There are several different kinds of therapy approaches currently available in mental health treatment. You may be most familiar with the more traditional therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Another type of therapeutic approach is considered holistic treatment. Holistic treatment offers mindfulness-based interventions—of which there are many different kinds.
What Are Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs)?
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are therapeutic interventions that utilize a mindfulness approach. Mindfulness is a mental practice that involves being deliberately and fully aware of a person’s present experience.
Some critical components of mindfulness include:
- Being aware of all thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arise
- Being aware of all physical, mental, and emotional conditions in a given moment
- Practicing acceptance
- Practicing objectivity
- Practicing non-judgment
Mindfulness-based interventions focus on using a stress reduction lens during treatment. Mindfulness practices help people better control and regulate their thoughts and emotions instead of being controlled by them.
What Does an MBI Session Look Like?
There are many different kinds of therapies that are considered mindfulness-based interventions. Some examples include:
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
- Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT)
- Self-compassion therapy
Several techniques are used in mindfulness-based interventions that specifically highlight the use of mindfulness meditation. In a treatment setting, a practitioner or therapist will guide a client in therapy to focus intimately on their present experience.
Clients are encouraged to hone in on a particular part of their present experience, such as their sensations. When clients experience their thoughts drifting away from the present moment, they are encouraged to return their attention to the moment at hand. A therapist must remind the client to avoid reacting or judging themselves or even the thoughts that may intrude during meditative sessions.
Another mindfulness technique used during an MBI is body scanning exercises. Body scanning involves bringing full attention and awareness to different body areas, beginning at the head and working down to the toes. Sometimes, these exercises surface built-up tension and pain that is not always physical but manifests in different body areas based on how the body copes with stress or anxiety.
What Are the Benefits of MBIs?
Mindfulness-based interventions can effectively relieve the distressing symptoms associated with several different mental health conditions. Some conditions that it may help with include:
- Anxiety and anxiety disorders
- Depression and depressive disorders
- Bipolar and other mood disorders
- Unhappiness or general discontent with life
- Substance use disorders and addiction
- Physical or other chronic pain
There are many benefits to mindfulness-based interventions, one being that it helps an individual become aware of their patterns of intrusive and negative thoughts. With mindfulness meditation, a therapist helps clients replace these thought patterns with more realistic and positive ones.
Mindfulness-based interventions are also known to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially as it helps increase positive psychological attributes such as meta-awareness and self-compassion.
Because mindfulness meditation trains an individual to return their mind to the present moment, MBIs also reduce experiences of rumination. It enhances the ability to focus an individual’s attention in general, especially on specific stimuli.
Other benefits include:
- Increased memory capacity, both long and short-term
- Reduced emotional reactivity
- Improved cognitive flexibility
- Enhanced self-insight and self-esteem
- Enhanced relationship satisfaction
How to Gain the Benefits of MBIs Outside of a Treatment Setting
Although mindfulness-based interventions are typically conducted within a treatment setting, there are many ways to gain the benefits of mindfulness outside of a treatment facility.
If you are engaging in MBIs as a part of recovery or throughout your healing process, you are already aware of some of the tools that you can bring home with you to practice mindfulness on your own.
If you have yet to experience the power of mindfulness-based interventions, there are several resources available that can help kickstart your journey.
Mindfulness meditation incorporates all of the crucial concepts of awareness into one practice, although there are unique ways to separate them to make it easier to grasp awareness.
For example, take awareness in and of itself. When we go about our day, we do not think about thinking. You can practice mindfulness by bringing full attention to the thoughts inside of your head. All you have to do is focus on what is happening in your mind. Notice where your thoughts go or how often your thoughts are changing. Notice how often your thoughts are positive or negative, and make a note of these things as the day goes on.
Awareness, in general, will bring numerous positive changes to your day and your life. We live inside of our heads most of the time without really even bringing attention to why we think or feel a certain way. Through mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions, you can learn to live as present as possible.
Mindfulness-based interventions are forms of treatment that use a mindfulness approach. In line with the standard mindfulness approach, MBIs focus on concepts such as acceptance, non-judgment, and objectivity of all thoughts, feelings, and sensations. A routine mindfulness-based intervention would include mindfulness meditation, bringing attention to any thought patterns that would typically disrupt daily functioning. Mindfulness meditation trains the mind to focus intimately and reverse rumination, a common symptom present among several mental illnesses. West Coast Recovery Centers offer both traditional and holistic treatment options for recovery from mental illness or substance use disorders. We believe that mindfulness is something that everyone should utilize as a coping skill for life, especially during times of distress. We have several treatment therapy options that use a mindfulness-based intervention lens. For more information about our holistic treatment options or the benefits of mindfulness, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (760) 492-6509.