Types of mindfulness therapies
Mindfulness practices are not new and have origins in the contemplative traditions of Asia, especially Buddhism. In the last 40 years they have been formalised into the therapies of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), traditionally delivered in eight-week classes. These two formats of mindfulness have the strongest evidence base for effectiveness.
There are different ways to learn about mindfulness and how to practise it in your daily life. It can be learnt in person, either through a group course or one-to-one with a trained teacher. There are books, audios and videos and online courses too, where you can learn through self-directed practice at home.
“I thought, ‘How can breathing slowly and thinking ‘happy thoughts’ help me in the long term?’ However, my opinion of mindfulness completely changed after the session. It’s actually very empowering to know that I can control my reactions and feelings in any situation without others even being aware of it.”
James, 21, from West Yorkshire
“When I first heard the term mindfulness, I thought it meant to meditate. I’m not good at concentrating, so I thought it would be really hard for me to do. But now I use mindfulness every day as a way of checking-in with myself and asking ‘am I okay?’ Mindfulness has taught me to be kind to myself.”
Lisa, 36, is a single parent living in Cheshire