Meditation as Therapy

Meditation and Mindfulness in Therapy

Many people ask me what place meditation has in therapy. Often I get asked if this is some sort of religious practice. People have a number of reactions around these questions. As I have just finished meditating (the photo of me on this page is post-meditation) and am in a very good space mentally, I will attempt a start of a response - this is only a start, as the topic of meditation is a large one (and paradoxically quite straight-forward).

Counsellor Mindfulness Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

First, meditation has found application in a number of therapeutic approaches, including a central place in a synthesis between mindfulness (meditation) and Cognitive Therapy, known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. This approach was developed at Oxford University and a good introduction is found in their podcasts here. Oxford did research into the use of mindfulness meditation and cognitive techniques to treat depression. A very interesting project!

Meditation as Focusing

Second, meditation is as simple as focusing on your breath (something that is always readily available). The focal point can be a number of things. An exhaustive list is note possible but it could include:

Meditation is focusing - it would be a stretch to say that focusing is a purely religious act and I would suggest it is not. There are also other sorts of meditation - including loving-kindness mediation, which I will discuss at some point on this site in relation to Compassion-Focused Therapy.

Meditation in Therapy

So, how does meditation help in therapy? Some ways include:

Trying Mindfulness and Meditation

We are more than our fleeting thoughts, which seem to crowd our mind every waking moment. Learning to still our minds and sit with thoughts (some unpleasant) gives us a new vantage point to understand ourselves and our interactions with stimuli. Also, it can bring incredible calm to life! I once told a friend that meditation was the greatest gift I had ever given myself. If you try it, remember to be gentle on yourself - there is no "right" way and don't be down on yourself if you can't focus at first. Learning to do so is the whole reason to practice - and it is exactly that, a practice.

Aroha nui,

Lee Jordan signature Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️