Psychotherapy and Meditation:
How do they fit together?
As meditation practice has become part of the mainstream, talking about mindfulness meditation and therapy in the same breath has become more common. Famously, the book “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert has the heroine enjoy both practices, as she journeys through her difficulties to a greater understanding of who she is becoming, and what she needs for a happy life.
Many psychotherapists have incorporated mindfulness-based practices into their treatment.
Some types of mindful therapies are: Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mind Body Intelligence (MBI). These treatments all have some connection to Buddhist Psychology and meditation practice.
One of the common threads is the empowerment of the patient to be an active partner in their own healing. Meditation practices can help develop a more compassionate observing self ( called the Benevolent Witness in MBI) and help reduce suffering by encouraging a greater comfort level with one’s own thoughts.
Patients suffering from anxiety can learn how the breath and concentration meditation can significantly reduce their discomfort. Patients who are experiencing depression can develop mental strategies that allow for greater flexibility in thinking, and a more wholesome outlook on their lives.
Patients who suffer from physical problems or chronic illness also benefit from these therapies. Practices like MBI that include Qigong (the parent tradition of Tai Chi) offer pathways to connect with the potential for healing the body-mind. Meditation combined with mindful movement and healing imagery has been shown to have a significant impact on physical health.
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Developing a compassionate meditation practice can become a source of insight and joy in anyone’s life. For those who are suffering, mindfulness-based psychotherapy can provide a powerful path to healing.
May this information benefit you, those you love, and all sentient beings, everywhere.
© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013, all rights reserved.
Mind Body Intelligence tm is a trademark of Ellen M. Adelman PhD and the Sage Healing Institute.
For more information visit www.sagehealinginstitute.com.