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Unread December 21st, 2004, 09:48 PM
Cesar Bujosa Cesar Bujosa is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York City
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Default Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy

I have concluded that Mindfulness meditation is a form of therapeutic exposure. This is why I believe it seems to have efficacy in treating numerous conditions:

pain management (Kabat-Zinn, 1982, Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, & Burney,1985, Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, L., Burney, & Sellers,1987), anxiety(Kabat-Zinn, Massion, , Kristeller, Peterson, Fletcher & Pbert, et al., 1992), psoriasis (Kabat-Zinn, Wheeler, Light, Skillings, Scharf,, Cropley, et al., 1998), depression (Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002), immune functioning (Davidson, J. J. in press) and heart disease (Tacon, McComb, Caldera & Randolph, 2003). It has been incorporated to treat symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder (Linehan, M. M., 1993a, Linehan, M. M. 1993b), eating disorder (Kristeller, & Hallett, 1999) and generalized anxiety disorder (Roemer & Orsillo, 2002)

There is a radical acceptance of ourselves and our conditions when we interrupt thought and imaginings. We're left with "what is." This results in an adjustment to the presence of fear producing impressions and recollections. We habituate our emotonal wounds and existential terror. Meditation is interrupting escape, and compulsion just like exposure therapy.

It seems to me that mindfulness meditation seems to integrate imaginal exposure and in vivo exposure into one package. It's an awsome therapeutic tool. However, REBT, CBT and other functional therapise have been using mindful toleration of our core fears and symptoms for the last 50 years.

The problem with mindfulness meditation in America is that the practice is so foreign to what we're used to. We must proceed along the track of advancing the therapeutic application of mindfulness meditation, however we are in the early stages of its acceptance. Some day it will be an established norm. But for now, we are lucky to have numerous other approaches that provide therapeutic exposure. I would guard against relying to much on mindfulness. I say this as a committed meditator and therapist.
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