by Comprehensive Staff

07/14/2015 5:23 pm

A Journey Toward Mindfulness

About 15 years ago I received training in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (Marsha M. Linehan, University of Washington).   I had heard of mindfulness but did not understand how using mindfulness skills could be used in therapy.  We were starting a Dialectic Behavioral Group at Comprehensive and needed to continue learning and practice the skills from the book Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder (Marsha M Linehan, Guilford Press).   A small group of therapists started meeting together and agreed to practice these skills for ourselves.    We started to increase our awareness and I started to stumble toward changing my thoughts in several ways.

Here are some things I learned along the way:

  1. Just noticing –check in and notice your thoughts and feelings.  Good times to do this are at waking, bedtime and when in distress.

  2. Describing -  Practice putting into words what you have noticed without judgment words 

  3. Be in the moment – Let yourself be in that moment fully, doing just what is needed

These are just basic skills that Linehan as well as many others have described to get started.  They are very helpful tools in changing your thoughts to help improve your mood.  At Comprehensive we have Dialectic Behavioral Therapy which includes a module on mindfulness.  Mindfulness skills are also taught in other therapies as well to increase our awareness, help us control our thoughts which lead to changing our feelings and mood.