thread: Mindfulness - training vs CBT

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Mindfulness - training vs CBT

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Wondering on the differences in approach, etc between mindfulness training and CBT.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Add UntoldAngel on Facebook

    Nov 2009
    Between concrete walls

    Not extensively yet but I'm awaiting a position in a twelve month DBT program which is mindfulness training.

    Is there anything in particular you wanted to know?

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Aug 2008

    My experience has been that mindfulness is focusing on the present, it's about being in the moment. CBT is learning to recognise and breakdown negative thought patterns.

  4. #4

    Oct 2010
    Baldivis, WA

    My experience has been that mindfulness is focusing on the present, it's about being in the moment. CBT is learning to recognise and breakdown negative thought patterns.
    Wow, id really love to know more about this too.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    I've had a look and there seem to be two options - training courses in mindfulness or CBT (with a mindfulness focus). I'm not sure how they'd differ (I could ask the providers, of course )


  6. #6
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    surrounded by textbooks, cat toys and love

    I much prefer mindfulness, to me it just seems more respectful. Some studies have shown that CBT which focuses on getting rid of a negative thought with logic, can actually increase those kinds of thoughts, whereas mindfulness goes ''ok, I feel negative, that's how I feel today'' and then there are strategies for dealing with feeling negative, rather than trying to talk yourself out of it. Kind of like what would happen if you were just ok with having a crappy day, rather than focusing on what didn't get done etc.

    Another mindfulness strategy is 'it's just a thought' like, when you're catastrophising about something it can be really helpful to remember that it can't hurt you, it's just a thought. You're not trying to get rid of it, you're acknowledging it while hopefully noting that it doesn't have any actual power.

    I haven't done any professional mindfulness counselling in a couple of years, so things may have changed, but back then the psych industry was all about positive psychology and CBT was a bit out of vogue. I think more studies will go to show how awesome mindfulness is. However, it all comes down to if it's the right fit for you!

  7. #7
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Sep 2011

    I'm also keen to do some training in mindfullness. CBT explores core beliefs that are learnt in childhood etc and how they affect your current thinking etc and also behaviour modification, so for somebody experiencing depression, it may involve activity scheduling etc.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Sep 2012

    I can recommend a book about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which has a mindfulness approach. It is by Dr Russ Harris, called "The Happiness Trap".
    He is an Aussie doctor and a leader in mindfulness training. Easy read and lots of good info.

    Another good book on CBT is "Change your thinking" by Sarah Edelman. Really user friendly guide to CBT.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    I went through major depression around 15 years ago and did a tiny bit of CBT with a counsellor who told me I was exactly the sort of person it wouldn't work on. It's about challenging your depressive thought patterns so something like, Original thought: "I can't do that, I'm so stupid." Challenge it with: "why do I feel that way? I've done this sort of task x times, I CAN do it." Sounds good in theory except someone like me would add an extra bit at the end, "why do I think I can't do anything when I obviously can, I'm such a freak for thinking these thoughts, why can't I just stop thinking this way." And on the chatter would go all day.

    I haven't experienced mindfulness in a counselling situation or when I've been depressed. I've only read a couple of books about Buddhism but from the little I've read, it suits me much better. In the broader context of Buddhism, it says that life is about change. Rather than worrying about why change is happening, we accept it and live in the moment a lot more. So mindfulness could have helped calm my mind through my depressive episode. So taking my original example: Original thought, "I can't do that, I'm so stupid," Mindfulness: "you are feeling stupid right now but this feeling will pass. Everything changes." So it doesn't allow the brain to engage in a battle between 'good' thoughts and 'bad' thoughts.

    That's only my interpretation from the little I know of both approaches.