Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Therapy

Mindfulness and acceptance based therapies are often referred to as the third wave of CBT. The first wave is behavioral therapy, which focuses on antecedents, behaviors, and consequences. The second wave is what we know now as traditional CBT, which focuses on maladaptive thinking patterns as well as behaviors. The third wave of CBT focuses more on mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It includes empirically validated treatments such at DBT and ACT. There are influences in mindfulness-based CBT from more eastern philosophies such as Buddhism. Rather than focusing on stopping, challenging, or changing maladaptive thinking patterns; mindfulness encourages awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings, while acting in ways consistent with one’s values.

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