Mindfulness refers to a way of orienting one’s self to the present moment (Bishop et al., 2004; Kabat-Zinn, 2003) that includes a sense of openness and curiosity to one’s immediate experience. Although the term “mindfulness” has its roots in formal meditation practice, it has recently been incorporated into a variety of therapies for a variety of difficulties. Brain imaging studies show that taking a more present-centered perspective may help change the way people relate to their self and their experience, allowing them to more effectively relate to difficult experiences (Siegel, 2007). Mindfulness has been proven to help people respond more flexibly and adaptively to painful experiences and has been shown to help people with a vast range of problems and struggles.
The last couple decades have seen an explosion in the development of psychological interventions that are loosely known as mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments. Much of the recent interest in mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments can be traced to Kabat-Zinn’s (1990) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program and Linehan’s (1993) Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Some other major mindfulness- and acceptance-based treatments include Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for substance abuse, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, an especially versatile new treatment with an expanding research base.
For information on specific mindfulness-based treatments, click on any of the links below:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention