Mindfulness Meditation

Research is supporting that traditional “talk” therapy is not always enough to help individuals deal with and change emotions and behaviors. More and more attention is focusing on the importance of using body-oriented therapies, such as meditation and yoga, as a component to psychotherapy. Yoga and mindfulness meditation are important components of my personal mental and physical wellbeing, and I enjoy bringing them into therapy whenever clients are interested.

A personal practice in these techniques is necessary for any therapist who intends to teach them. I have been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2008 and feel my personal practice has enriched my life and my ability to help my clients. I am a registered Hatha yoga teacher with 200 hour certification. Other qualifications include:

  • Seminar in 2007 entitled “Mindfulness: Enhance Your Thereapeutic Skills with Mind-Body Awareness Techniques”
  • Seminar in 2007 “Introduction to Dialectic Behavior Therapy”
  • Seminar in 2010 by Don Sloane entitled “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation”

Below is further information about these important skills and how they can benefit your body and mind.

Why practice mindfulness meditation?

  • Meditation increases the ability to maintain sustained attention as well as give attention to different stimuli in quick succession (Jha et al, 2007; Slagter et al., 2007)
  • Mindfulness meditation can increase your ability to have awareness of your surroundings by decreasing one’s habituation (the tendency we have to pay less attention to something that has been repeated multiple times) (Kasamatsu & Hirai, 1973)
  • Meditation actually changes the way the brain functions.  EEGs done to study the brain waves of meditators have shown that those who practice mindfulness meditation (as opposed to meditation more focused on relaxation) have an increase in alpha (relaxed, reflecting) and beta 1 power (alert).
  • Neuroimaging studies have shown that mindfulness meditation activates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with organization, planning and attention (Baerentsen, 2001).
  • Mindfulness may help us to regulate our mood while still maintaining attention and executive functioning abilities (such as planning and organization) as evidenced by a study by Creswell, Way, Eisenberger, & Lieberman, 2007).
  • EEGs have shown that mindfulness meditation increases left hemisphere brain activity, which is correlated with psychological health whereas increased right brain activity is correlated with depression and anxiety (Davidson et al., 2003).
  • Meditators are better able to “let go” of stressful events, which may suggest they ruminate less (Goleman & Schwartz, 1976).