Facts to Know:
- Mindfulness is living with intentional awareness of the present moment.
- Mindfulness is paying attention to the here and now, without judgement.
- Mindfulness and related therapies are evidence-based interventions for a range of psychological problems and medical conditions.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a technique that involves becoming in touch with your experience of the here and now. It involves looking at experiences with a fresh perspective as well as observing and describing reality using the five basic senses. Mindfulness is a treatment for a range of conditions including anxiety, stress, and chronic pain. Research suggests this may work by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing neuroplasticity, or adapting the structure and pathways of the brain.
What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be practiced anytime and anywhere because it includes focusing on something we are already doing, such as the food we are eating or the emotions we are experiencing. Meditation is a formal practice which typically involves setting aside a period of time ranging from just a minute to much longer to do nothing but meditate.
What are mindfulness-based therapies and how does it work?
Mindfulness can be received as a standalone treatment where the focus of the work is on developing a formal practice. A treatment focused solely on mindfulness practice itself may be brief, consisting of weekly meetings over 6-12 weeks.
The latest cognitive and behavioral therapies incorporate mindfulness and acceptance in order to enhance changed-based approaches. In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the practice of mindfulness is a core component that is integrated into the larger treatment. ACT focuses on clarifying what makes life meaningful and fosters commitment to behaviors that are aligned with valued living. DBT balances acceptance with change and is a well-researched treatment for suicidal and self-harming behaviors.
How can I receive mindfulness or related therapies at Columbia?
At ColumbiaDoctors, we offer mindfulness treatment and related therapies. We offer individual ACT focused on acceptance of internal experience and commitment to valued living. We also offer comprehensive DBT including individual DBT and DBT skills groups tailored to the needs of specific people including teens and families, adults, and the LGBT community. Additionally, the Columbia Day Program and Lieber Recovery Clinic incorporate mindfulness and DBT into their programs.
Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in mindfulness.
To make an appointment, please call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.