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Mindfulness CBT

Mindfulness has been defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non judgementally.”
Over the last three decades there has been a growing interest in Mindfulness approaches integrated with Western Psychotherapy.
One of these Model’s has been developed by Bruno Cayoun and called Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT).
The MiCBT approach focuses on well researched evidence based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy methods to treat a broad range of Psychological Disorders and issues e.g. Anxiety, depression, trauma, habit disorders.
The aim of this approach is to ‘not be locked in your mind’.
The key mechanisms are awareness, equanimity, and extinction.
The strategies aim at relocating attention from reactions to observation, of both sensations and thoughts . A useful metaphor is ’it’s like looking through a lens of a microscope and not reacting or judging.’
The aim is to relocate attention to perception and remain in the present.
Cayoun explains that all psychological and physical pain is experienced through sensations…’but it’s not the sensations that are the problem but the attachment to them… so we aim to learn to observe like a Scientist… to increase attention to sensation…and decrease evaluation.’
By doing this we learn not to fear the sensations previously associated with distress…’to reprocess with acceptance.’
In extreme stress our attention is narrowed for survival and decision-making but the triggers (e.g. the event, memory), and the associated body reaction (sensations) often remain, and creates ongoing distress.
Under stress we also become less and less aware of what we sense as our focus is on the dominant stress experience.
 The Mindfulness  approach teaches us awareness of the interoceptive cues (bodily sensations) throughout our body, not just in those areas where the distress manifests.
The brain also gets the message that the sensations are not a threat i.e. we learn not to avoid the sensation.
The same methods are used for helping clients manage both distressing(aversive) events e.g. trauma, physical pain, and those  habits that are sustained by the craving(reward) pathways e.g. addictions.
Graeme has found the Mindfulness approaches to be helpful as self management techniques to assist clients with a range of issues e.g. OCD, Social Anxiety, Trauma, Habit Disorders, Depression, as well as improving general emotional wellbeing and focus.
Here is an excerpt of an abbreviated approach to help a client who was learning skills to manage anxiety and pain:
….’calmly and gently pay attention to your breath…the rhythm and flow of your breath…and if thoughts or images  arise gently accept them as thoughts or images …… and aim to not engage with them….just observe the thoughts and images ….and let them pass… …and when you are ready…allow yourself to shift your attention back to your breathing…the  natural flow of your breathing…..deepen that awareness… may choose to focus on a time you were distressed(or in pain) and become aware of the sensations…..just focus on recognisng and observing the sensations……  be aware of their density, shape…and  movement …and not reacting to them…not judging them as good or bad…just observe them…and then gently bring your focus back to your breathing……and relax’….
Graeme is trained to use these approaches.
  • Unit 10, 35 Riccarton Road
    Christchurch 8011
    New Zealand

    Phone: (03) 348 5595