Mindfulness Can Be Just as Effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Practicing mindfulness can sometimes feel like the “take your vitamins” advice for stress management.

There are people who have worked it into their daily life and swear by its health benefits and others who might acknowledge its potential, yet find tons of obstacles when it comes to incorporating it into their routines. New research may boost enthusiasm for the practice, as mindfulness in a group therapy setting has been shown to be just as effective as receiving cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has long been exalted as a superior form of mental health treatment. The technique can help assist those with a range of presenting problems, such as depression, anxiety, interpersonal issues and even sleep problems. By focusing on how attitudes and behaviors are shaped, CBT can help a person reconfigure how they view the world and interact with it. CBT has been a helpful tool in many people’s lives.

Researchers from the Center for Primary Healthcare Research in Sweden recently published a study on the effects of mindfulness, especially when compared to more common methods of mental health treatment. The study, published in the journal European Psychiatry, focused on 215 individuals diagnosed with either depression, anxiety or other stress-related disorders. What they found is that participating in a mindfulness group therapy setting had an equally significant effect on treating various symptoms associated with these disorders as individual CBT treatment.

“Our new research shows that mindfulness group therapy has the equivalent effect as individual CBT for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms that are common among this patient group,” lead study author Professor Jan Sundquist told Science Daily. In fact, the current study replicated the findings of a previous study, increasing the likelihood of its results being accurate.

Mindfulness is known to be linked to all sorts of physical and emotional benefits, from improving concentration to boosting your immune system. For those who carry everyday stress and not a diagnosable disorder, mindfulness can be easily learned and implemented into everyday life (even at the office!). For those who would benefit from more intensive training and treatment, this new research may pave the way for more options in the future.

“As mental illnesses are increasing at a very fast rate it is absolutely essential to expand the treatment alternatives for this patient group in primary healthcare, “ said Sundquist. Continued research and persistence from the public to reform healthcare to include more diversity in mental health treatment could mean a very different future. Mindfulness could (and should) be a common term around the house and the doctor’s office.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

41 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Telica R
Telica R4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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heather g
heather g5 months ago

The words 'mindfulness' and 'awareness' seem interchangeable to me. When we don't practise it, most of us have minds that are all over the place which often leads to nervousness and stress. Take a deep breath and live in the present.

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE5 months ago

Thank you

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rosario p
rosario p5 months ago

Ancient practice of full awareness of Buddhist meditation presented in a new packaging more in keeping with the current western society.

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JD She
JD She5 months ago

Noted

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Brie B
Brie B6 months ago

Thanks for this post. Daniela, that's what we have to go through every day! XoXo

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan H6 months ago

Noted

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Erika C
Erika C6 months ago

Thank you.

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