How Do I Find a Good Mindfulness Therapist?

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On my blog  five years ago today (11th August
2014) and (11th April 2016) over 3 years ago I wrote about the
Mindfulness Fast-track and Bandwagon how mindfulness was becoming super popular
with more people becoming mindful therapists for financial gain as you can do
group-work. How you can pay as little as £49 for an Online Mindfulness
Diploma Course which enables you to call yourself a mindful therapist and run
courses, classes and see therapy clients on a one-to-one basis fills me with

Five years have gone by and mindfulness is ever more popular with
mindfulness courses and therapists everywhere and many therapists adding
mindfulness to their toolbox as it is commercially beneficial and attracts new

So what is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been practiced by Buddhists for over two thousand years
as part of Buddhism teaching. Being mindful means being consciously aware,
deliberately concentrating and focusing on the here and now, the present moment
completely. You use your body and its senses (what you can see, feel, hear,
smell and taste) your thoughts and feelings to focus on the present moment. Distracting
your mind from thinking about the past or your possible futures.

Stress Reduction MBSR
was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn for people with chronic pain, stress
and anxiety. He designed the group programme using mindfulness meditation and
yoga but removing all of the Buddhism from it.

Cognitive Therapy for Depression MBCT
was developed from Mindfulness-based
Stress Reduction by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. It uses
mindfulness meditations and yoga and is a group or one-to-one programme where
Buddism has been removed. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
has been approved by NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
since 2004.

Other therapies fall under the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural
Therapies umbrella including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT and
Traumatic Incident Reduction TIR.

So what are my concerns?

Mindfulness is self-regulated which means you can read a book, watch a YouTube
video or do a 5 hour course and call yourself a Mindfulness therapist. This
means there are unqualified, poorly trained and unscrupulous therapists out

Mindfulness can trigger episodes of anxiety, depression and other
mental-health issues if done poorly, incorrectly or in a unsupported way. I see
courses and retreats advertised for hundreds, thousands of pounds that anyone
can go on. Mindfulness comes from Buddhism so many people try Buddhist
mindfulness for anxiety and depression which is not a therapy specifically
developed for it.

How do you chose a good Mindful Therapist?

  1. Ask where and how
    long they studied for? What qualifications and how many years of experience do
    they have? Do you want to see a therapist with 5 hours or days of training and
    6 months of experience?
  • Are they qualified
    in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy
    for Depression? Many therapists only train and qualify in Mindfulness-based
    Stress Reduction so can’t help you with your depression efficiently. Or if you
    have stress and anxiety a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapist can’t help you
    as much as a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Therapist. Nor will your local Buddhist
    centre or badly qualified Mindfulness therapist help you as much as a properly trained
    fulltime Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapist  

Adrian Sonnex has been awarded these quality standards

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