Treatment & Therapy

BPD Treatment: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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Mindfulness-based stress reductionMindfulness is the art of being “in the now.” Rooted in Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, mindfulness teaches us to be fully aware of our state of mind at the moment. The past is gone, and the future is not in sight – the present is what matters.

Mindfulness is often achieved by meditation. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which brings together mindfulness meditation and yoga, has been found to be very effective for general health and peace of mind.

In a study earlier this year, researchers found that after practicing mindfulness meditation for eight weeks, there was considerable change in the brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. While regions related to memory, sense of self, and empathy thickened, the density of the area associated with stress decreased.

What Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. While it is a useful practice for anyone, it has proven to be an effective treatment for psychiatric disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and depression.

“MBSR is helpful for everybody,” says Tampa-based psychologist Laura Umfer. “It is basically a way to teach people to teach their minds or thoughts to work with their bodies or feelings.”

A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course is an eight-week intensive training in mindfulness meditation. In a typical MBSR course, you will learn skills that improve your ability to let go of the past, ruminate less about your future, and live more fully in the present. Sessions involve mindfulness meditation and mindful stretching and movement. Participants are also given daily assignments to practice their new skills.

BPD Treatment and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is an effective tool for improving the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. It can help people with BPD to feel more connected to themselves, other people, and the world around them, as well as reduce their levels of stress.

“Mindfulness-based therapies help people to recognize that they are not their thoughts and feelings. They encourage the individual undergoing treatment to become a non-judgmental observer of his or her thoughts and feelings as they pass through the mind,” says Jason Schiffman, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). “This can be very helpful for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, who often become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and strong, painful emotions.”

Mindfulness is helpful to people with BPD because it emphasizes directing their attention to the present moment. “Individuals with BPD often spend much of their time ruminating about painful past events or worrying excessively about the future, and mindfulness-based approaches help them practice living in the present,” Schiffman continued.

A  Complementary BPD Treatment

As useful as it may be, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction cannot replace therapy when it comes to BPD treatment. It is best used as a complementary treatment to more traditional psychotherapy and needed medications.

Because mindfulness is a core component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the treatment of choice for Borderline Personality Disorder, a lot of the methods used in MBSR are incorporated into BPD treatment.

If you are looking for BPD treatment, get a proper assessment by a mental health professional to determine which type of therapy will most benefit you.

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