Mindfulness meditation is currently one of the most widely researched treatment methods in mental and behavioral health. Clinical research has demonstrated its effectiveness for managing a wide range of conditions associated with emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, and substance abuse, as well as enhancing physical and psychological wellbeing.
Although scientific research on meditation can be traced to the early 1970’s, the relatively recent surge of research on mindfulness has left many medical and mental health professionals curious, and perhaps unclear, about what exactly is meant by mindfulness in the present context, how to practice and teach it their patients, and the evidence base to support it.
The purpose of this course is to offer participants an up-to-date review of the theory, research, and practice of mindfulness in health care (including its application to the practice of psychotherapy), to increase the effectiveness of behavioral treatment, enhance the wellbeing of clinicians, and cultivate positive attitudes associated with patient care.
Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:
– Explain how mindfulness and acceptance-based treatment is grounded in empirically-supported psychotherapy;
– Discuss the mechanisms of action in meditation that appear to underlie positive; therapeutic change, such as attention regulation, emotion regulation, and self-compassion;
– Customize meditation practices for individual patients, i.e., those with anxiety, depression, and trauma, and stress-related medical disorders;
– Determine whether Mindful Self Compassion can help those with chronic pain;
– Apply the practices and principles of meditation to enhance the therapeutic relationship and personal wellbeing.
Susan M. Pollak, MTS, Ed.D is co-founder, senior teacher and advisor at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School.