practices are complementary approaches, meaning they are typically used in conjunction with other evidence-based treatments.
An article by The Psychiatric Clinics of North America states, “The overarching theoretical premise of MBIs is that, by practicing mindfulness (e.g. through sitting meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness exercises), individuals will become less reactive to unpleasant internal phenomena but more reflective, which in turn will lead to positive psychological outcomes.” This empowers the patient to acknowledge their feelings and be present with them, without letting their feelings control or facilitate self-destructive behavior.
The most common MBIs are mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). The aforementioned article defines an MBSR as “an 8-week treatment program that is aimed at reducing stress via enhanced mindfulness skills developed through regular meditation practices.” The article continues, reporting that many other MBIs have been birthed out of MBSR, including mindfulness-based programs for:
Furthermore, MBCT is a more popular version of MBSR. The article explains that MBCT combines the practices of mindfulness with aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This technique is usually used for relieving symptoms of depression and negative thoughts. By learning to recognize harmful thought patterns and acknowledge them without being judgemental, an individual can control their emotions more intentionally. As the same article reiterates, “This enhanced internal awareness is then combined with principles of cognitive therapy that teach individuals to disengage from maladaptive patterns of repetitive negative thinking that contribute to depressive symptomatology.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) further documents specific types of meditations and MBIs that are most effective for veterans, such as:
Revising the article by The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, “MBIs are effective in treating a broad range of outcomes among diverse populations. These outcomes include clinical disorders and symptoms such as:”
- Risk of relapse for depression
- Current depressive symptoms
- Chronic pain
- Psychological or emotional distress
MBSR can also be valuable for:
Similarly, the VA explains that MBCT has been beneficial in helping Veterans by relieving symptoms of the following conditions:
One of the reasons that MBIs are so effective is that they organically treat the patient using a whole-person approach. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains, “Whole person health involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease.”
An example can be found in the physical exercises that are based on mindfulness, such as yoga. Yoga emphasizes mindfulness and diaphragmatic breathing to power physical movement. This practice incorporates all aspects of health and well-being: the body, mind, and soul in tandem.
Tending to the whole person is vital in healing from trauma. Trauma can wreak havoc on the body and brain, and its symptoms can last for extended periods of time. In this way, an MBI such as MBCT can be effective in relieving symptoms of PTSD. As previously stated, the mindfulness and meditative aspects of MBIs can yield positive results in empowering a patient to take control of their symptoms. This is especially important to patients who are recovering from trauma, as it is common to feel out of control of your body after experiencing a traumatic event.
It is important to note that MBIs and any sort of techniques surrounding trauma should only be administered by professional, licensed clinicians. This can ensure that patients avoid any potential retraumatization from trauma exposure that could hinder lasting recovery success.
Here at Sage Recovery, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to treatment. Specializing in multiple specialties, our licensed clinicians can offer customizable treatment plans so patients can receive the individualized care they deserve. Some examples of our holistic approaches to treatment include:
Knowing which treatment options will be most beneficial for you can feel overwhelming. There is a seemingly endless supply of approaches, specialties, and techniques for each condition. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Here at Sage Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to take the first step toward healing. That’s why our friendly, compassionate staff members are also trained to provide trauma-informed care. Whether you interact with our on-campus chefs or our licensed clinicians, you can be sure that you’ll be treated with the dignity and respect you deserve. Contact us today at (512) 306-1394 whenever you’re ready to begin your healing journey. We’ll walk alongside you every step of the way.