Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) is often the treatment of choice for depression and anxiety disorders. CBT involves a process of changing unhelpful thinking and behaviour patterns often linked to these mood disorders using awareness, cognitive restructuring and solution focused actions such as assertiveness skills, problem solving, activity scheduling and stress management. For CBT to be effective it is important to work weekly on your treatment goals for six to 10 sessions. If this is not possible then it is important to work on specific goals developed by you and your therapist in between your sessions.
Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of the recent mindfulness-based behaviour therapies, which unlike most Western psychotherapies, does not have symptom relief as a goal. This therapy is based on the scientific understanding that human language and thinking is a source of our suffering and that ongoing attempts to get rid of ‘symptoms’ can create clinical disorders.
ACT encourages taking mindful action guided by one’s values, in order to create a rich and meaningful live. In order to not get caught in thinking as a problem, ACT diffuses from thinking using a range of helpful tools.
Mindfulness is a method for contemplation and awareness. It is a form of meditation and has many medical and mental health benefits. However, sometimes it is not possible to consider beginning to practise regular meditation or attend a meditation school because of mental health concerns, past trauma, and previous difficulties with meditation. A simple practice of mindfulness meditation for 20 minutes a day has been found to improve mood management, brain functioning, immune system functioning and well being. Life style changes incorporating mindfulness practice and exercise has been found to improve medical treatment in cancer, skin related problems and cardiac disease.