Letters to the Editors: Mindfulness

Clark, J., 2003. Letters to the Editors: Mindfulness. Reformulation, Summer, pp.8-9.


Letters to the Editors

Mindfulness

“What is mindfulness?”

This question was posed by Dr Anthony Ryle during the ACAT Conference 2003 Plenary and some attention to it would seem timely. “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” Kabat-Zinn (1994).

“Why could mindfulness be of interest to us?”

This is a question that is occupying a number of us, particularly those with an established mindfulness practice. In CAT we are essentially challenging our patients to pay attention to their procedures - non-judgementally. For many individuals the insight gained during that process is sufficient; however developing non—judgmental awareness is a lifetime’s work.

Whatever the nature of the original problem, many of us seek some way of continuing to develop awareness, to journey further with it and maybe to find space for an exploration of the spirit. This is seen as vital to our health as human beings.

There is a growing evidence base for the value of Mindfulness to both physical and mental health. Within the ACAT newsletter there has already been some discussion of Marsha Linehan’s programme for borderline personality disorder, which includes a mindfulness practice. More recent work, “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy” (Segal, Williams and Teasdale, 2002) throws out an obvious and intriguing challenge to CAT and becomes another growing point for us.

Dr Julia Clark, Norwich CAT

Kabat-Zinn (1994) “Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life”
Paitkus, London.

Segal, Williams and Teasdale (2002) “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Depression”
Guildford Press.

Full Reference

Clark, J., 2003. Letters to the Editors: Mindfulness. Reformulation, Summer, pp.8-9.

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