With all the various psychological theories that have over time dissolved, the newest addition is making its way to universities and private practices country wide. This upcoming treatment uses Buddhism and yoga as a basis and according to several studies, appears to work. This type of therapy helps to keep patients focused on their bodies and breathing. They are instructed to give no consideration to their thoughts and to be alone in the moment.

Stefan Hoffman, who is a psychology professor at Boston University and works at the University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, notices the trend of Mindfulness Therapy and its gaining popularity within the younger aged therapists. He notes that this is not another typical therapy, like the others that have been seen in the past, because it appears to work. Other sorts of fads such as dream analysis and memory recovery died quickly and never had evidence that they worked. He admits to being skeptical but also admits that it works quite well.

While questioning this new methodology Hoffman and his colleagues reviewed research studies found in the April Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and found the therapy to be effective in improving the mood and relieving anxiety for individuals with mental stress and mood disorders. People who were recovering from life threatening illnesses were eased using this method and people with anxiety disorders and depression, even more so. The results collected 39 studies which involved 1,140 patients proved to Hoffman, the success of this therapy.

Jordan Elliot accounts his experience with the therapy stating that his anxiety that used to disable him is not as severe as it once was. He began his therapy four years prior by going to one-on-one sessions at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy. The type of therapy was very questionable because he didn’t feel ‘mindful.’ Four years later Elliot begins his day with a 10-minute meditation session. The medications that he once needed were no longer necessary to keep his anxiety under control.

A psychology professor at Kent State University, David Fresco, comments that patients with acute and long-term depressions require more active recovery therapies including medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Other professionals have been testing a combination of mindfulness therapy and Cognitive behavioral therapy completing a study that was published in the Archives of General Psychology. This study stated the treatment helps prevent relapses as successfully as anti-depressants with only 30% of patients having relapses.

Rumination, obsession over past problems, is a large part of depression and mindfulness therapy may help patients avoid this and even anxiety, as they focus on the present. This treatment is so powerful it can shift brain activity. Although it’s a theory for some patients such as children and people set in their ways, it seems to work for those who prefer intellectual stimulation. It also may not successfully work alone in severe cases additional treatment would be necessary.

Hoffman is hopeful that the continuing studies will illuminate the limitations, and benefits of this unique therapy will continue to positively shape the world of therapy.

Author's Bio: 

Catherine Cosgrove is an addictions-specialist psychotherapist with 20 years experience in the field of drug and alcohol rehab therapy. Catherine practices evidence based psychotherapy targeted to treating the emotional and psychological factors which drive alcohol and drug addiction. She is coordinating Heritage Home's involvement with McGill University researchers developing unique treatments for alcohol and drug addiction; and is supportive of the integration of holistic alternative therapies with evidence based psychotherapy and medication to treat addiction.

For more information on Catherine Cosgrove and Heritage Home Foundation please consult our website, www.sobriety.ca