What is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the awareness that develops when we learn to pay attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness refers to the awareness that we develop through intentional, non-judgmental acceptance of the here and now.
Cultivating this awareness allows us to recognise and step out of automatic habits that contribute to difficulties in thinking and behaviour, and to consider helpful responses to situations in life.
Research has shown that practicing mindfulness skills may help to reduce stress levels, build coping skills and strengthen resilience. Many participants also describe a greater sense of connection and choice in everyday experiences.
The benefits of mindfulness based therapy have been highlighted in treating recurrent mood and anxiety disorders. The nature of the skills practiced requires openness to meditation, and an ability to concentrate and tolerate a mild level of stress. Participation may be deferred whilst individuals are acutely unwell or at risk.
This program runs weekly for 7 weeks. A follow-up is held four weeks after you complete the program.
The program aims to support you to develop mindfulness skills, integrate these skills into daily life activities and apply them during difficult experiences.
During each session, a significant amount of time is dedicated to guided meditation practice. As such, it is important that you wear comfortable clothing to each session and bring along a light blanket if required.
Whilst the sessions are more focused on skill development than counselling, you will be encouraged to share your experiences of the techniques within group and relate these skills to everyday situations.
This reflection on experiences in the group is an essential part of consolidating the mindfulness skills and attitudes learned during the program.
It is important that you can attend all sessions throughout the program as each session builds on content covered in previous sessions.
Group sessions focus on:
- Understanding mindfulness, bringing awareness to sensations, thoughts and emotions.
- Observing thoughts as mental events; recognising automatic habits.
- Engaging, disengaging and redirecting attention during times of distress.
- Tolerating discomfort and cultivating acceptance.
- Recognising early warning signs and choosing helpful responses for relapse prevention.
- Strengthening resilience/lifestyle balance.
Home-based practice is essential, and you will be given guidance regarding purchasing guided meditation CDs to assist your home based practice. Personal practice tasks will also be suggested throughout the course to help you to consider the role of mindfulness in your daily life.
A progress report will be provided to your psychiatrist at the end of the program.
Once a referral has been received from your psychiatrist, you will be contacted by Perth Clinic staff to organise an initial interview with a therapist and arrange your booking.