Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

What is MBSR Therapy?

Our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) at Freeman Recovery Center is a structured program that uses mindfulness to alleviate pain and improve physical and emotional well being for individuals suffering from a variety of diseases and disorders. We have a certified MSBR instructor as part of our professional medical staff to assist with our group programs.

MBSR therapy has become a common form of supportive treatment in the addiction recovery process.

MBSR is a group program that focuses upon the progressive acquisition of mindful awareness, which originated in early Buddhist documents but is neither religious nor esoteric in nature. Several Buddhist treatises detail an elaborate psychological theory of mind, in which mindfulness consistently plays a central role. Mindfulness is characterized by non-evaluative and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of perceptible mental states and processes. This includes continuous, immediate awareness of physical sensations, perceptions, affective states, thoughts, and imagery. Mindfulness is non-deliberative: It merely implies sustained paying attention to ongoing mental content without thinking about, comparing or in other ways evaluating the ongoing mental phenomena that arise during periods of practice. Thus, mindfulness may be seen as a form of naturalistic observation, or participant-observation, in which the objects of observation are the perceptible mental phenomena that normally arise during waking consciousness.

In A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, authors Bob Stahl and Elish Goldstein provide processes and exercises for those interested in learning the basic techniques. The chapter entitled “Meditation for Anxiety and Stress” focuses on how anxiety and stress affect the body. The authors provide an acronym so that the participant can easily remember the basics of self-inquiry: RAIN.

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R = Recognize when a strong emotion is present

A = Allow or acknowledge that it’s there

I = Investigate the body, emotions, and thoughts

N = Non-identify with whatever is there

The purpose of this particular type of meditation is to specifically determine those things that cause stress in one’s life (including thoughts that may be exaggerated or false) and respond to them in such a way so as to feel empowered rather than overwhelmed by the given stressors.

Benefits of MBSR Therapy

MBSR programs provide a variety of very powerful benefits for those practicing the techniques and meditation offered. The benefits of low exposure to MSBR have been studied with research highlighting the minimal effort needed to experience benefits.

Over the past thirty years, many studies have been conducted that clearly demonstrate positive effects from mindfulness practices. The fruits of mindfulness practices include increased brain function, less pain, help with eating disorders, and reduced depression. Practicing MBSR can actually change the brain and how it works.