4 thoughts on “Welcome to Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

  • February 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Great blog! I’m thrilled to see mindfulness approaches entering into the mainstream of psychology and medicine, although I worry it will become just another fad and the depth of the practice will get lost. We must start somewhere, however, and this blog seems very promising. Thanks for making it happen!

  • February 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    This is exciting news. Thank you for putting this together. I’m sure your blog will help a lot of people cope with their fears and anxieties. I have practiced mindfulness myself. I know it works!

  • February 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I think this is very exciting and many upcoming therapists will benefit from this dialogue.

  • March 26, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I can attest to the effectiveness of mindfulness techniques in decreasing symptoms in bipolar I disorder & borderline personality disorder. I have been on medications for bipolar for 12 years & in & out of therapy since I was 15 when I had my first suicide attempt. I didn’t get much benefit from any of the therapy. The medication did help a lot, but I was still having difficulties with extreme over-reactions to perceived criticisms & feeling extremely sensitive. I also had another overdose 2 1/2 years ago after about 5 years of relative stability. I’m 54 & my mother did commit suicide when I was 15 (she also had bipolar).

    My meds were being adjusted, but I was not able to achieve stability. In my support group a man talked about how much Dialectical Behavioral Therapy was helping him. I decided to look into it & began the weekly therapy group sessions that are actually more like classes as we have homework to do each day (practice what we are learning in regards to mindfulness & other coping skills & learning new thinking patterns & communication techniques, etc.) & we have a manual.

    I was so impressed with what I was learning (though the actual doing was terribly hard for me) that I also started individual therapy with the therapist leading the DBT group.

    Within 8 months of starting DBT & therapy & steadily gaining the mindfulness & other skills, I got off Klonopin completely. I had been taking Klonopin or Xanax daily for 20 years!!! My anxiety used to be so bad I would literally be paralyzed by it & could not do simple things like dial the telephone & a trip to the doctor would have me crying for days in advance.

    I also was able to get off Trazodone which had been prescribed for my intractable insomnia (though it wasn’t helping much; my meds provider wanted to add Seroquel, but I was getting afraid of how many meds I was taking–6 or 7 at this point). I’m actually sleeping all night & have to use an alarm to wake me in the morning–unheard of for me–as I used to sleep only 2 or 3 hours a night. I was also able to cut my dosage of my anti-psychotic in half.

    I can now stay in the present & not be constantly looking at the past with sadness & regret or the future with anxiety & fear. When I started with this therapist, she asked me how much time I spent “living in the present.” I didn’t even know what that meant. When she explained it, I had to say that I never do. I also never just stopped & felt the sensations of my body or looked at my environment or just let myself be & accept what is.

    My meds provider is amazed at my progress. She can see how I can regulate my emotions so much better. I may be “triggered” by something & start to cry, but I can “pull myself back together” & not escalate it into a huge crying jag like I used to, where I could not stop thinking about the thing that was making me cry & I would make myself spiral into an emotional abyss.

    I was skeptical at first about this mindfulness stuff, breathing? Doing one thing at a time & really concentrating on it? Feeling the sensations of your body? Looking around the room or out the window & pausing & slowing down? It seemed kind of hokey, but this fellow in the support group gave me a glimmer of hope that something could give me some relief so I gave it a good effort & am amazed. I’m a zealot now!!

    I also have a reoccurring back problem that flares up & causes considerable pain & I understand mindfulness is used for pain management so I hope this subject will be addressed as well so I will be ready for my next flare-up!


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