An article by Traci Pedersen in PsychCentral reports that researchers at the Centre for Primary Health Care Research (CPF) in Malmo, Sweden in collaboration with Lund University have found Mindfulness Group Therapy MGT just as effective as individual CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, aggression and paranoid ideation.
How were psychiatric symptoms measured?
Researchers looked at a wide range of psychiatric symptoms (measured by several types of questionnaires) and studied how these symptoms responded to treatment, either with mindfulness in group therapy or individual CBT.
They found that the average score for all 15 different subscales/indexes in the various questionnaires decreased significantly in both scales. The various scales measured, among others, symptoms of depression, general anxiety, stress and somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism.
They found no difference in treatment outcomes between the two groups.
How many patients and which area
The study was an eight-week randomised controlled trial involving 215 patients from 16 different healthcare centres across Scania in southern Sweden. Psychiatric symptoms were measured by several types of questionnaire. The new findings are published in the journal European Psychiatry.
“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,” says Professor Jan Sundquist, who led the research group in the study which has been published in European Psychiatry.
I like what Karen Kissel Wegela says in her piece in the Lion’s Roar about basic sanity and neurosis; You’re Basically Good – The Benefits of Contemplative Psychotherapy. I was taught that given the right conditions we as human beings move towards health. There is so much talk about sickness and treating the symptoms that the causes seem to be forgotten about.
Using Brilliant Sanity
In her presentation of what she calls “contemplative counselling and psychotherapy” there is a focus on the inherent sanity which she also refers to as Brilliant Sanity. The contemplative therapist uses their capacity to hold clarity, compassion, mindfulness and awareness. Karen says Thich Nhat Hanh says that we are “inter-are” when in relationship and explains that there is an exchange between the present experience of the therapist and the client. Our “ego” tries to hold onto a separate abiding sense of self, this is doomed to failure as we are always changing. Brilliant Sanity does not always stay with the therapist, this is where the challenge is for the therapist to be vulnerable and let the client hold the brilliant sanity sometimes.
Easing the pain through loving kindness
Of course the past has an importance in the therapy work but the emphasis once again is on enquiry – why is the past that happened in the past manifesting in the present? Karen talks about the Buddhist teaching of that there is pain in life, but we add unnecessary suffering by trying to hold onto our sense of who we are. What eases the pain is loving kindness which can be towards ourselves and others. Repressing emotions only gives rise to them bursting out inappropriately. The therapeutic relationship needs to be robust and have enough trust within it to allow the repressed emotions to be processed. Karen also champions the value of the therapist having a mindfulness based meditation practice. The practice develops the ability for the therapist to be more friendly with their own issues, and once again the shared experience of this with the client promotes the clients’ ability to hold their issues with non-judgemental mindfulness, awareness, curiosity and compassion.
“Since the generation of positive emotions is crucial in the initiation of a positive spiral towards recovery, long-term outcomes of this contingent inhibiting effect of antidepressants on psychotherapy outcome in terms of positive affect will have to be investigated in more detail in experimental set-ups”
“If our findings are replicated it would implicate that the sequential addition of psychotherapy to antidepressants could be less efficient than discontinuing antidepressants before/during receiving psychotherapy especially for improving long-term outcomes.”
Dawn Foster of the Guardian in her piece “Is mindfulness making us ill?” of 23rd January discusses the explosion of interest in mindfulness courses as a technique of choice popular to employers. Mindfulness courses range from smart phone apps to three day mindfulness as part of a training programme. Dawn refers to a number of cases where side-effects have profoundly effected peoples lives leaving them disturbed, open, and vulnerable.
She states that there are dangers in way that mindfulness is marketed as an alternative lifestyle choice rather than a powerful form of therapy. The Karuna Institute a UKCP member led by Maura Sills provides an accredited psychotherapy training using mindfulness. Mindfulness has been taught and used in therapeutic relationship within Core Process Psychotherapy for thirty years.
Individual integrative psychotherapy is offered on a one-to-one bases. If you have a had some counselling sessions and have had the chance to take stock of your life and have noticed that you are not making the most of your life. This is focused work, normally beginning with an agreed contract of six sessions to help you look at what you do with your life that holds you back.
I bring experience over years of working with clients to help you look again at how you live your life, what habits or behaviours are useful and which are out of date and no longer help you live a fulfilled life. Our work together is about looking at how you live your life and after reflection offering you a chance of not repeating what has not been useful or has held you back.
The way therapy works with me is a joint process of investigation, I bring a genuine interest into how you live your life, develop relationships and move towards a sense of ease in your life. I do not profess that I provide a template for living a healthy, loving fulfilled life. I have a fierce desire to reflect what you are back to yourself and then let you make the decisions about changes you would like to make. It is the act of bringing awareness to how we are and how we interact in significant relationships that brings change.
I normally suggest that psychotherapy begins with a six sessions weekly contract, to be reviewed from both sides at the end of this period. After the six sessions the therapeutic alliance is reviewed and key points are identified and engagement in the work assessed.
Please call to make a first appointment to meet me and for me to meet you.
UKCP Member No. 00313610
Aviva Provider Number : 600105251
AXA PPP healthcare reference number : RG03195
WPA Provider Number : SP081136
WPA Protocol Provider Number : 920744459
BUPA Provider Number : 30047027
The Romney Centre
61 The Avenue
Telephone : 023 8022 6050
Psychotherapy in Southampton
The Romney Centre, 61 The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XS
Your psychotherapist offers an approach to working through issues using mindfulness based psychotherapy.
Training began at Karuna Institute in 1993, and was first accredited as a psychotherapist by the UKCP through its Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College HIPC to practice as a Core Process Psychotherapist in 2003. Karuna has taught and championed the use of mindfulness particularly in the relationship to develop a therapeutic alliance. Maura Sills a Director of The Karuna Institute has taught, and supported using mindfulness in psychotherapy for over 25 years in the United Kingdom.
As a Core Process Psychotherapist training began at the Karuna Institute completing the foundation year then moving onto the Professional Diploma. After accruing sufficient client hours working as a psychotherapist, I accredited through the Karuna Institute with the UKCP, then studied for and completed a Master of Arts in Core Process Psychotherapy in 2002.
I have been a UKCP approved Supervisor, Psychotherapist and Counsellor in Southampton since 2003. I work with couples having completed the ‘Key to Couples Work’ with Jennie Miller which offers a TA approach.
Supervisor, Psychotherapist and Counsellor since 2003
Earlier in life, l studied and worked as an Systems Engineer becoming interested in Spirituality, Buddhism, Personal Development, Social and Ecological Responsibility. Training firstly as a Counsellor, then as a Psychotherapist and finally as a Secondary School Teacher. My abode is in Shirley Southampton, Hampshire with my wife and our two children. I see clients as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in Private Practice.
Currently, I rent rooms at the Romney Centre in Southampton which is in the Avenue. Individual clients are for 50 minute hours weekly, and couples normally for 90 minutes sessions on a fortnightly basis. Please call the Romney Centre to make an appointment or email me for availability.