What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness Based Therapy? Would it benefit me?

Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy, Couples, Stress and Anxiety Management


Mindfulness has become a common buzzword as of late. There is definitely some confusion and mixed information about what it is. Is it a form of meditation? Is it a mindset? Do you have to meditate to be mindful? These are some questions and concepts I’ll dive into.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately paying attention to the present moment, without judging it or reacting to it; instead observing internally and externally, and then responding from a place of thoughtful intention. The benefit of this in everyday life is: the freedom and control to respond thoughtfully, rather than react out of unfiltered emotion, to any situation or person.

What is Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy?

Therapists that work from a Mindfulness based approach, assist individuals to access a mindful state, with the intent to reduce anxiety, improve relationships, elevate ones’ mood, shift negative habits and enhance wellbeing. This is accomplished within a therapeutic relationship.

My goal in Mindfulness based therapy is to facilitate freedom of choice in how we wish to feel and be. I start with a thorough assessment of family of origin and life experiences. We explore internal experiences, ways of being in the world, and interpretations, to bring heightened awareness. We work to identify and shift unhelpful patterns, negative habits, and autopilot reactions. We work towards being able to move from a place of balance and calm, and respond rather than react.

The process of incorporating Mindfulness into our life is well described by author, Terry Fralich LCPC, “Finally, it leads us to try something different – a new approach, a new perspective, a new reaction that changes something and enhances our health, happiness, or well-being.”

Do you have to meditate to practice Mindfulness?

Great question. The answer is no. Mindfulness is a cultivated state of mind that one can use throughout the day. It can be developed through deliberate practice. There are many tools that facilitate mindfulness In my practice, I teach basic breathing and body scan tools you can use in everyday life towards stress management and down shifting heightened emotion to be your best self. Meditation is another tool that can be used towards the goal of cultivating mindfulness. Sitting with ones’ thoughts is a great way to get to know your mind, observe it, and learn to witness without reacting.

If interested, follow link for a beginner’s meditation. http://www.therapywithhillary.com/Santa-Monica-Therapist/be/an-everyday-meditation-for-stress-and-anxiety-for-beginners/

Please email me to schedule a complementary phone consult.

Looking forward to connecting,