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The use of mindfulness in therapy

Mindfulness is considered an evidenced-based treatment.

But what does it mean to use mindfulness in a therapy session? Do you still get to come in and spill your problems? The short answer is yes.

Mindfulness helps you understand more of what is going on behind the scenes. What is underlying your anxiety?

Mindfulness in therapy is different than many people expect. Some believe it means meditating, slowing down or participating in deep breathing activities. Others think it’s more like hypnosis or a trance state. Still others may assume it’s just about taking a pause to reflect before you make a decision.

However, mindfulness in a therapy setting can be about describing what the inner body feels like right here in this moment. It’s merely tuning into the inner body space.

For example, someone might say while they are tuned in, “When I imagine meeting a new person, my entire inner body feels hot and my face feels red. I have the urge to hide.” The person is noticing their inner world and describing it. As they do this, their self-awareness increases.

As we continue to lean into this, we gain more information. We might ask what it’s saying – this hot feeling. After some time, you realize it’s saying, “You look stupid.” From here, we can even see if there’s an image or memory attached to this hot feeling. 

(The middle school memory! I had to read in front of the class! I was so embarrassed!)

What about an emotion? Is there an emotion attached to the hot feeling? For some people, they might say “it’s shame”.

Now we have more information about this automatic reaction. With more information, we can make more accurate decisions and have more control.

Mindfulness shows you things that you were missing because you were moving so fast.

For example, “I am about to leave my car and go inside where I am going to meet new people. I’m already feeling my face get red.”

New data: Oh, maybe this is related to that middle school memory and not the current situation. Maybe I don’t need to worry about my response because it’s not signaling actual danger but a leftover memory from the past.

Over time, tuning into these states helps you recognize when you are in them and then interact from a different place.

Like, “I’m embarrassed but I am also excited. I think I’ll interact from the excited state and I’ll try to comfort my embarrassed state and leave it where it is.” 

In the past, you could’ve experienced the anxiety/shame/red face and then decided, “I can’t meet new people. Too stressful.” You are then completely at the mercy of your situation and it’s stifling. That is very uninspiring.

Mindfulness therapy works and many clients think it’s fun, goes deeper than regular talking and that makes it interesting. Some clients tell us that once we did mindfulness they wanted to do it during every session.

If you’d like to schedule with a therapist, you can click here to see our team members, their availability and which insurances they take. 

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At Free Clear Mind, we provide a safe environment for you or your teen to identify and work through the things that are causing them the most anxiety. Our therapists are sensitive counselors who understand sensitive people. 

We empower your teen to overcome anxiety and embrace confidence and enjoy life.

A free clear mind is the first step.

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Free Clear Mind Therapy provides in-person therapy in Fishers & Indianapolis and online therapy across Indiana. Specializing in anxiety therapy for teens, adults, and kids.

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